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Showing posts with label Despair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Despair. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


The great-green horizon
It fills my field of vision
Into the beyond

Fear and self-loathing
The hot chains of jealousy
Green, the emerald fire

Past all despairing
Into the Hell-mouth, falling
Its green teeth gnashing

Tumble down the path
The little hate, pale as Death
In the green mourning

Drums pound in the heart
Hot blood rushing like thunder
Green, the emerald light

Cupid’s green mantle
His soft-bright feathers, end-point
Arrows of desire

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Awake and alone
I am too poor to receive
This revelation

Awake and alone
The miracle passes me
I could not touch it

I feel the bludgeon
The cold, and despairing blows
Numbing my senses

Hollow humanity
Our terrible husbandry
Mechana of grief

Our desire to rule
Captivate and dominate
To name and call ours

Everything turns, spoils
Seeding the earth with poisons
Soaked in bitterness

Alone and awake
Witnessing a miracle
Softly beaten air

Brushing against me
Broad wings, black against the night
Wings of the eagle

Soul of the nation
White head, yellow beak, raptor
Tearing into flesh

Hungry, devouring
This miracle, eating me

Alone and awake

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving, according to the Via Negativa

Today is Thanksgiving, a secular holiday to be sure, but a sacred one for Americans.

Many of us are writing about the things that we are thankful for, and that is nice.

The expression of gratitude is always welcome, even gratitude expressed in general for the many things we receive from those we love, by whom we are loved, that make our lives more comfortable, more challenging, more meaningful.

To express gratitude in this way is to, is to make one’s self humble, to acknowledge our reliance on others for making us who we are.

In theology there is something known as the apophatic tradition. In this tradition it is understood that God, the creator of all that is, that God dwells in a place beyond all human understanding, shrouded in mystery, in the great cloud of un-knowing.

According to the apophatic tradition, no one can speak affirmatively as to what or who God is, because God, the infinite will not be circumscribed by language. There are no positive assertions about the nature of the Divine, there is only the via negativa; the way of saying what God is not.

This year I will forgo the giving of thanks, even though I am truly grateful for everyone in our lives. I will be selfish and tell you all what I am not thankful for.

I am not thankful that there is no peace in the world,
In Syria, from where millions of people are fleeing their homes
In Palestine, where there is apartheid
In America, where we are divided by class, culture, color

I am not thankful for white supremacy, and domestic terrorism

I am not thankful for terrorism anywhere
I am not thankful for the religious fundamentalism that drives it
            I am thankful neither for the fear that spawns it, nor for the fear it creates

I am not thankful that there is hunger in our bountiful world
            I am not thankful for the greed, for the sloth, and for the bad public policy that foster it

I am not thankful for willful ignorance, for anti-rational, anti-intellectual, demagoguery
            I am not thankful for the cultural relativism that has promoted it, for anti-objectivism
                        I am not thankful for liars

I am not thankful for Donald Trump, for Ted Cruz, for Ben Carson

I am not thankful for Fox News

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Homily - The Gospel of Mark 13:24-32

Mark 13:24-32 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2015.11.15 (Sunday)

Jesus said, ‘In those days, after the time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory; then too he will send the angels to gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven.

  ‘Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that he is near, at the very gates. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all these things will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

  ‘But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.’ (NJB)

On the Limits of Human Understanding

Pay attention to the Gospel, and be mindful of the limits that human agency possesses.

It is instructive.

The authors of this Gospel came to the end of their ability to narrate the life and mission of Jesus.

They allowed their own imagination, their own fears, their misguided notions of what the mission of Jesus was, to come in and take the place of wisdom.

Jesus is transformed from the humble teacher and preacher that he was in life, into a figure descending from heaven in power and glory. Jesus would have been the first to tell them that power and glory are no substitute peace and love, for justice and mercy.

The same thing is true for individuals, for nations, and for societies, there are times of conflict and there are times of peace, there are times of despair and there are times of hope, there are times of confusion and there are times of understanding. When we are farthest away from the light, we are able to see it in greater focus as the point that draws us. Allow yourself to be drawn in by the light.

Jesus did not come back in the lifetime of the Gospel writers. It is unfortunate but they allowed the co-mingling of their fears and their hopes to write a series of lies into the narrative of Jesus’ life.

The church has been stuck trying to interpret these lies ever since.

Heaven and earth are here, they are going nowhere. There is no end time for God’s creation, but there is an end for us.

When our end comes, what will we say of our lives; that we lived in fear of the coming of the end, or that we lived them in hope, with trust, in the service of justice and love?

The 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time