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Marys Song Above the sunken lake of Galilee, Lay isolated disdained Nazareth, Where misted in obscurity Was

Mary born. Her kin Elizabeth Gave John the Baptist birth. But Mary wrought The Motherhood of ages: Jesus, Son Of Man, Whose prophesied arrival brought Astrologers and shepherds one by one To marvel. Mary, in a squalid cave In Bethlehem nursed Infant Child with care. The Savior Whose death forgave Our primal sin too weightisome to bear. To celebrate that first far Christmastime, Let carillons of joy inside us chime. 1984 *

Stonehenge (for Huitzilopochtli)) Four thousand years ago the Celt Raised a ring of rocks around Patterns on the English ground. And there the Druid maidens felt Bronze-age daggers at the heart, Hacking, hewing them apart. Then the pagan priests began Chanting prayers and splashing red Till the glutton gods were fed. And thus the rituals of mere man Echo clear the ancient call, Haunting Mankind since the Fall. 06-18-76 *

Golgothan Solace The wooden frame to which youre nailed (Roman penalty) With outspread wrists and spikes impaled Transcends mere agony. Between your brother thief and you Upon His wooden span, Sags a Shape soon raised anew Reprieving faith-filled man. 09-05-95 *

High-Wire Walk The tight-rope of salvation Is a straining, wire-taut strand You inch along on foot-chafed trepidation Defying Satans law of gravitation, Gods balance-pole inside your hand. Below, the audience is cheering, Your equipoise of faith precludes all fearing Your toes assert their knowing, nimble grasp. The platform, once so far, nows nearing. Step upon it! Crowd gives out a gasp Satan curses with a hoarse and rueful rasp. 06-24-86 *

How Can I Give Jesus Everything That He Deserves? How can I give Jesus everything that He deserves? How can I repay Him for His time? Three long hours he spent upon the Cross of Calvary That you and I might live eternally. How can I give Jesus everything that He deserves? Gold and silver slip right through my hands. All I have to offer Him is my thanksgiving prayer With Jesus, I am rich beyond compare. He loves me though Im a sinner, And He purchased me with all his blood and pain, And it makes me feel so humble His loss upon the Cross became my gain. How can I give Jesus everything that He deserves? His suffering and tears have washed me clean. Forgiving me for all the evil wickedness Ive done Thank God for giving me His only Son. 1985

Its a Dusty Road Its a dusty road, and lifes its name No guarantee of gold or fame, A cloud of dust for your royal gown, And a sweaty brow for your regal crown. Its a dusty road, all men have trod. The Devil waits, but so does God. Theres one companion you must choose Theres wealth to win and a soul to lose. Its a dusty road, but youre not alone, Though your feet are bloody from the ice and stone; The blizzard comes to chill your skin But you travel warm from your faith within. Its a dusty road, and it soon is gone, The rich and poor both travel on. They might bury you in some gravel ditch But if your faith was strong, then your years were rich. Its a dusty road, and its been trekked before, Nineteen hundred years and more A wooden burdenand some Roman whips came down And a ring of thorns for the regal crown. Its a dusty road, soon left behind, A greener valley you will find, A peaceful pasture comes into view And Living Water will cleanse the dust from you. 1984 *

Manger Monument Had Yahweh picked a palace for the birth Of Christ, its splendored Solomonic worth Would stagger calculation: sheeted gold Might overspread its cedar walls, and bold Phoenician carved designs would praise the Child. But who today would know? Instead, a wild And rude unlikely cavern cradled Him; Above--a star millennia cant dim, More brilliant than lamps of oil aflame, Illumining the cave where Jesus came. Thus Bethlehem endures, a citadel Within our hearts, where mankinds chief event Occurred. Though Nineveh and Tyre each fell, The manger outlasts every monument. 12-85 *

Sabbath, 1966, 1984 Those motel memories return. The colored comic pages opened first And water bubbling in an urn And powdered coffee slaking my communion thirst. Montana windswept plains outside. Stark desolations existential rites within. But earth Ive trekked since then rolls wide: And prayer, not newsprint, now assuages sin. 08-05-84 *

Soaring The selfishness of poetry Consists of rhyming me Instead of you or him or her: Myself reflected, I prefer. The selflessness of poetry Consists of being free Enough of me to shackle I-Effaced, yet visible to Gods vast eye. 12-08-81 *

