What you’re saying Shane Claiborne... is...
…you’re like the fireman… instead of running away… a sane person...
…you run towards... paint me out to be more courageous than I am, Shane says.
We get courage in community we can’t muster up on our own...
…there’s positive pressure too…
…surround yourself with a group of people whose response
to injustice runs to injustice…
…always in a context of community—Iraq, Afghanistan…there...

...when I was in Afghanistan with Mairead Maguire…
...with approved people who would inspired in us our…our…
...Do you ever get scared, Mairead? they asked...
...Oh, of course I get scared—
...but being scared is different than fear...

...fear is when we let being scared stop us from
...what love requires of us...
...when we allow our fears, prejudices,...
...stop us from what love requires of us...
...courage runs off on you...courage runs off on me..

...were really inspiring me toward courage I couldn’t muster when alone...

...the mustering…

…I think all of us, we’re all of us going to be uncomfortable
with what’s unfamiliar...diversity, diversity...
...towards what love requires...

Jim Bodeen
18-22 May 2013


Stuns me, shocked as I am
by its load of music,
but it’s not, it’s not

Jim Bodeen
15 May 2013

All day watching trees in wind, working hard
not to work hard, a workout for deep roots.
May tomorrow bring them rest and a big drink of water.
There is a store in this town called Bed, Bath and Beyond.
No shit. They’re advertising a wood turntable.
The hope is that it will serve to prune and shape
the little trees. Turns out it won’t work.
A well-oiled machine, it’s true,
but what would it hold besides a salt shaker?
Sorry, the young woman says, from the check stand.
She tells me there are more of these stores
all over the country. Bed Bath and Beyond.
They’re linked, she says. Like a chain, I say.
Where, I ask, is the Beyond?
I thought you were looking for the exit, she says.
No, I say, I’m looking for the Beyond.
OK, she says, we’ll go with that. Turn left.
Street lights swing wild on wires competing with trees
for my attention as I leave the mall. Red and green lights
going in opposite directions at the same time.
They look like they could fly off their wires.
I could go on like this, it’s all before me today.
Thirty minutes in the swimming pool
might just save my life. I pull into the parking lot.
Getting out of the car, a single sheet of paper
blows out of the back seat. I know it’s a poem
and I’m tempted to let it tumble free.
I’d also like to know which poem it is.
Fuck it, I say to myself, I’ll go after it,
chasing it across a soccer field. It’s the second page
of Dick Hugo’s St. Clement’s: Harris,
from Harold Bloom’s American Religious Poems.
Hugo’s been gone 30 years? It seems like yesterday
the rich lady’s club tried to fly him into town
under cover without giving him a chance
with town people. He was delighted
to read for kids at the high school
descending into the KIVA at the city school.
The cathedral is locked and all Dick’s rehearsals
leave him at the door. Close again. Catching the poem
with my foot, picking it up, I read
Christ came on so northern he wore skins.
Did I know I’d find something this good, stepping on it?
Dick banging on Church doors across centuries,
shouting, Let me in! Let me in!
Fish and faith. Hugo would fish all waters
looking for the word calling him home.
He’s lost in sounds repeating plosive d’s and b’s
peeking into forbidden light.
Jails and leaded windows fail us again.  
The door, remember, remains,
and what thou lovest well, locked down.
All of us are prehistoric and come from barbarous times.
Don’t we have amazing numbers when looking at ours?
Is it any wonder we have more poets than swimming pools.

