We Have Wines
Its the wine that shocks -- not the brittle bread
and reveals the Christ.
Today, a sherry, golden in the cup,
syrup-like but sharp on the tongue,
the wine is grape, but not grape,
something unforeseen on the vine
except by the far foreseeing Father,
who said, Bring forth,
and affirmed what he had made,
maiden mother, who at Cana
said, They have no wine.
sweet ambers, tart rosés, almost bitter reds --
evoke our own transformation.
-- John D. Groppe
Eulogy to a Tree
I walk down to the water, at the log yard.
I stop at
the big one -- Douglas fir, I think,
and count 500 rings in its severed
For pulp, they have taken down this forest patriarch,
sawed it into
eight-foot lengths, and it lies
among the ruins in the gravel, still oozing
I wonder if it feels the pain of its sudden,
Does it have a soul, to live on and see
happened to where it once sheltered the beasts
and gave rest and birthing
to the creatures of the air?
What did they do with its branches,
budded in hopeful
exuberance of life yet to come?
I think they call
it slash, and
heap it into a mound, and burn it on the skin of
Clear cut; there are no giants left now, to suck up and
what the trucks have done to the air,
no giant arms reaching high
to catch the sun and
bid the seasons their passing.
Gone are the
lullabies sung softly in night winds,
soothing all who can be still enough
This tree must remember things we cannot imagine --
perhaps, and matings, birthings and loss.
This tree was hatched from seed
before any white man dared
to trespass its soul, trampling out
what beings got in his path,
dominating the earth and its stunned
This tree could once see the horizon, clean and crested
all of its relations; it bore to the core of its being
the Word of God, made
flesh in all creation.
Oh, my sacred friend, let me stand here beside
your drying hulk,
and receive your grace and dignity.
You wise old
witness to all that is good and to ultimate sadness,
pray for me, now and
forever more. Amen.
-- Sarah Ann McMahan
Landlubbers Sea Song
Out on the high seas one day
I felt the air
and the sea change
and ice on the wind
My compass had long
the halyard rotted out
the sails didnt match
in the focsl or the bow
It wouldnt last
There was a lot to learn
such a windy change
and the sea abaft my stern
-- Sue Dwyer
Same Old Used-to-be
(to be read aloud)
If youre looking for other
ordinary discreet vibrations
then dont look here
heres the same
old used to be
The way it always was
Thread of all
Its just the same
old as it was
Another and the same
Same vibrations always was
The threading looks the
as if because
-- Hinoh Tioynih
Black Mountain, N.C.
I love marigolds
they smell like summer, not
but pungent like sweat
and earthy things brought
toil and hard labor.
-- Martha Wickham
Red Bud, Ill.
National Catholic Reporter, September 10,