The Way Out

In order to get out I must go through. There is no other way. No other way? But there must be another way, an easier path, a well-lit road. I cast about, scan the horizon— No other way. The way out is the way through. The way through is the way hard....

K Kathy Fuson Hurt

Supplication

I am so tired and weary, So tired of the endless fight, So weary of waiting the dawn And finding endless night. That I ask but rest and quiet— Rest for the days that are gone, And quiet for the little space That I must journey on.

J Joseph Seamon Cotter

What Loss Means

The words we cast to fill the silence left by one we loved never are enough.

D David Breeden

It Starts with a Spark

A quick flash that makes you doubt your senses— But then a tiny ember glows on the braided twine And brings a flame to life. Soon you find a candle sitting on a table, Desolate until its wick touches yours, And suddenly the brightness doubles; In an instant the warmth has grown. This intensified...

L Lindasusan Ulrich

Creator

Inhale—you are Creation. Exhale—you are Creator.

J Jennifer Pratt-Walter

These Days

I miss singing, the way we trusted/the air that moved between us. I miss/the casual assumption that everything/would be all right in the morning.

L Lynn Ungar

The Wanderer

A cold grey sky, a cold grey sea And a cold grey mist that is chilling me; A light that burns on the harbor bar With the dull dim glow of a distant star....

L Lewis H. Latimer

Living Waters

We float on a sea hidden beneath dry surfaces covered by stones. Isn’t this why we drink and dive so deeply go down to the sea in ships risk drowning, again and again? Isn’t this why Moses parted the waters to begin his journey? Why Jesus crossed the waters to comfort and challenge us? We were...

S Stephen M Shick

Love Abundant

I lift my eyes up to the hills from where will my help come? My help comes from Love abundant. my help comes from the hills my help—my help, it comes from ancient Mothers whose hearts beat in mine. It comes from the trees that sway and the breeze that sways them . . . my help comes from all that...

A Alicia R. Forde

Jesus at the Parade

Later there were mutterings at the bar, and throughout the law courts, that Jesus only showed at the gay pride parade to love the jewel, but not the quality, to love the potluck, but not the food, to love the vessel, but not the wine, to love the hot rod, but not the driver, to love the baby, but...

B Bob Janis-Dillon

Inexplicable

Inexplicable. How we rise each morning, instead of burying our heads under bedcovers, sewing them shut. Why we keep on welcoming babies with bone-deep joy to this sordid world. How we fill burlap sacks with grit and gratitude, our hands shredded as we drag one over the other....

K Karen G. Johnston

A Prayer among Friends

Among other wonders of our lives, we are alive with one another, we live here in the light of this unlikely world that isn’t ours for long. May we spend generously the time we are given. May we enact our responsibilities as thoroughly as we enjoy our pleasures....

J John Daniel

To Outgrow the Past

To outgrow the past but not extinguish it; To be progressive but not raw, Free but not mad, critical but not sterile, expectant but not deluded; To be scientific but not to live on formulas that cut us off from life; To hear amidst clamor the pure, deep tones of the spirit; To seek the wisdom tha...

W William Laurence Sullivan

Let Me Die Laughing

We are all dying, our lives always moving ­toward completion. We need to learn to live with death, and to understand that death is not the worst of all events. We need to fear not death, but life— empty lives, loveless lives, lives that do not build upon the gifts that each of us has been given,...

M Mark Morrison-Reed

New People Came This Time

New ­People came this time, and we shared our stories, the familiar truths, about shock and healing and being glad that at last our children can say who they are, and we know them now, love them more. Funny stories and good news ripple around, and smiles about lesbigay ways, and jokes, against...

G Geoffrey Herbert

Deal with God

Sometimes I offer to make a deal with God. “I’ll tell you about my resistance to prayer,” I say, “If you’ll explain the Holocaust.” God declines to comment, and the lawyers make their prepared statements on his behalf. I kind of hate when he does that. I love God best, I confess, when I...

B Bob Janis-Dillon

First Breath

That first breath must be delicious. It must be more tantalizing, more intoxicating than any drug, fragrant like no flower will ever be enticing like no body scent. It must be all of this, and more yet without words or memories, how do we know? That first glorious rush of air wants us to keep...

