The Cup We Thirst For

It is for living we are born
for tasting life, for drinking it down
in sips or gulps, to drink it all,
bitter or sweet, not
to turn the cup away, to keep it
safe and full, untouched.
This is the cup we thirst for,
that the dead yearn for.
It does no good to let it spoil.
Drink! Drink it down to the dregs
and ask for more!
No wine is sweeter, no water
can better quench your thirst.

It is the Drop of Rain

It is the drop of rain upon your tongue,
tasting of wind and sharp as thunder’s light,
sweeter than tears, the taste of moonlit night
and mountain heights, of stories just begun.
It is the sudden crash that shakes your walls
and rumbles in your bones and clears your ears,
the violent sound of hooves, the maddened cheers
of hunters, cacophony of canine howls.
It is the flash that rends the shivering sky
and takes your sight and breath and leaves you free
to leave behind all that you’d meant to be
to spread your wings and finally learn to fly.

Memory Keeper

“Here,” she said, her hand smoothing
the faded fabric. “Some admire
the perfect regularity of patchwork repeats—
log cabins, bridal rings, flying geese—
or the complex covers, Star of Jerusalem, for example,
but this is the quilt I love.”
The cloth was worn, the colors
did not match, the needlework was crude.
“Each piece tells a story—here, the marriage vows—“
rings entwined like knot work, tied with flowers,
“and here a newborn child—“
a tiny foot traced in uneven stitches
“and here—ah, here, the one they lost. Every stitch
is a memory, hand and heart united in tracing shapes,
and rough-stitched dates that stretch over decades.
And here, do you see the stains? This
is no showpiece. It was used.”

Let Me Know No Name

It was simpler when I had no name for you
no label to hang you on, no mask to hide
your face – only the touch of wind
on my cheek, the kiss
of rain on my hand and you
at the heart of everything.

At the heart of everything
was your voice. The crunch of snow,
the whistling wind, the roar
of thunder on distant hills.
Yours was the song of the brook
and the sussurrus of leaves, and all,
all of it spoke to me.

All, all of it spoke to me
and I knew you were near and knew
you would never leave me. I
was never alone.

I was never alone
when you were nameless, when the world
was your face and every whisper
of wind on my own was your lovesong.
So let me forget your name
O Dancer of Storms
and only know you.

Unfolding

Armored in twisted petals, the tight bud’s heart
is hidden from the passing watcher’s eye.
Observe how silently it stands apart–
keeping its secrets, openness denied.
But look, how as the sun’s unfolding rays
bring to the bud a generous, gentle heat
the bud unfolds and to us all displays
the beauty of bloom, once hidden in retreat.
So let us be as bold as life demands
bravely unfurl the armor of our souls
reveal our truths and learn to understand
how much our hiding never makes us whole.

An open flower may drink the sun and live;
the burning sun dares even more: to give.

Hospitality

Hospitality need not wear a human face
but welcomes both the stranger and the friend,
offers a meal, secures for them a place
to rest from travel, and perhaps to mend.
It is the door that opens, it is the hand
that lightens the load or offers the cooling glass
the sharing of the meal, an offer to stand
to let another sit or let them pass.
It does not judge by wealth but by the grace
with which the gift is given—and received.
Not sacrifice, but sharing; not complaisant
but aware and willing to be pleased.
Hospitality is a kind host and a pleasing guest
and in these open arms we all may rest.

Dance Again

There is no beauty like a storm—
the wild, wet wind, the rolling cloud
that coats the sky with shifting form,
the thunder tolling rich and loud,
the lightning striking violet-white
across the deep and turbulent sky,
patterning the dark with ragged light
to dazzle and blind the watching eye.
There is no power like the wind
that rumples clouds like darkling foam
to pluck the soul loose that’s been pinned,
to break the heart from its cage of bone.
My love’s the storm who pinned my heart
and washed it clear in pelting rain,
who gave me fire to form my art
and taught me how to dance again.