Given the first reading from Acts on the 5th Sunday of Easter,
I remember what the baseball coach tells the batter
walking to the plate, Find a way to slow the game down
until you find a pitch you can make contact with.
Peter assumes this tone while talking about his trance.
No need to grasp at straws, he’s given every creature
to ever enter a nightmare: 
voices, visions, spirits, and an angel to boot.
Acts 11: 1-18. Look it up.
Everything happens three times and Peter can’t turn it off.
Stay with me, children. As I said in the beginning,
it’s straight-sounding, matter-of-fact narrative,
all God, saying one thing, this:
God gave them the same gift he gave us.
There is no us and them. Go slow with your bat
to the plate, and slowing the dream to mortal speed,
you know the truth. No us. No them.
Joyce is 20 when he meets Yeats.
Caught off guard, Yeats cheats by one year,
cinching down at 40. I’m too late. You’re too old.
So says Jhezzus Joyce, as Pound called him.
Meanwhile, the little trees, sit by the white fence
out of the wind. The camp chair sits empty.
Here it’s a smaller world, things to take care of daily.
I’m drawn to something I can’t take care of in this lifetime,
attracted to trees liking, and needing, acid in surrounding soil.

Jim Bodeen
28-29 April 2013


Akadama and Kanuma
used for centuries in Japan
Rarest pumice

Precise moisture, nutrient and air
Attributes of a good mix
Sharp edges promote short roots,
retain water, directs air,
moist, not wet

Akadama, Turface, Seramis
Turface found in cat litter
Tesco brand—low dust!

Ask auto mechanics, too!
Napa Superabsorbant absorbs oil
Hi Dri 40-pound bag at Carquest Autoparts

Jim Bodeen
April, 2013

Meditation on Violence: Karen's Chief Joseph Vest


Dheezus wasn’t quite over her virus
spending the day with Grandma,
as Karen sat with her vision before the sewing machine
with only button holes to cut and sew
before  her celestial vest
would be ready for children in Heaven.
Grandma, can you make a dress for Tygee?
she says from the carpet
where she sits with her stuffed tyger.
Grandma’s response is already in Heaven
as she begins to cut material for a dress
that will never quite satisfy Dheezus.
I’m in the room to watch for button holes
while Dheezus has already moved on to plans
for Tygee’s hoody and halter top.
By now Dheezus has moved on to Grandma’s lap
and cutting ribbons. Karen cuts holes
in the new scarf for Tygee’s ears. She’s discovered, too,
how to turn the light on and off
for the quilter’s finer stitches.
It doesn’t quite fit, Grandma.
It doesn’t look like a dress. Tygee’s
going to need a coat. As I said,
This is Tygee’s lucky day.
She’s getting an outfit. Between the time
of the dress and scarf, Dheezus dresses
Tygee, fitting and refitting the new clothes.
Karen works with stitching two small quilts
with poems of Blake and Yeats ironed
on to muslin and stitched to the back
of the Pendleton wool. The tiny quilts
will fit into two pockets of the vest.
The Blake poem from the Songs of Innocence
fits into the front pocket, folded over
so that the poem remains unseen,
while the Chief Joseph pattern adds
texture and pattern to the elegant promise
of peace through refusing to engage forever
in genocide. As Dheezus dresses Tygee
on the floor she watches a movie
on the small computer screen promising
another vision of nonviolence.
But as I said, this is not the best day
for Dheezus—she’s five, recovering from an illness
that’s knocked out her energy—she has Grandma
alone in her sewing room and she wants
a new suit of clothes for Tygee.
Dheezus is tough and she likes her way.
Because I need to feel Karen’s energy
in her Chief Joseph vision for children
I’m standing behind her, invisible to the keen
advocating eyes of Dheezus dressing Tygee.
The inside pocket contains the quilted poem of Yeats
taken from the song of Mike Scott of the Waterboys.
They shall be alive for ever.
They shall be speaking for ever.
This quilt will be placed inside the pocket
where Karen has sewn these words,
For the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Our twin daughters both teach kindergarten,
and four of our six grandchildren are between the ages
of 5 and 7. The ages of the 20 children whose names
Karen has sewn onto the inside of the Chief Joseph Memorial Vest.
Karen asks Dheezus to help put Tygee’s arms
into the sleeve of the coat. The sleeves are tight
and this frustrates Dheezus as she tugs.
I’ll tell you, though, Tygee is looking quite good.
Spectacular now in her new outfit.
Dress, halter top, scarf with cut-outs for the ears,
and this blue coat fitting her for any child’s bedroom,
any store-front window, any child cry wail for dream justice.
The lining of the vest is a rich sheen
and as Karen turns it inside out and hangs it on the wall,
she tells me, it’s really reversible, too.
That might be too much, I say to myself
as I read the names to myself, catching my breath
saying, Dylan, Jack, Benjamin.
Allison, Caroline, Charlotte.
This vest of 20 names.
Dheezus, home-sick from preschool,
remains oblivious to all going on before her.
Karen’s cut buttonholes retain a precise beauty
and her hand-sewn stitching guarantee 
a tight hold on the beautiful silver buttons.
Dheezus’  recovery from this virus  is going to be slow
and that’s the way she wants it. Her attention,
laser-like, fixed on Grandma and Tygee,
and what she might get grandma to make next.
Days like this don’t just come along every day,
and Tygee? Well, Tygee, now. Tygee is looking good.
And this vest—this vest makes us all look good.
It’s the kind of thing we wear walking with angels.
Karen’s hands take our breath away looking at what she’s done.
We’re silent before her quiet work.
Before all this beauty we don’t know what to do. How to act.
We’re closest to the world of Dheezus and Tygee.
We’re waiting for instructions.
After the silence, listening.

