Beneath God

The pleasure of God is indeed a sovereign pleasure. An arbitrary will – unhindered by obligation – preserves wicked men.

Truth does not appear in multiples. Our hands are not strong where God rises up.

Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty. We are apt to fortify ourselves with followers.

There is no fortress with God. Great heaps of chaff alight in the whirlwind leaving behind a field of stubble and devouring flames.

You cannot singe the delicate thread by which we hang fortuitously. What are we that we should stand before the one at whose rebuke rocks pick up and hide?

Justice cries out for the infinite. The sentence composed by God is both eternal and immune to righteousness,

You come from beneath. God is a great deal of patient.

An unmindful God is a concoction of troubled separatists. God is altogether a one such as ourselves.

Wrath and damnation don’t ever slumber. We are ever ready to be seized as God permits.

The Scripture represents us as good in search of better. Oh the hungry lions that await should God withdraw his restraining hand.

Categorized as Sentences

An Ache Where Yesterday There Was None

Perhaps it has to do with a combination of vowels righteously struck. The dog rushes out into snow, heels at the first bank, stunned and amazed. There are lessons everywhere. For example, you must believe that you are a body in order to feel fear. The “voice” was the one mind briefly surfacing. When you understand that all animals worship – deer, trout, blue jays, mice – then you will know God. Peace is a decision. Conflict never greased a wheel in its life. A sudden memory of doughnuts, an ache where yesterday there was none. One studies the techniques of parenthetical afterthought, one writes every day. Love in a deep blue. Everything without exception is the answer. Pay no attention to the so-called observing intelligence, it’s as susceptible to the devil as you are. A treasure chest discovered in dreams and then carried forward. Certain directors do better with certain actors and certain scripts and thus is Salvation obfuscated. Trees fall, banks of snow cradle the garage, and all I can think about is how delicious this tea is! Nor can I abolish the desire to own macaws. You can learn a lot from rivers. I began writing one sentence and erased it in favor of this one. Why is not the question you want to ask.

Categorized as Sentences

The Unequivocal Yes

Visible on the starling’s beak, a drop of water – melted snow – through which sunlight sifts into myriad rainbow parts.

Snow buntings on the lilac.

One sees the neighbor’s barn and – somehow moved – is suddenly willing to see nothing else.

Bright winter let me not know another.

The end of the divided self draws near and one is given any number of tools and tricks to help ease the transition.

It is easy when you know the Holy Spirit’s love for you is your love for it.

This morning a starling rested on a snowy pine bough and I perceived the sun – bright, variable and alive – through a single drop of melted snow that hung from its beak.

You have to commit, there is no substitute for the unequivocal yes.

Peace and quiet.

Suddenly one realizes that no healing is necessary, only the awareness that no healing is necessary.

Let us say that a carriage appears, cresting a far hill, and in it the preacher sits, bible at hand.

In the starling – and the tiny sparkle that might have been melting snow at its beak – one came at last to the fundamental acceptance.

Delay is understandable – and goes unpunished – but why put Heaven off?

One by one the snow buntings fell off the lilac bush and each thusly lightened limb trembled in sunlight much longer than one would have expected.

Peace is quiet.

Learn to identify the substitutes, the idols, the many tactics you have created to assure confusion and delay.

It is related to – is manifest in – the way sunlight dissolves into a vivid rainbow entirely without the starling’s consent.

Your yes does not create holiness but rather establishes your willingness to see what holiness is already created.

How delightful to see Creation in the lilac shedding its heavy buntings of snow!

Say yes now!

Categorized as Sentences

That First Critical Principle

One reads about the eternal beginning. Identity reigns ever supreme!

Can we say – reasonably – that being is the same as non-being? Is it – forgive me – identical?

For example, where does sky end and earth begin exactly? We must go back – or down maybe – to establish that first critical principle.

Yet God agrees that if there is a world, there must be a way out of it and that he must provide it. Liberation is his vocation!

Source has but one will. The dream of others scars our potential.

Yet in time we become a stone from which Divine sparks are struck. God, like most humpbacks, is buried beneath a familiar hill.

You think your skin conceals you? Try spending fifteen minutes with the devil’s kindling.

“You” and “I” are a prison. What swallows whole does so to ultimately save.

God is perceived in essence, both being and becoming? All rebels are eventually brought to heel.

Thus I am delivered from my selfhood. You offer raisins and gratefully I accept.
Categorized as Sentences


In my dream many faceless men and women worked the side of the highway, picking fruit and nuts to eat. What is it that we surrender when we turn to God?

I fear the loss of what has brought me only anguish.

(This was down near Berkely, Mass, I think, where Dad once dreamed of living). It’s not as hard as you think it is, is what I keep hoping.

Your letter was so welcome that it momentarily terrified me. I would prefer not to forgive my shame.

Tea and the moment in which one sees no past or present. Children’s voices. That correspondence.

One writes a dream of waking up in France. Attend the content and the form will take care of itself.

Yeah, right.

Yet saying “I miss you” still brings tears and feels right, whatever that means.

Another cup of tea, another chance to sift through the execution of Lincoln’s “killers.” What is it with me and gallows? On the ship, the sea darkening around me, all I could think of was how badly I wanted you to rise from the waves to hold me. The inner voice proclaims its love. You can listen if you want but you can ignore it, too.

