Colossians, Poetry, Reign of Christ


Invisible He reigns, A King.

But how can a king

Be invisible?


He is the Visible Image.


We mash up Word into pictures:

Shepherd, Guide, Savior –

And King 

— there it is again.


We have no king,

But "Christ is the

Head of the church."


If a savior came now,

would we call him President?

Chief Executive Officer?

Artistic Director?


Might she be Principal?


Speaker of the House?


Who do we take seriously,

The way they took a king?


What would it take for us to see?


(Thinking about Colossians 1:11-20)


Bearnaise Sauce Dogs, Photos, Poetry

The examining room

Sam in the backyard last week From this angle, you look just right: 

fluffy, glossy, long and lean. 

Panting, but that's normal, 

or at least usual. 

Until it isn't.

I pet you and fur flies. 

Is this your illness? 

Your nervousness? 

The time of year?

I don't know.

You're losing weight. 

I have to really touch your sides to know;

your heavy coat hides your frame 

just as it hid the lump on your leg.

You listen to the voices in the next room.

That dog is Bilbo Baggins, 

and you are Samwise Gamgee. 

Your human parents, Bilbo's and Sam's,

are worried, sad, perhaps despairing.

The vet is an oncologist,

a word that sounds like worry.

We wait. 

They are discussing football now, 

the doctor and Bilbo's father. 

Or maybe just college. 

But come on now. 

We are waiting to hear 

what's next.


Sam has a histiocytic sarcoma on his left hind leg. He started chemo today. We're hoping to get some period of remission. Right now, he feels fine and is sporting a cute bandage on the chemo leg. Let's hope the chemo doesn't disagree with him! 


The Lilacs

Lilacs 006 They're too early, the lilacs,

giving off their scent before mid-May.

One year it was nearly June,

the turn of the new century,

my summer in the hospital.

The first week was confusion

and floor plans and schedules

and being late for chapel

because I got off at the wrong floor

and couldn't find my way back down.

At the end of the week,

I stood in the backyard

looking up at the blossoms

lavender and white and deeper purple

and undertones of pink.

I sat on the swing like a little girl

and breathed in the beauty

heavy and sweet

filling my head with dreams.

Did they ever smell more vivid?

Lilacs 005

That summer I misbehaved.

I smoked in the treehouse

and danced at a club

and stayed in bed all Saturday

staring at the ceiling.

In the hospital I prayed 

over tiny babies 

and hopeful mothers

and trying-to-be-forgiven saints

and eaten-alive sinners.

At home, the lilacs went by

the grass grew wild and sharp

and filled the air when cut,

a different weight than lilacs.

The scent of summer, not spring.

When the lilacs bloomed that year

I didn't know who I was, quite.

I wanted something, 

maybe me, whoever that was, 

vivid and sweet and pink and white.

Lilacs 009
Ten more years of lilacs, 

and I still go out and smell them.

I sit on the swing and dream,.

discovering something more

as I lean into their fragrance.