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attention: man

March 4, 2021
Faceless Woman Canvas Prints | Fine Art America 
he's guilty/not guilty
 he stands down/doesn't stand down
he loses his position/is moved sideways into another less public but equally prestigious role
he is the fall guy for other's moral platforms/he's the wronged hero 
he loses the election for The Good Guys/he was the last straw that undid a crumbling artifice
he faces the media with self-defence/issues an apology and confession of (past)misconduct
he is disgraced in the media/he is exonerated by an inquiry
he
he
he
he
he
he
he.
what does it matter?
She is dead and voiceless.

click click click click
camera shutters
click click click click
emoji
what are you interested in
him

in his power
even better if he's guilty - a testimony to his power!

because even when it outrages us, 
we like to know and explore the feeling of his power
indulgently, vicariously 
even his wicked or naive or raw or young or awkward power

but we hate 
we hate to feel even a small capillary of her
of her vulnerability
of her nothingness
we do not want to hear or see
oh and especially not to feel
oh don't let us feel 
her story
what it was like to be her
we cover our ears and eyes
and turn out attention back to him
the vendetta keeps him centre stage 
the man's place
the good man
the  bad man
we don't care
so long as it's
the man

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womenleaders

February 17, 2021
by day

steady calm 
solid step 
strong negotiator
strategic solutions
smiling face 
sophia's feast

for all who waver and hunger

against  those 
who weaken justice 
and hanker for power

with those who wound her 
and wonder where are the women?

behind the scenes
under the radar
on top of the situation
miles ahead of you, mate. 

*

by night

the tissue box is empty 
and  the swear jar is full




 
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Mercy

December 31, 2020

#adventword11

 those ancient people
 took up lavish and detailed instructions 
 for a bespoke genre of furniture
 - a kind not found in ikea labyrinths - 
- a kind that would survive many moves -
'liturgical furnishings, fittings and finishings'

bowl, lampstand, altar, ark
and
seating

mercy chair

what a thing!

oh it is what i need
for my weary wickedness

that i might not just sip mercy from a cup 
no
that is not enough

I need a long sit down
in mercy

i have stood 
so long
in the dock before 
relentless prosecutors
with files many pages of my wrongs
and completely correct

i have laid 
so long 
humiliated 
supplicant at the feet of harsh judges

keep all your Billy™ bookcases filled
with justifications and arguments and explanations

is there a word of mercy?
oh let that word be this:

take a seat
sit
sit here
in mercy
the chair of mercy
*
here may i learn 
what the Lord requires of me:

to Love mercy.

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Patient

December 15, 2020

#adventword10

they say Love is Patient
they say God is not slow in keeping his promises, only that God is patient
they say patience is a fruit of the Spirit

 I guess 
 if i were the Lord of all eternity, 
before and beyond time boundaries 
 I could be patient too
 and hold out grace and wait for as long as it takes
for a change of heart 
for a turn around

but i am human
and my heart keeps time
  53 beats to the minute
and the clock ticks 
even faster than that
and i am not endlessly patient

my wick burns down and out
my eyelids fall heavy
my tank runs dry
my rope won't stretch out any further
my fuse hits the powder

i reach my limit
i am not patient
at least
not patient...enough

What are you going to do about that?
God of eternity?
God of all patience?

Why don't you come down here and see what it's like
when the sun sets 
when exhaustion extracts its price
when three and thirty years are past 
when the contract is torn up
when no answer arrives
when bones crumble and skin crinkles 
and muscle-strength melts
and minds muddle 
and wills wilt 
and vows void 
and faith fails
and bonds break 

what then? 

Come and try on this 
finite
days and hours 
gig
then you can talk to me about being patient

talk to me about waiting thirty years for your first miracle
show me your friends who leave and deny 
show me your best stories ignored 
and the students who walk away with a sad shake of the head
talk to me about tolerating those clueless buffoons who think power is cool
show me your patient calm silence in the face of wrongful accusation 
show me waiting cold stone dead for a third day resurrection

yes. talk to me about being patient and finite.


 
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Comfort

December 14, 2020

#adventword9

 "uncomfortable situations that bring uncommon comfort"
 might as well put that on your business card, God
 
strike speechless the father-priest of the prophet who will prepare the way for the Messiah
uncomfortable silence

leave a virgin teenager pregnant, growing scandal
uncomfortable innuendo

dump an expectant couple in town with no where to stay
uncomfortable neediness

perinatal precarity, animal accompanied contractions,  downstairs down and out delivery, 
uncomfortable? understatement!