A Adam Lawrence Dyer

Hope, Nearly Not There

There’s no package called hope. Nothing at a shop to look for. Hope won’t store like hay in a barn. It is a last leaf on a branch in deep winter. It is a singular thing, firm when it’s found—a hand reached out. A word to the marrow. Hope is fine-grained, like lavender gone to seed. Gossamer,...

D David Breeden

The Legacy of Caring

Despair is my private pain Born from what I have failed to say failed to do failed to overcome. Be still my inner self let me rise to you let me reach down into your pain and soothe you....

T Thandeka

In Gatherings

In gatherings we are stirred like the leaves of the fall season rustling around sacred trees, tossed hither and yon until we come to rest together, quietly, softly . . . We come to gather strength from each other. We come to give strength to each other....

M Marta I Valentín

The Bath

This is what one hundred years look like: A rounded wrinkled back, sparkling wet and soapy above the shower bench, and my hand, having ­gently formed in your seventieth year, and emerged with lifelines bent ­toward blessing, scrubbing ­circles across your soft, white skin. I drag the cloth...

A Angela Herrera

Creating Fire

Is the fire going out? Not in your belly, for you are still alive, but in your soul, that place where dreams fuel commitment where longings shape action where meaning flames purpose where passion ignites and rekindles your life fire. If your soul smolders dream on till you flame like a chalice of...

S Stephen M Shick

Mathematics

There is no algebra for death. No life lost cancels out another. The idea that there is some other side to the equation is a lie perpetrated by centuries of war and revenge. There is no other side. You cannot subtract and equalize the equation. There is an addition of loss, grief upon grief upon...

L Lynn Ungar

To the people who have mistaken freedom for liberation

To be free, you must embrace the breadth of your own existence without apology, even if they try to take it from you. You must know, not that you can do whatever you want; you are not a kudzu vine, eating entire hillsides for the purpose of feeding your own lush life. You must know instead, that...

T Theresa I. Soto

Beyond Borders

Go forth Because we are always going forth from somewhere Going from our homes, our childhoods Going from our cities and countries Going from innocence to experience to enlightenment Going into mystery and questions Going into the desert Getting to the other side....

R Rick Hoyt

Order

Breakfast on kosher macaroons and Diet Pepsi in the car on the way to Price Chopper for lamb. Peel five pounds of onions and let the Cuisinart shred them while you push them down and weep....

R Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Give All to Love

Give all to love; Obey thy heart; Friends, kindred, days, Estate, good-fame, Plans, credit and the Muse,— Nothing refuse. ’T is a brave master; Let it have scope: Follow it utterly, Hope beyond hope. It was never for the mean; It requireth courage stout. Souls above doubt, Valor unbending, It...

R Ralph Waldo Emerson

In Heaven

Ah, it’s true. When our ancestors spoke of heaven, they were speaking of this moment. When they went on about nirvana they imagined a time like this. When they sang of paradise, it was this morning they imagined....

M Mark L. Belletini

Still Queer in America

we were erased and still we loved we were shamed and still we loved we were expelled and still we loved we were laughed at and still we loved we were hunted and still we loved we were sacrificed and still we loved we were marketed and still we loved we were legislated and still we loved we were...

B Becky Brooks

When Your Best Friend Has Four or So Legs

What it means to have a pet is to love someone who speaks a language you do not. A dog will bow and prance, a cat will purr and blink. A guinea pig will giggle and squeak. A long time ago a friend of mine had a dog with soft ears, and considered herself the pup’s guardian....

T Theresa I. Soto

Distant Return

Here, I will be discovered and lost: Here, I will, perhaps, be stone and silence. —Pablo Neruda Someday, out there, on a day like this in a place I will never see, where the clearing winds always come after the storm, I will arrive nameless on a distant memory carrying with me all the best I gave...

S Stephen M Shick

Ready

"So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls wrapped in their cloaks upon their shoulders." —Exodus 12:34 You’ll need to travel light. Take what you can carry: a book, a poem, a battered tin cup, your child strapped to your chest, clutching your necklace in one...

R Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

The Way

I must live my own way, Refusing all that binds. I must know my own mind Among all other minds. I must do my own deeds, And in whatever lands. I will know my own hands Among all other hands. I must forsake the crowds, And walk with lonely fools, To seek for my own face In bleak, deserted pools. I...