Split-Second The arches of the rain Are color wheels, that chain Like wreathes around the clear Silver skies so near. The rainbows tie the blue Together, in my view. And for a moment I Notice God go by. Infinity is wound About me, all around, And then it goes once more, And Im like before. 08-09-73 *

Never We fight for God or glory, Which, I cant recall; The second oldest story The first was Adams fall. The second was a killing, Brothers fighting fierce; A story were fulfilling As blades and bullets pierce. We never stop to wonder Never hear the cry Of conscience, muffled under, The stifled, sobbing Why? 08-28-71 *

Lost Eden A snake upon the Tree Of Knowledge longs to see The husband of the wife Destroy this Tree of Life That grows behind him tall And fruitful, till the Fall From innocence and trust, When Eden dries to dust. 1973 *

Mortal Combat Angels in your brain, Demons in your heart, Paradise and pain Splitting you apart. Severed into two Halves that but oppose; Fractured, riven you: Cleaved, until Christ rose. 02-26-76 *

Far Place Time is a tunnel of fears, Funneling years Down a spiral of darkening dread Twisting ahead. Somewhere the passage ends, After it bends Millions of labyrinthine turns: Somewhere Man learns. Somewhere and someplace we find Weve been but blind Burrowing brutes in the devils night, Shunning Christs light. 03-12-76 (rev. 06-22-90) *

Blaze! Round the Rim of Reason Ring the worshippers of thought, Faith to them is treason, Souls are something sold and bought. One day theyre believing, One day faith returns, Doubters each receiving Light that fires and burns. 06-14-76 *

Except, Perhaps, Prayer Curse. Rail. Spit. In short impress your peers With your modernity. Sneer. Scoff. Hit. But naught will save You in eternity. 09-15-82 *

Christmas Symbols November casts its leaves and days away. The calendars last, best, page remains December. And our losses and our gains Are summed across a sky of frigid grey (Forgiving sins from some far August day), Our slate scrubbed clear. The month now wanes; And yet behind Decembers sleeted panes There crackles warmth: an ancient mystery play. Its symbols are the holly and the scented pine. Humility, not vanity, at end-of-year, And peace to our trespassers and our friends. The English mistletoethe gift of yours and mine And carols that poor sinners, like ourselves, most hear Then, manger-ward, a band of seers wends. 1982 *

Diagnosis Insanity Is vanity, The narcissistic cry Of I, I, I, I, I, I, I. And happiness Consists of less Analysis, and more of trust In Him Who fashioned us from dust. 1982 *

Jesus, Dont Come Back Today Jesus, dont come back today, Ive got too much to do, Jesus, Ill be ready for you In a day or two. I know it sounds a little strange, I need at least a day to change, Ive got some people to repay, So Jesus, dont come back today. Jesus, dont come back today, Ive got too much to do, Jesus, Ill be ready for you In a day or two. I need to change the way I live, Ive got some people to forgive, Im busy learning how to pray, So Jesus, dont come back today 1984. *

The All-American Ladies Choice (for Dorothy and our child) You know she missed her period and she missed graduation, And she missed those wedding bells. And her daddys shot-gun missed the boy next door Where hes gone nobody can tell. Its a simple operationher sister recommends it Her daddys going to foot the bill, Its the All-American Ladies Choice Its a legalized license to kill. God help me Jesus, forgive what weve done, Did we murder a daughter, or a rambunctious bouncing son? God help me, Jesus, please hear my voice Forgive mefor making the All-American Ladies Choice! The weary old world takes a couple rotations And she marries someone new, But every year round Mothers Day, Shes unaccountably blue. Ten years later in a Frisco apartment A cowboy tunes his guitar. Hes been educated in the Land of the Free That your songs reveal who you are. He sings, God help me Jesus, forgive what weve done, Did we murder a daughter, or annihilate a rambunctious, bouncing son? God help me, Jesus, please hear my voice Forgive mefor helping her make the All-American Ladies Choice. 1985 *

Eternal Timber The Cross is our crutch: we are lamed and maimed, Crippling sin in our soul, Defiled and scourged, our faith defamed, Golgotha our gloried goal. The Cross is a bludgeon for smiting down Death in his sable gown. Its Roman-hewn and Jesus-borne, Encircled with blood-flecked thorn. 12-10-86 *

The Forest Gift The tree was cut and roped by boys Who brought it home to guard the toys And treasures stacked up round its rootless base: The pine has found an indoor resting place. And underneath the tree are set The gifts of Christmastide for yet Another year and tree have come to mark His birth, with fragrant needles, cones and bark. 12-25-87 *