Jim Bodeen
4 April—16 April 2013


We were in the mountains
with immigrant families
when we got a call about
a family illness. Waiting
for a phone connection
the news came across the wire
of the latest school massacre.
Both of our daughters
teach kindergarten.

Let’s melt some guns
and make a baptismal font,
my pastor friend says.
I went looking.
Young cowboy in a pawn shop
shows me a High Point 45.
Big bullets. Tears you up, he says.
He’s been shot three times.
Kids have these, he says,
They think they’re Glocks.
There are no Glocks in town now.
After Christmas sale. All sold out.
The young cowboy listens.
Yes, I carry, he says, I’m carrying now.
He slips his hand in his jeans pocket,
showing me the small pistol.
I've got 13. All expensive.
Jewelry for the last day.

I put money down on the 45.
My wife got madder’n hell.
We’ve never had a gun in our house.
In the end, I didn’t pick it up.
Lost the money to the pawn shop.
The .45 is most likely back on the street.
I wrote the pastor a check, though.
We’re going to get a baptismal font
if we have to make it out of clay.
We’ll get it to those families.
My wife is a quilter and a fabric artist.
She makes art to wear.
She’s making vests for children
to wear in heaven.
Names of the children are sewn into the lining.
Pockets for poems like this one.
Small things to stop the bleeding.

Jim Bodeen
9 March 2013



            22 April 1943—14 January 2012

From psalm: 18: You take care of yourself now, I yell back, You too.
From the poet: Ribcage whistles for the wind to play.
               —Jody Aliesan

She had that poem, please post,
and I loved to post it.
I took her side. Some of what I carry.
The Tao, always, preceding thought.

Alden Nowlan writes from Canada:
I used to broadcast
at night alone in a radio station/
but I was never any good at it.

But Jody, in please post:
Choose rather to be wrong than false.
And further up in her poem:
So how about you
Such good Jody, Here:
What everyone knows but no one speaks
The Kiriwini of New Guinea call ‘mokita’
Short memories preserve good consciences

St. Joan. Jesus. Jean Burden. Leonard Cohen.
Her ja signing off on emails. Raven and the Raven Chronicles.
Rocks and stars. Gold dust and the Vishnu Schist.
Leave Me Be and Burn the Bridges. Her songs.

The poem and the poet. The abyss.
The listing of frauds. Her list. An education.
The psychopath.
Epigraphs and footnotes, reporting.

Bicameral men did not imagine. They experienced.
So says Julian Jaynes as we read in one great synchronicity.
The king dead is a living god.
Auditory hallucinations instead of pheromones.

To hear was to obey. The bicameral mind.
So many things. As Jean Burden says in our conversation,
Behind every poem must be felt the abyss.
Depth below depth. What keeps the reader

From falling, is a thin, taut, protecting wire.
Without the wire and the abyss
There is no poetry that matters.
Jody. True North/Nord Vrai. Speaking from notes.

