We May Rise

The tree that grew on the hills above Jerusalem
was cousin to the juniper growing here
on this rock shelf above the Salish Sea.
Stately furrows, roots like cable,
branches bearing delicate spindles
to capture the rain and light of this spring day.
We cut and shape these trees
as we did that one on Golgotha
those centuries ago,
forming it to a cross
to bear the weight of love.
It is a heavy burden
and one many choose to reject.
I remember that terrible day,
the punishment of the Via Dolorosa.
Here and now there is only
water, light and stone
and the body of forgiveness
taken down from the cross,
placed in the earth
and from the earth risen,
as we may rise
into the sunlit presence
speaking to us softly
in the murmuring voice
of the endless sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “We May Rise” with music from Passion Week by Alexander Grechaninov


 


Rope of Stillness

I sit quite still
in morning light
becoming like the trees
in deep-rooted silence.
Mountains rest beside the sea,
the tide moving slowly
in the first hours of ebb.
There is an old song
in the hushed music of the earth,
of ancient stone, rustling leaves
and the daylit dreaming of the forest.
I climb the vine covered walls
using stillness as a braided rope
and drop like a cat
into the garden of the eternal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Rope of Stillness” with music by Jack White


 


Finding Faith

I count the days
under cloud filled skies
as the long arms of winter
slowly recede.
My hope like raindrops
falling to the wet ground,
finding faith in the dark soil
for what surely rises.

 

 

 

photograph by Sandy Brown Jensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Finding Faith” with music by Carlos Santana


 


Lighting the Way

The sky closes in,
gray water and strong wind
surround the island,
dissolving old stories.
I’ve failed you many times
yet still I rise to the day.
Dallying is no good,
better to strike quickly
and release the inner gifts
supple and undying.
Hardened memories break open;
from the shattered past
the seedlings of love
lift into the storm,
fearless as ancient warriors.
The pure in heart
find strength in the wind,
courage in the wave
and against all odds
light the way
with inner flame
into the chaos
of the morrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Lighting the Way” with music by Jack White


 


Taste of Freedom

Light rises in the east,
the sky a blush of orange and pink
to greet the earth with morning.
Winter’s peace yields
to the cleansing spring,
the melt of mountain snows
swelling the rivers
with the joy of high water.
This may be a season like no other
when fear is swept from the land,
the corrupt in a flood of purification.
The gods of earth and sky
have only rested,
the season of renewal
coming like the dawn.
Those who love will love still
as the long genuflection to death
is forgotten beneath surging waters.
The sun has not forsaken us
nor the earth our humble prayers.
Let us rise with the light
and take a breath of the redolent air.
You’re not mistaken,
it is the taste of freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Taste of Freedom” with music of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony


 


Mystery Unfurled

With a muddy road ahead
and a steep wall behind
decisions aren’t as important
as the resolve to continue.
Keep faith with the flowering trees
and align your thoughts
with the strength of the tide.
You will be disappointed,
wounded again and again
but you will not fail
no matter the oppressor.
The inner deity will shine bright
and the mystery of your spirit
unfurl in the gathering dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Mystery Unfurled” with music by Ennio Morricone


 


Before First Light

In the gray dawn
trees are quiet
with winter sleep,
black crows
on the rooftop
the only birds.
The city is stripped of joy,
weary of struggle.
Thankfulness
hard to come by
yet it is the gift
I place on the morning altar
to comfort the bereft
in the hours before first light.

 

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author reading of “Before First Light” with music by Chris Hinze


 


Come to Surface

Winter won’t let go,
the grip of cold and ice
fierce in attachment
to the rising earth.
Vain we are
to dream of awakening
asleep in the stone cave
yet dream we must.
As our soul fire ignites
the ice melts, rivers flow
and we come to surface
gulping in the air of freedom.

 

 

photograph by Thomas Kast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dramatic reading of “Come to Surface” by Steve Einhorn

 

 

 

Reading by the author of “Come to Surface” with music by Cinder Wells & Jim Ghedi


 


Happiness of the Forgotten Gods

The earth is quiet,
gathering life force
under rain sodden ground.
Rainbows of color
form in the dark soil,
ready to emerge
like an innocent babe
in the light of the sun.
I wait too and gather,
poisoning the termites
of resentment
with laughter,
making space
in my winter chapel
for the heralds of joy.
We will rise together
the earth and I
and you my friend.
Wherever you are
on this silent planet,
may the happiness
of the forgotten gods
find you and release
your inner deity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Happiness of the Forgotten Gods” with music by the Beatles.


 


Voicing the Incantation

Light returns as the earth slowly awakens.
Warm in winter refuge,
I feel the tug to rise
from beneath the woolen blanket
and expose my skin to the cold air.
The building creaks and groans
as it shifts weight, like my body
in the first steps of morning.
A hymn of grace sounds within the earth,
melodies of joy and sorrow
stirring the underground
to begin again the journey
from darkness to light.
The old and broken seek repair
and babes listen from the womb
while elders finger their beads,
voicing the incantation of new life
aching to come forth.

 

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Voicing the Incantation” with music by Jimi Hendrix