New Habit

I’ve stripped off the writing habit. I’ve not written for weeks. But I’m here again to start again. I am trying a new trick of discipline to get the current of words flowing: found poems. I’ve watched a friend post them daily on Instagram, and it takes me back to the days of being a middle school English teacher. I had a corner with a metal filing cabinet covered with magnetic words for creating poems. Even my most reluctant students loved this exercise. The words are all there. Just arrange them. How hard can it be? Baby steps. So I’ve posted my first and my habit is to create one a day; find my corner and find some words and lay them out to be swept away after being photographed. Nothing too serious or permanent. The first is below. 

Matthew 13 at Advent

Sometimes the pathos of this planet arrests me,

and tears push out along with despair.

The darkness has infiltrated all, and we cannot stop it:

this multiplying force like yeast or spreading smoke that fills every empty place.

I don’t have any remedy or answer.

Nothing I have done in my zeal and longing is a match for it.

Not one of us,

upon entering this world fragile and fresh,

sets out to commit the crimes we commit.

But we get twisted along the way

by the crimes of others who

entered this world fragile and fresh

and got twisted along the way, too.

Who is to blame?

We are all victims.

We are all perpetrators.

It is no one’s fault and everyone’s fault.

It has been this way for a long, long time.

When will it end? this wretched, determined blood-guilt on repeat?


Unto us a child is born.


We murdered him,

but the joke is on the encroaching darkness

because in the blood-shed,

torture and tearing up of the only light this planet has ever seen,

something new was born–firstborn–from the dead.

He became like yeast or spreading smoke that fills every empty place,

multiplying, filling all in all.

I don’t know how or when or where the madness

of this crooked and spinning pale-blue dot will end.

But I’ve been told that it has–


I’ve been told:

It is finished.


I need eyes to see it, 

the faith of a child to stick it out–

this time in between:

when the loaf is still rising and I’m a raggedy and starving waif

staring through the glass, darkly, with big eyes,

waiting for the wedding feast to begin.