Written By:

Two Poems: Psalm After the Holocaust and Lying Fallow


(December 2013)


How can anyone make a joyful noise

Praising the mysterious power that

Guides the universe, depth calling unto

Depth, when so much fear pervades our time?


The first word can only be


Profound and unutterable—

Dark as the unbelievable pain


The second word is resilience

A capacity to slowly unravel

This bundle of deadly violence

Spun tightly from bones and sinews


Of the countless twisted dead—

Bundle spun fiercely by humans

Mouthing shameless lies

Expressing their hatred of God


Let us call it self-hatred

A common task laid by life upon

All people to grow and never stop

Growing in their capacity for self-owning

Self-owning people in pain do not blame the other for their disappointment and the Rage that leads inexorably to war–


­Only generosity and empathy can repair

Our broken world and yet save us from the

New holocaust which each side—

Unconsciously, perhaps, expects from the other—

Instead may truth-telling yield its healing trumpet sound



(December 2009)


Sometimes when too many forces collide

Forming the ripples of a whirlpool

Threatening and exhausting

It is best to let the pained earth lie fallow


Not in neglect, but to allow a dive-back

From the surface empty and desolate

To a deeper aliveness where the earth refreshes itself

Through myriad healer-worms continuing to turn the field

Which the farmer had plowed and left it for fallow


Instead this is the most vital and essential

Phase of nature’s care for agrarian rhythms

That draw up depths of damp dark prolific

Soil teeming with life, warping it into a

Torrent of trillions of cells single and in bodies

Filled with a mighty longing

For survival, for meaning, and for joy


Likewise the human world of striving and action

Turns empty and barren when uprooted

From the damp fertile vortex where the Holy Ghost

With heaving artistry forms the tendrils of a new earth


From which freshened visions of work and

Service, among people near and far can spring up