angels announce the birth of the Saviour giving directions to....a manger?
uncomfortable anti-climax

question paternity and snigger behind hands even for the grown man in his own home town
uncomfortable questions

solo visits to the home of single women sisters for ahem, hospitality
uncomfortable optics

songs of the rich made low and the lifted up when the empire is doing so well
uncomfortable politics

rip out all our pages and start our story again
uncomfortable blank pages and new beginnings

how is this dear, curious Cosmos-weaver, 
you cast so many beautiful threads
but we must bear the shift of the heddle
we find change uncomfortable 

yet you bring a strange uncommon comfort

the comfort of truth not soothing
the comfort of grace not gratuitity
the comfort of reality not rationalism
the comfort of solidarity not sanctimony

the uncomfortable comfort 
of birth of God 
and blood of God  
and body of God




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Speak

December 11, 2020

#adventword8

 this is love
 that you speak 
you speak to us
 and you do not withold your word
 but you speak

 speak us into being at dawn
 speak a call of nomads and nobodies
 ne'erdowells 
 speak in young soft lipped prophets
 and old crinkled crones
 you speak

 not waiting for us to go first
 love speaks up
 love dares speak
 cannot keep from speaking

your speaking, God, 
you pour forth 
love in speaking

 so true
 so veritable
 so reliable 
 you speak yourself so clear 
to us 
for us
 your word becomes flesh

 and lives
 and stays with us
 and love speaks love
 speaks us into being
 speaks us back into 
 love 
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Glory

December 7, 2020

#adventword7

5:06 Sunset McCrae July 6 2017
 some say 
 that your glory is magnified
 by my earthly depravity
 and some say
 i was made to bear
 the image of your heavenly glory
 I do not know 
 that anything of my small and soiled life
 can have any bearing 
 on the glory of God
 but
  I know
  that your great life -
 God made small 
 in tiny wordless flesh soiled  -
 has infinite bearing on me
  and the soil of this earth
 you bear your glory upon us
 grace-full 
 truth-full
 a fullness it's hard to bear
 like the eye cannot quite bear the sun 
 and we must look down, again to the earth
 where your glory also is born.  

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Fellowship

December 6, 2020

adventword#6

Fellowship:
their cosy folksy word for
patriarchy
also known as 
jobs for the boys

fellowship
fellow
ship
fellows - you know who you are
you know how you are
though you will silence us if we dare say


there's another word
tucked away, no
strewn everywhere 
in the ancient christians writings
koinonia

it means
 sharing, participating in the one thing 
together
commonness
its a feminine noun

and somehow
on the stormy passage from lip to scribe to scroll to scrap
to community to house to house to house to hearing to living
to considering to leader to bishop to politics to empire to conflict to canon
to closure to copyist to translation to tradition to trajectory
greek to english

this word of commonality
shared life; participating together
became
fellowship.
a bond and brotherhood
among fellows
(the ladies will put on a nice spread)

So God...if you're coming amongst us
please do something about this
please
would you come as a commoner
share in our common life?
would you arrive through a woman?
would you call women friends?
would you not establish yourself as a player in the patriarchy
perhaps you might not own property 
or leave an heir to carry on your name
or promise positions on your left and right

not another fellowship please this time God. 

Please bring 
this longed for shared life, 
participating together
in common
in community

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Rebuild

December 5, 2020

#adventword5

it takes
it takes time
it takes will
it takes being 
prepared to demolish 
the last sorry parts
of what was

of broken walls 
that held space
that promised shelter
of roof
caved in 

of clearing the  rubble that remembers
David 
(rape and murder)
Solomon
(vanity and excess)
our best men
reputation and respect
poetry and philosophy
psalms and proverbs
faith and wisdom

that failed

broken palace courts
ruined temple altars

cleared

but who will we rebuild
 our lives
our faith
with?

who offers help 
will we partner
with Nehemiah
Persia's Puppet
with Herod
Hack of Rome?

or will we wait 
for the sower's
smallest seed to grow
held deep in the cracks
in the stump of Jesse

a ninth 
younger than the youngest

the One 
bringing βασιλεια
unruly as mustard




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Earth

December 3, 2020

#adventword4

 maker of heaven and earth
 came to earth

 we need you
 but not just to walk upon the earth
 we need you 
God-earthmaker
 deep beneath sedimentary surfaces
 under the loam that births 
past the metamorphic rocks 
where change and stability hold one another 
cheek to cheek 
 below the igneous formations 
 of heat and movement now long past
 deeper 
through magmatic core
 in the molten mobile earth
 
we need your presence
 in the hot heart of earth
 which blazes still with ancient energies
 
long robes have prayed
           Veni Sancte Spiritus
            Et renovabis faciem terrae.
 
"renew the face of the earth"
 
but also
             reple tuorum corda fidelium et tui amoris in eis ignem accende
 
"fill the hearts of the faithful 
 and enkindle in them the fire of your love"
 
yes
 God of earth, all earth, through all earth
 more than cosmetics
 more than a makeover 

ancient infant God 
you are coming to us
not down from the heavens above
but from out through the 
earth's 
warm womb

and if we are silent
the rocks will cry out
in their birth eruptions 
of agony and ecstacy