Somebody please I don’t want to fall.

Categorized as Sentences

Angry In A Measureable Way

Could you say before God you had a good life? Not everyone in those days was bad or misguided.

What is joy but a cup of cold water straight to the face? You can give nothing to the Lord and if it’s all you have then he’s going to rejoice.

I don’t care where you got the incense. The chocolate cake had a bitter aftertaste, which led at least one guest to recall the last words of Socrates.

He had two kids, one of whom was still not speaking to him. There is the only way it can be done.

Widows in the rain, contemplating the methods of trees. I feel ashamed, embarrassed.

The church steeple gleamed in the sunlight, putting one in the mind of bells. We kneel to pray with those who merely kneel.

The moon akin to a couple of bright pennies. God doesn’t give a damn about the sweat stains in your work shirt, the bulge in your wallet, or the books on your shelf.

Go steal a rag and polish the temple floor. I am the offering box I am waiting for.

The servants escorted her along the balustrade, all of them careful not to meet anybody’s eye. A teacher kneels to scratch the dust, angry in a measurable way.

Nobody knows the bubbles I’ve seen. You have to pray a long time to see it.

Categorized as Sentences

The Manifestation Bone

One wants to write “a riot of stars” and so does, and thus discovers the unsatisfactory gesture. There were little smiles on the waves, little curls in the swell.

It rained and I worried how you would answer. The mechanism of thought cannot end thought but it can demonstrate the futility of thought.

In other words, pay attention. Coffee and dogs, two good totems.

Your warm hand on my forehead before sleep. I am what is there.

Some mornings I wake up and the twenty sentences feel like more than I can manage, but I do them anyway, because sometimes something happens in them that has nothing to do with what I can or can’t manage. Pancakes, chuck steak.

Riled up with vintage swords. Driving home in the dark just shy of midnight I began fantasizing about cooking that leg of lamb.

We laugh at the word “butt.” I do want signs or so I say.

Grief has but one form. The world and my life in it are not what I think they are, or say they are, and all salvation lies in my acceptance of this fact.

Or whiskey. He wore a camel’s hair coat, I think.

Once again the desire to write a mystery gnaws the manifestation bone. I’m not but you think I am.

Categorized as Sentences

In Lieu of Prayer, A Memory

A field of frost, a reminder of snow. In October, you go to sleep sad and wake up not sad. Scallop-colored clouds, a pinkishness that seems to float between pine trees. Is that music I hear in the distance? When you realize the present is all the time there is . . .

Cold tea in lieu of prayer. A memory of dreamlessness. The horse stamped nervously, aware that a stranger was evaluating him. We bring the flame with us, that’s how. Scribbled notes toward a new breast bone.

Secretly we all long for death, we all fear God, and that’s why we never have any lasting peace. Thank you, friend, for not telling the truth in a difficult time. Life in the movies! Well, buttercrunch ice cream at least, and pie crusts made with real lard. One sound I won’t miss is the rat-a-tat-tat of a real typist.

She looked at me a last time on the stairwell, I have never forgotten that. I cultivate grief the way other men cultivate orchids. A long night finally ends and you can see the crucifixion for what it was, an extreme teaching example. Yet I still need new recipes. Meanwhile, one anticipates fearfully the sea at dusk.

Categorized as Sentences


Why do I bother with the world after 5 a.m.? What would a prayer life actually look like? A chipmunk scampered between the pews. I’m tired of Colonialism, tired of martyrs, but still. Jesus won’t you just shake a little sugar on me?

Make it a new way of being lost and thus a new way of being found. A snowflake does or does not follow preordained patterns? You never know as much as you think you know yet your capacity for creativity is always boundless. The statue stared back, stone-faced. Beyond which, it was a raw day in which not much seemed to happen.

Burgers? We watched eighteen-wheelers track the old canal, the way oxen once did. Geese sailing back and forth overhead as if trying to orient themselves. We are not our orientation! Cold root beer, over which some bonding happened, over which some grace occurred.

I am not my sentences. A field of purple loosestrife alongside which a declaration went unanswered. Yet history can make you happy, can’t it? Nobody attended the gift shop which was just as well. Some Jesuits limp into the future, others stride, and some never die despite the pyre they last prayed upon.

Categorized as Sentences

Something Into Which I Would Pour Language

Four a.m., wan light of quarter moon, the road stitched by tree shadows. Let us praise October, let us slip like falling leaves.

And the big dipper perched on its ladle, upending its contents in the cosmic soup. Friends both here and there.

The dog rolls studiously in fox scat. My life resembles artful graffiti on a water tower.

The plane bucked before righting itself coming in for a windy landing over the highway. Water glistening in the ditch.

We pointed our flashlights up and argued where each beam ended. One can dream about dinosaur hearts.

Yesterday, in the art gallery, I felt briefly comfortable. The way to peace involves accepting all cause as in the mind not the world.

One begins a study of solipsism, long misunderstood. The baby coos in the other room while we love in this one.

A dog barks, heedless of Sir Oracle. It is not quite right to say that when you don’t write it’s a silence but it is something into which I would pour language.

Thus, I am never not not quite free. God discovers us as we discover God?

Cattails stand like casual sentries where the field ends and I stop to pray. Soon I will have to leave and then what?

Categorized as Sentences