Every day stations of the cross

Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law had reached a decision. But they had run out of coffee beans and so they waited for someone to make a quick run to Starbucks before making any public statements.

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of two boys, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they dragged him out of his car and forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. Next they dragged Jesus to The Place of the Skull. And the police search helicopters were circling overhead.

The people stood watching, and the politicians and business leaders even sneered at him. They said, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he indeed the Chosen One.’ The soldiers (with M-16s over their shoulders) also came up and mocked him. They offered him blackmarket painkillers and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself." Meanwhile a lady’s iPhone kept going off. The ring tone was catchy Katie Perry tune from about two years ago, the one where she was riding on a long swing.

One guy next to Jesus yelled, "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" Another yelled back at him, "Don't you fear God?" Jesus interrupted the argument, saying "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." And as I pulled out of the driveway our neighbors’ ragged belongings were thrown out on the lawn, the marshal was just doing his job because the bank was foreclosing on their slumlord even though the he was still taking rent from them and sitting at home, no where to be seen.

Jesus yelled, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that time on, John took Mary into his house, as if she were his own mom.

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three-ish, for the sun stopped shining. And then the special curtain was torn in two. When I plugged my portable hard drive into the Pro Tools last night there was this pop and smoke came out of it; my friend and I looked at each other, both afraid of the worst.

Then Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

I remember sitting with my wife's grandpa in his last days while he was gasping for air. A tube blocked up his laboring throat so that he couldn’t talk. But his eyes, they spoke volumes.

the vultures

(a poem for my sister, Kendra)

I want you to be free to know, one day at a time, your life as it shall become.

Trust your eyes and the scent of things and give your feet over to that lit-path alone, one step at a time.

Don’t take;

not my advise, another’s advise or anything else born from outside your discovery.

Instead, eat what bread falls around us all.

‘Just enough to last from breakfast and to stretch into a dinner with unexpected guests when necessary. 

When we pulled away from the house this afternoon there were vultures circling overhead.

Ready to take what was to become theirs.

But the life is gone from that.


My friends Mike Stavlund and Michael Toy have challenged me to join them for  National Poetry Writing Month (aka NaPoWriMo), a challenge/experiment to write one poem each day for the month of April.  "It is a way to give oneself permission to write poorly; a way to embrace quantity over quality.  But also, to revel in the mystery that somehow, sometimes, quantity begets quality" (says Mike.)  Serendipitously, I'm on vacation for the next few days, a good time to start a new habit... So here's my first:


The ocean’s hand is long. Or is it wide? Or is it her entire reach?

My toddling son stands facing her for his first time, smiling as if at a bath that knows no end. Then balance falls away from him. Rather, she takes it and then hands it back and then takes it again

wave af- ter wave.

I’m holding his hand and so much more this year.

And there’s that vast ocean again handing to me and taking back and handing yet again.