Songs of Nature & Spring

I was struck as I did my morning hike how everything is turning green, with spring beginning to break forth along the Duke Forest trail here at my home in Durham.

This reminded me of some poetry I wrote while in nature this summer.  I hope they help you open up to the beauty around you, experiencing what Hildegard of Bingen called veriditas, the greening presence of life which is for Hildegard (and me) a sign of God’s presence and grace in the world.






french broad riverThe stillness speaks

in crevices of rocks,

in whispered voices of rustling leaves,

in flowing streams that call out in wordless rhymes

our hearts hear, as they interpret for us

thoughts too deep

for our conscious minds to know

in cicada cries that set my spirit dancing

in step with echoes of a knowing deep and true,

beyond all images, even language itself.


These thin places, o Cosmic Christ,

are where I feel

your hand taking mine

like my own brother
raven rockleading me up craggy cliffs

as we climb beyond mist-filled valleys

dim with shadow

embraced by that Spirit

whose song surrounds us

in every greening leaf

scurrying squirrel

and heartbroken face

now cracking with the dawning

of laughter, song, and story

where the full-throated wail

of sorrow, trauma, loss once reigned.






Merry Meet


Dance-of-the-TrinityO Three-fold dancer,

how you dazzle

all my imaginings

here atop sun-lit peak,

your rhythms wrapping me

in life



emerging from within

the all surrounding womb of life.


O grace beyond all seeing,

when I but grasp

your slender thread,

letting it lead me,

laying aside who I am,

how I find not just you

but myself again

and deep within that soul,

now made clear as crystal,

I see, like a town glimpsed in snow globe sphere,

all that is

no longer concealed by grief’s shadows

nor buried by muck from shame’s deep latrines

but now bathed in light

simply as it is,

alive, whole, cradled, innocent and pure

in the goodness of your Mother-love


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