Spiritual Elements

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Parable Of The County

A farmer planted an orange grove
     and he and his children took care of it.
He had more children,
     and they planted more orange groves,
until the whole county was full
     of orange trees.

A town in the county decided
     its symbol would be an orange.
Eventually many of the children
     forgot about their father,
cut down the trees,
     and built many homes
for themselves.

Oh, there was still an occasional
     orange tree in someone’s backyard,
and a few loved the fruit,
     but most knew nothing
about taking care of orange trees,
     or harvesting with their father.

The cities grew larger and larger,
     till there wasn’t an orange tree
          to be found.
Like the rest of the county,
     there was just a sign,
with the symbol of an orange,
     welcoming you, to their town.


To Sjonna D. Hermanson

Suck it up little pufferfish.
     You died in the net
suspended over dreams or love,
     and now are hanging in a moment.

An image of life that dangles

with so many other shells,
that she all took for granted.

Were you ever real?
     Or were you molded
          from an imagination?
Like consumerism that promises fullness,
     but is a bloated spiny shell
of something hollow and empty.

Suck it up little pufferfish.
     You still must digest
your noodle.


A Poet’s Image

I struggled with the meaning;
     time condensed, flash frozen.

At the end of the day
     a page turned of another life.
A bit older perhaps,
     but in some ways not dissimilar;
a face of lines that may or may not
punctuated with a point like a pixel
     lost in an image.

Expression implied
     but not understood.
A snapshot of the colors of existence
     that once flew past in a moment,
now blurred in black and white.


Casting A Chance

Kneeling before the tree in greed,
     I cast a lot on the stained ground
hoping to hold on to so much more.

For luck I throw the cubes,
     fulfilling my destiny.
My hope has multiple sides

     and falls towards a number,
as I fail to look up at the one,

     who gave me a chance.


Adoption Finished

     among other words
          we didn’t understand,
like prophecies we thought we had
     nailed down.

Under a blackened sky
     we scattered in fear,
like orphans of God,
     who didn’t know we belonged.

The veil of an old promise
     that hid our understanding,
torn into another agreement
     and adopted.
Kinship was signed in blood,
     and credited by acceptance,
of the price of the pardon.


Colored Tree

Stretched out as far as east is from west,
     leaves unfold about the tree,
and crimson verse flows down,
     saturating my attention.

The portion pierces my thoughts,
     cutting on the wounded image of the word
bleeding scarlet on the pages.

My endeavor is to view the red
     amidst the black and white;
an attempt to understand when
     the colored hue
of the wood, penetrated the earth.



A post stuck in the ground, vertical,
     pointing towards the heavens,
with a horizontal beam,
     describing His new relationship,
with humanity.

Divinity accepted mortality,
     so we could acknowledge,
His understanding.

He hung with the crowds and stretched
     out His arms, to embrace us.


The Cost of Suffering

Grief looks into the pool of His own tears
     that reflect the garden of life’s heartbreak.

In an age past He had died for the dishonor He would commit
     this time, when He returned to His childhood,
again learning submission in suffering.

Existence persists to hang on death between
     the thieves of naiveté and experience,
abandoned by the cradle of love He had conceived;
     life’s withering grass that had forsaken Him.

His blood has an affinity
     for this world.


Together in Intinction

The vine broken and cut down;
     the fruit crushed and poured out.
Some upon the stony ground, and some
     in cups of clay.

Claret deep and dark cleanses
     and stains the one who sips,
reflecting the image of the divine.

It could not be taken from Him
     so he passed it on to us,
epitomizing the truths of our tradition;
     knowing hereafter most would drink
to the dregs the portion He poured out.

Some taste long and slow
     the bitter sweetness of suffering,
and know the sobering intoxication
     of this offering,
a vintage costly yet free;
     the proof purchased and given
because we were craving,
     to thirst no more.

Parable Of The Window

There once was a church
     with a beautiful stained glass window
          of Christ crucified.
The light would shine through the window
     and convict the people of their sin.
Some of them would leave,
     and some would repent,
and the church was full of light.

As time went on, the old would die
     and new people would come.
The light would shine
     through the window, but they would not
          repent or leave.
They threw their Bibles at the window
     and it cracked and fell.

They made a modern window
     of blues and pinks and subtle shapes.
The light shone through the window
     casting a dim pattern on the floor,
of blues and pinks that mingled
     with their own kind,
and shifted as time went by.

So the people saw,
     what they thought,
was a beautiful picture,
     of themselves.


Bittersweet Division

Eden’s gone, because
     we’ve peeled our orange beside the sea,
discarding nature and humanity,
     in the compost of multiplicity.

Fumes rising from our own disintegration
     blur our vision in their hazel haze,
and color the evening,
     in the only similarity left
          to what we’ve destroyed;
the bright tangerine falling over
     a memory of age still living in youth,
as we seem to pluck it from the sky too,
     and harvest it as our cash crop,
a memento to the garden few remember,
     in our cultivated ignorance.


Perfect Vintage
To Karen Menchner

I was lookin’ for the proof,
     as her intoxication
transformed the moment. God made
     wine like that for a wedding.

A young vintage for a sacrament. A whisky
     spiked connoisseur
with a taste for purity, like a distilled miracle.

A vice of virtue.  A
     potential addiction
that should sober me up.


The Real Thing
To Karen Menchner

Her spirit,
     like pop and fizz in a bottle;
she opens up

releasing the pressure,
and excitement rushes to the surface.


with the curve in her side.

perhaps with a hint of cherry.
I’m going to pause for cool
and press her, to my lips.



Attraction often turns me a few
     degrees from the truth.
Shifting with the seconds,

the certainty of heaven
is hidden in the haze of the present.

A few degrees,

and I’m lost in the current,
looking back at the wake

of decisions I’ve made.

Constant adjustments must be made

in the moments I see the sky.
What seems to be right

is often just off the point, of reality.


Once Bright Stars

They would attempt to leave
     the wheel and achieve, immortality.

Semitransparent images fed
through the machine
and wound again.

Strips of stars used for their splendor.  Now
     fallen on the sidewalk
and cemented mostly into forgotten history.

Once flickering in the dark.  Now
     joining points of light.
Still virtually streaming,
     through society’s film.



Flowers wither and fade,
     as we all do.
A generation bloomed
     and showed its wonderful colors.
Who could protest their flower power?

     was such a nice gesture,
if only to be discarded on so many,
     six feet under.

They still pull the petals one by one,
if someone loves them.



Cruising on the other side of the hood,
     where La Toltĕca makes children of mesa
wrapped in corn husks.  Some sweet with raisins inside.

The Aztecs are out of school and using

     the wheel for more than a toy.
Rolling across borders with unseen divisions,
     except for their own signs
sporadic’ly scribbled on their walls;
     Spanglish oxymora, which,
I know you dont understand.

This little group of San Gabriels now
     blow their horns to the tune of a Corrido;
modernizing their legend.



A town laid out in squares
     of green plaid.
Some of it pressed and trimmed,
     although a couple edges creased
and frayed with age.

The twill line used to be more

sett was a written color pattern they all knew,
     between them and other families in town.
These days associations are more accepting,
     although the habit is to practice tradition.

Still, San Gabriel’s set of pipes

     dress in more formal attire,
or like to appear that way.  Black and white

     sometimes divided by the scarlet,
of their own humanity.