Search No. 532

If there is meaning

beyond these words;

if peace is the slab on which

Babel is built;

if there is a clear gravel path behind

the gates of suffering,

manicured land between the weeds;

then take me there

to the place of meaning

where logos supersedes

jot and tittle,

and a swing rocks back and forth

with the breeze.

Senior Poem 2015: Love

Looking back over all of the advice passed on to me—

that I wore like unwanted ill-fitting hand-me-downs—

the only one tailored just for me  was “Love.”

As she held my hand,

each wrinkle mapping the battlefield on which she fought,

her brown eyes a mixture red clay and sand,

she said it hoarsely,

a paper thin word dog-eared between my mind and soul.


One word.

Love when you are the last in line

and the cashier is new.

Love like a ray of light

In a prison room.

Love with the pain of a mother in labor,

anxious to hold joy.

Love like the innocence of a child

who still believes.

Love like a curmudgeon

whose every grumble shows his heart is tender.

Love like a teenager’s curfew.

Love like a passenger,

not a driver.

Love like profanity

sanded out of a bathroom stall.

Love the hand that pays your bills

and the one that hurts your child.

Love when the award is given, not to you, but to

the owner of the foot prints on your back.

Love as if there is only one person left to love.

Love with a love that is pounded like gold,

thin so that it covers the gap between two people through time and space.

Love as if each act were a nugget of gold

Presented to a homeless wanderer.

Love like a mother whose dying

word was “Love.”

Love, knowing that hope looks ahead,

Faith looks within,

And Love looks without.

Knowing that love is more beautiful than the songs of angels.

Knowing that God is love.

Wisdom shouts in the streets and calls young men to her,

But Love reaches in quietly and pours from within,

so love

as if it is the foyer of Heaven

as if it is an action

as if it is.

Present Tense

When they are old,

you hold their hands—the shaking leather glove hands

of wisdom—

and you hear the things you spent a childhood knowing,

the things too obvious to say.

The things you want your children to hold,

but can’t tell them now

because kids can’t reach them.


When they are old,

the common place is precious,

and the thunder

fades to a pale tinkling of glass.

The eyes are small Bethesda pools

of hope.

When they are old,

they home school you

on lessons like

“the shortest distance between two points”

is the heart,

and “love is an action verb”

that also links.

That “time is relative,”

but we give it least to relatives.

When they are old,

you understand yesterday

more than today.

But there are no words that fit

but “show grace to me.”

Because when they are old,

you realize that we never

learn.  None of us.


But now you are young

with embers of dreams

that can be fanned

or extinguished.

Now you look both

ways before crossing from one stage

of life to another.

Now you wonder who you are behind the

awkward smile of the selfie.

But when they are old,

you find yourself poised between parent earth and child sky,

and you hear them say,

“Take what you can from

Me as fertile soil.

Toughen to be hard,

but not so much to not be tender.”