—for Hanifah

Returning to the copper mine
that finds unexpected
ore in each of us,
I wonder again at emptiness
so complete in me
it feels like the only authentic part
walking me onto the boat
carrying me over water
into the village.

Your Sufi joy
at making the generous gift
gifts me again.

Jim Bodeen
12 September 2010


Here we are, Karen and I, at 25-Mile Creek
where paved roads end on Lake Chelan
on the eve of Nine Eleven, Two Thousand Ten.
In the Mothership, Karen's hand-stitching

the binding of a quilt she began a year ago.
Tomorrow we cross water, riding
The Lady of the Lake. Still reading Eliseo's
book, Marcos. I tell friends I'd tell them

about it. Según Marcos 13:22 el criterio
de verdad de la señal del cielo es la liberación
aquí en la tierra. I'm telling Karen,
This is the most radical book by a Lutheran

I've ever picked up. Karen asks why.
Cuidado y más cuidado. Eliseo Pérez Álvarez
knows the margins y los seres marginados.
Dichos y parábolas. Faith is what people have

who don't have a good shepherd.
Las migajas de las migajas o el derecho a comer.
Crumbs of the crumbs. Dream of the common table.
The right to eat. Clandestine seminary.

The reign of God is for the disinherited
and the excluded. A la orilla.
Lakeshore or sea. Same thing for Jesus.
The Galilean had a boat at his side

just in case, por si a caso, a quick getaway
on water. Caesar doesn't get the last word.
With Jesus in the boat, ghosts in water disappear.
Perdón. ¿Perdón? Eliseo, nuestro escolár

del pueblo, finds the gift, el don, Per-dón,
he writes, es decir, la donación, en contraposición
con el llevar la cuenta exactícisma de las deudas.
Don is the gift present in the word. This gift

helps us hear first syllable, Per. We hear perder,
to lose, perdió, lost, and even olvidar, forgotten.
Guilt gone. To pray is to pardon and be pardoned.
Orar es perdonar y ser perdonado. Not to be lost.

Jim Bodeen
25-Mile Creek State Campground
10 September 2010


The unknown word translated:
"speaking," carries me

when paired with these,
"the truth in love," making

a fragment one can build
a life around. Two Spanish

versions: "siguiendo"—
"following" follows

and "vivir" wraps itself

around us, clothing
of utter transparency.

...siguiendo la verdad en amor; or
...vivir la verdad en amor.

Speaking the truth in love.
"But" or "rather" precede

two English versions,
and "sino" adds "only"

and "except". I would add
"unless." Another,

más bien, even better.
The word crossing

me before water this
morning remains.

Jim Bodeen
10 September 2010

1 comment:

  1. Jim - these are beautiful words and images. Thank you. Can't help but think that you would be a wonderful guide, on any kind of journey. Save me a seat. Peggy