K Kenneth L. Patton

"Hope" is the thing with feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers— That perches in the soul— And sings the tune without the words— And never stops—at all— And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard— And sore must be the storm— That ­could abash the ­little Bird That kept so many warm— I’ve heard it in the...

E Emily Dickinson

Now, I Love You. Now, I Witness.

I know sometimes you get cranky, And sometimes your tea gets cold Before you can drink it. Sometimes The news is too much. The resistance Seems too little. That's real. But we are Here. Imperfect and together and reaching. You can hold my hand if you want. I washed It with soap. It's OK. In this...

T Theresa I. Soto

A Blessing for the Front Lines

Oh you You rebel You queer and wayward child You abandoned and listless You angry and forgotten You brown and black and indigenous You homeless and impoverished You dreamer You warrior You are not alone here You have never been alone Not in this place, not in this time Not in the whole of history...

A Anna Geoffroy

Earth

This is our earth. It falls through heaven like a pearl in a glass of plum wine. There are no other earths that I know of. There are no other skies that we have mapped. This is our earth. The Oneness who gave birth to it remains nameless. There was no midwife then to bring us word of the birth-cry.

M Mark L. Belletini

The Day After

The day after the seder, reality shoves back in like a football player with lowered shoulder. Dishes to wash: the browned kugel pan, chopping knives, the eggbeater that whipped the whites for Eppie’s matzah balls, the gravy boats that held haroset, the glass bowls encrusted with salt. All day...

R Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Grounded

It hurts to let go of intensity that zapped like electricity yesterday. It hurts to disconnect arcing power, watch it ground and vanish. What was it that surged through us to lighten gray, indifferent skies? What was it that connected our hearts to hope?...

S Stephen M Shick

In Real Time

#‎BlackLivesMatter Let the only burning be the fire of commitment in our hearts, minds, hands, spirits in our community of faith. Live solidarity. Use your voice. Demand justice... better, live it into being. Cry out for others to join you. Name hate as hate—without shrinking back without...

J Jeannie Shero

Gratitude

Let’s start with the people we love and those who love us, thankful they are in our lives obliging us to open our hearts. Let open hearts embrace the Earth, the sea and soil and stars, blessed by bold beauty, the bounty of being. Then with hearts open to beauty let us embrace the arts and the...

S Swiftwalker

Tangled

Knit six purl six sets of two rows four rows six rows up to twelve, patterns, repeating, steady, soothingly same. This is not what life is like. Life is like picking up a tousled hunk of yarn pulled out of the basket by an impatient child looking for a string too many times. You find an end. You...

D Dawn Star Sarahs-Borchelt

Communion Circle

The earth. One planet. Round, global, so that when you trace its shape with your finger, you end up where you started. It's one. It's whole. All the dotted lines we draw on our maps of this globe are just that, dotted lines. They smear easily. Oceans can be crossed. Even the desert can be crossed.

M Mark L. Belletini

To My Haggadah

Over the years your staples have slipped and pages loosened. Here a faded purple crescent of ancient wine, there a smudge from bricks of date paste. But when you speak I swoon....

R Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Autumn Chant

Now the autumn shudders In the rose's root, Far and wide the ladders Lean among the fruit. Now the autumn clambers Up the trellised frame And the rose remembers The dust from which it came. Brighter than the blossom On the rose's bough Sits the wizened orange, Bitter berry now; Beauty never...

E Edna St. Vincent Millay

A Blessing for Traveling in the Dark

Go slow if you can. Slower. More slowly still. Friendly dark or fearsome, this is no place to break your neck by rushing, by running, by crashing into what you cannot see....

J Jan Richardson

Winter Solstice

Perhaps for a moment the typewriters will stop clicking, the wheels stop rolling the computers desist from computing, and a hush will fall over the city....

R Rebecca Parker

Earthquake

(Ahmedabad, India, 2001) Mother Earth is shouting but we do not hear. She is filled with anguish, for all we understand is death. And in her agony she suffers too over the fact that she must kill her own to get our attentionn...

M Marta I Valentín

The Return of Earth/She

The Earth has returned. She is living, breathing, Realizing her breath was leaving. She was needing us to remember her worth, to recognize her worth all over again. We used to be her friends. We used to help her heal us. Help her, heal us. Help her heal us....

C Christopher Sims