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Poetry

Praise the Day

Praise the Day

Praise the old ipad that slowly obeys,
playing diverse podcasts to inspire my ways

Praise the spring tulips that boldly emerge,
splashing walls and walks with their flamboyant hues

Praise the fragrant leaves, a gift from a friend,
warming heart and tongue with their exotic blend

Praise the smartphone, the only way to see and hear
loved ones these days until the COVID all-clear

Praise the solitude, unsought and distraught,
and the transformation wrought by reading and writing thoughts

A Hero of Peace Flew Away (Jean Vanier)

A hero of peace flew away –

one who saw treasure beneath imperfection

to reveal God’s reincarnation in each conception.

 

A hero of peace flew away, but not quickly.

Not before planting two blossoms on The Farm, which multiplied into a bouquet of thousands. They’ve perfumed France, indeed the world, for over fifty years.

Their scent intensifies still.

 

A hero of peace flew away.

Shards of Glass

Look at this temple that soars to the sky

Now look a bit closer — do you see why?

The bright colours that adorn such lofty towers

Are fragments of glass no bigger than flowers

 

Once beautiful china, they were dumped in the sea

As worthless and broken, nothing to see

 

Deep Peace

Today I am gifted with deep peace. It’s centered deep, low in my body, in my womb. It’s birthing strength to face new challenges and forget past fears. It stills my mind; my body is tranquil. May I carry this peace all day and into tomorrow.

Ode to the Black Prince

“You know that woman who came by herself?” said the vinegar craftsman to the server.

“You mean me?” I asked, revealing my presence, losing the chance to hear the next sentence.

Would it be that I was still there, hours later, sated with vinegar, recipes and stories?

Was it the story I told the young woman who made my pizza, of my travels seeking stories that bring peace? Her great aunt couldn’t marry a Catholic, not because of faith, but because of politics. Her cousin just married a Catholic, a sign of growing peace in Ireland.

Peace Fought, Peace Lost

I met a man who came from away
With no friends, no money, no English
Everything against him

But he was proud
He had two hands, he wanted to work
Not accept help

This man went to Toronto and almost starved
Before he found somewhere to eat and sleep

This man has two degrees, he’s a priest, he risked his life defending human rights
He can’t go to law school because his war-torn country can’t send his degrees
How ludicrous
He could teach the truth that children should not be used as soldiers
That people who defend children should not get shot

Two Wheels

Trees and paths

Leaves and needles

I collect burrs like badges on two wheels

Three million neighbours and no one knows I’m here

except the squirrel ignoring me in the twilight

 

Night falls

I climb

up hills which hid the ravine

Gentle drops and warm wind, slough off the day’s cares

as I race the downpour to my door

What would I give up?

What would I give up so the world didn’t cry?

All mistakes to prevent regret?

Then we’d have to always know the right choice.

Would I sacrifice curiousity for omniscience,

The fun of learning for all wisdom?

The chance of rejection for guaranteed love?

Would an effortless love be worth anything?

Freedom and individuality for automatons who can’t do evil?

The need for heroes, by preventing all suffering?

Love, so there would be no loss?

The ability to choose not to love?

The ability to choose?

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