Frail god child
Divine meat baby
Cosmic vulnerability
Incarnational living
The virgin birth is either
The most ridiculous fantasy
Or the most shocking surprise
There is no halfway
Quaint songs
Of silent nights
And a meek and mild child
Is mockery
It’s either staggering truth
Or pernicious deception
Stop pretending it’s a little of both
Lukewarm Christmas
Is making me a grinch


Let the caffeine chew at your mind
Yes, walk in moonlit fields
Till everything makes sense
Turn it over and over
In your brain until you’re free
While the rest of the world sleeps
Dead to all thought
Numb to all answers
Drooling on their pillows
As the morning sun peaks over
The tree furrowed horizon
Spilling reds and golds
Across your crinkled brow
That relaxes slowly
As all the world find its order
Inside your mind
And the last jigsaw piece is placed
Because you stayed awake

The Difference Between Being Awake and Being Alive

Awake you suck

The air molecules into lungs that

Unknowingly go on with their work

To provide oxygen to brain cells

That send the neurological signals

To your writhing muscles as your

Thumbs, sliding and pounding

Crush all the candy.

Alive you scream

The air out of freezing lungs as feet

Burn with friction from the downhill sprint

The wet grass soaks your clothes

And the fog breaks open to a view

Of the ocean, which fits itself through

The windows of your eyes and crams

Into your mind and spirit causing it to expand

Yes, it threatens to explode

The Power of Song

By Friedrich Schiller

Translation by Daniel Platt

A stream of rain from fissured mountains,
It comes with thunder’s vehemence,
A shattered peak pursues its fountains,
And oaks beneath it tumble hence;
Amazed, with dread anticipation,
The wanderer listens, and he harks,
He hears the roaring inundation,
Yet knows not, whence its rush embarks;
And so a wave of singing courses
From out of ne’er discovered sources.

In league with dreadful beings fabled,
That calmly weave life’s fateful strands,
Who has the singer’s spell disabled,
Who can his melodies withstand?
As if with Hermes’ staff supernal,
So he commands the heart bestirred,
He dips it in the realms infernal,
He lifts it, dazzling, heavenward
And rocks the scale, ‘twixt grave and merry
Where myriad emotions vary.

As if at once, into joy’s sphere, it’s
Gigantic stride comes instantly,
Mysteriously, like to spirits,
Intrudes a monstrous destiny.
Then bow the great ones of all nations
To the stranger from another world,
The din of idle jubilation
Is stilled, away the masks are hurled,
And ‘fore the Truth’s triumphal splendor
There flees each work that Lies engender.

Thus roused from all the empty rigors,
Whene’er the call of Song resounds,
A man becomes a soul transfigured,
And enters into holy grounds;
Unto the gods on high he’s suited,
Naught earthly draws into his pale,
And every other power is muted,
And no misfortune may assail,
Each wrinkle born of worry dwindles,
Where reigns the magic Song enkindles.

And just as after hopeless yearning,
The bitter pain of years apart,
A child with tears remorseful burning
Will fall upon his mother’s heart,
So back to childhood’s habitations,
To innocent felicity,
From foreign ways of distant nations
The singing leads the refugee,
Away from frigid rules he races
To faithful Nature’s warm embraces.



Matted hair

Worn souls

Tattered tales

Patched holes

Amber ale

Five fold


Staring red eyed down the alley way

Dumpsters frame the skies of gray

Garbage is a place to lay

When hunger makes a rebel sway

Or stray from strength

And fall in stench

Alive by night, asleep by day


The blare of noon will wake him up

A collared heart, a savage pup

The picket fences weren’t enough

Nor were the steeples



Leathered rather

Face frothed

With lager lather

Fountain bath

Coming after

Pigeon droppings

From the rafters


Hidden deep

A heart that feels

And longs for meaning

Respect and meals

Not for food but company

Not for shoes but eyes that see

Past dumb decision

And unhealthy patterns

Harmful addictions

And through to what matters


A traveler

Throwing himself on concrete stairs

At the old catholic church on fifth and Madison

Crying himself to sleep

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.



As Kingfishers Catch Fire

By Gerald Manley Hopkins


As king fishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.


By Torri Horness

I will not try to convince you to love me.
I am not a shout,
but a whisper,
& if you cannot hear the
sounds of wonder
coming from my life,
it is not I who need to scream,
but you who
need to learn to listen.

you keep waiting
to be startled awake, to
find something loud enough to love.
love is not a surprise party
thrown in your honor,
& I will not throw a single punch
in this fight for your attention.

there is beauty in the quiet,
in the still & homespun.
I am a whisper,
& a whisper
is enough.