Covert Cathedral Your mental windows fashioned from Panes of glinting bright stained glass, And through them streaming sun rays come. Your mind conducts its private Mass. Soft hymns and Sacramental rite, Holy water at the secret fount. Communion hidden out of sight. Inside your heart, an Olive Mount. 1987 *

Essential Persistence The wisdom of the wind is motion, Wandering ecstatic, yet sublime. The charity of rain is laving lotion, Cleansing residues of urban grime. The genius of the sun is searing passion Violent, erotic rampant fire. But cooling clay and earth we wear in fashion Finally, when our hot hearts expire. Our flesh erodes. Our bones flake too. But souls need neitherborn, anew. 1987 *

Myopie de la Mort Death has a blood-laced eye, Bleary from watching the world. By Christ he is blinded from brightness on high: Lasers of light at Deaths eyes have been hurled. 1987 *

The Last Laugh Love laughs at life, Scorns the scourging whip of years, Dulls lifes sawing knife And watersheds its tears. Love smiles at death, Soul withstanding soil, Heaped upon the flesh whose breath Expires. Loves Deaths foil. 10-15-88 *

The Defrauding of the Worms The ashes of the years diffuse in dust, Their motes exuding mauvish glow That alters grey to black. But Ive no trust In Time, that cut-purse thief, who robs us so. For, graveward borne, my gathered decades shorn From off my limbs, my soul but cuts adrift And cheats the maggotry of Death. Forlorn And cheated, Satan rues my flight! Christs gift Of sweet perpetuation foils those worms of Earth Who rend my flesh when nothing live, lives there. My human husk decaysto wait rebirth. Ethereal, my souls exultant, where Abide infinities of angelswhite And efflorescentbeaming lucent light. 1989 *

The Womans Victory From the ivory heights of heaven I am catapulted down To the bottom side of Nothing Where envy gilds my crown Separation, subjugation, Force my frantic frown. Rev. 1991 *

Rendezvous With the Reaper I cant remember the date of my death For the life of me. I scribbled it down on a fragment of brown Paper bag. Now where can it be? For Id hate to miss out on that vital event; I have to be there, With everyone dressed in their ebony best Else theyll think I had nothing to wear! 04-13-92 *

Approaching Hour When the fickle tick of Time Intensifies, then Im Aware of countless minutes past. And wonder: when the clock Explodes its final tock, Will I look foolish at the last, UnreadyGodlessand aghast? 04-05-81 *

Better Than Nothing Leaves are withering, Fall is here to bring, Early, early chill, Yet you never care If the autumn air Comes to kiss or kill. Springtime, winter, fall: Weather each and all, Treasure Lifes green leaf, Never measure how Long God will allow, Even if so brief. 1980 *

Beyond No cause for petty fearing When all your years run out: Eternity is nearing, Soon killing death and doubt. Eternal Life--His giving-Infused from Enfleshed God-Transforming now our living, So travel where He trod. 02-26-1974 (Rev. 11-11-1990) *

Bliss (2) The kiss of Time corrodes Bronze Venuses to flaking rust, Times transitoriness erodes Marble aphrodites down to dust. But Loves caress slays Time. Eternities succumb to Loves soft sigh. And nuptial church bells ever chime: Gods clarion echo heard on high. 09-29-88 *

Feather on the Sea It wasnt very long ago Tomorrow was my friend, Life was like a river rolling lazy round the bend. Wasting time and then I found that Time was wasting me: Took me and it tossed me like a feather on the sea. Following a fading star I know Ill never find, Like a drunken sailor never looking once behind. Floating like a feather on an ocean full of foam: One more dream-struck drifter whose horizons are his home. Feather on the sea, thats me, without You, Jesus rescue me from the sea--take me through. Feather on the sea. You can be my compass with Your wisdom and Your will, Jesus help me travel when I feel Im standing still. You can be my map and help me reach that far off shore: Help me weather every storm no matter whats in store. Till I found You I was on an ocean of despair, Using up my future like it really wasnt there. Facing every wind of fate no matter how it blew: Feather on the sea without a friend till I found You. Feather on the sea, thats me, without You. Jesus rescue me from the sea--take me through. Feather on the sea. 1968 (Rev. 7-74, 1986) *

Fiscal Advice Coming close means nothing. Ninety-nine per cent Equates to zero when God tallies Up your lifetimes rent. So always pay completely. Try to be on time, Else Satan will foreclose you, Eking every dime 05-10-92 *