Jim Bodeen
13 October 2012


During my teenage years in Lake City in north Seattle, I would go golfing with Mike Bliss and Gary Couch at Sand Point Golf Club. Mike and Gary had golf clubs and I used my hockey stick that we brought out from North Dakota. What made me mad was that neither of the boys would let me try their clubs. This one man used to watch us playing and arguing. He was golfing with his son. One day he came up to me and asked me a few questions. I almost freaked out. I thought he was laughing at my jeans that came from the old Spiegel catalog that looked like they were made for shoveling coal. Like the ones my Grandpa Charlie wore. But that wasn’t it. I mean, he was interested in the boy golfing with the hockey stick. One day he asked me if we had a golf course up there in North Dakota near the Canadian border. Sure , I said, but it was different. I told him how the circle where they put the hole was made of gravel, and that it wasn’t green. And I told him that the golf course was also the landing strip for airplanes. He thought that was pretty cool. One time he asked me if he could show me how to swing with that hockey stick. I thought it was pretty cool. My friends never understood why he made such a big deal out of me. Somewhere during that time I learned that the boy was Freddy Couples, who would go on to become the greatest golfer from Seattle. For me, it was always about Freddy Couples’ dad, who showed me pointers on how to golf with that hockey stick. I always remember how he did that.

Jim Bodeen  / April 2012--April 2013

Old dog and allergies. All the allergies. Food and pollen. Black lab. Sister Sadie Sadie. Eats salmon every day. We have options, our vet says. Hers and mine. Cortisone. Vet’s on her side. Cortisone Shampoos. Plural. Cortisone. Take away that itch. I think of the writers. All my friends. Our allergies. My old dog. They’re expensive, she says, but they work. I know  something about cortisone. Seventy five bucks for the two of them, the vet says. Can’t get these at Walmart. Boy does it lather. Sister Sadie Sadie on the front lawn lathered all up with cortisone. She’s not scratching now. On her back. Good dog. Good,  good dog. Sadie in a trance on the lawn. From her belly out. Vulva, anus, legs to the paws. Between paws. Lathering with that cortisone. Leave it on. Work it in. Ten minutes. Then rinse. Shake it out, Sadie.  Repeat. Boy does it lather this time. Puts her back in that sleep. Then the second one. Leave-It-On Cortisone. All the tender spots. Red spots, from scratching. Lathered and soothed. Layered and lathered in Cortisone. My friend calls. The poet. He has allergies. Some of them from this world. Like me. Like my allergies. Old dogs. Mid 60s. I‘ve still got the cortisone out, I say. Two cortisone shampoos. My wife looks up at me, listening, now. Yes, I say, my wife, too. September sun. Front lawn, on your backs. All that cortisone. No more allergies for any of us. Good old dogs all. Shampooed and lathered on the lawn. Cortisoned.

 Jim Bodeen
8 September 2012      


“For us poets, in relating to what we’re about (and perhaps what the all is about), the scale of our saying relates to the measure of the line we intuitively hear as we write.” Philip Booth

    “…toward a theologically marginal grace…” Philip Booth

“…until I can feel how my first line sounds, I have no idea how the rest of the poem may breathe or hold its breath…” Philip Booth

Against all pressures
to be present,
including your own,
grandfather surging,
back out of the now.
A country boy
who lived in town,
from all place
but the poem
Your pressure
on language
sprung spilling

Afraid of all that sea
in your poems
I stayed away
from wood
cut & stacked
in that boat house
on water

you built it

Saying the thing
Your great room
clear before me
breaking      ambiguous
going both ways
approaching you
in the desert

Some letters to poets no one could write.
The thought of it all the way through,
beginning to end, the writer so far away from the writer.
At the far age of the age you wrote from, I write you.
These are the white birds on the foam of the sea,
and Yeats sits with us,
your neck of the country, with parents.
The children—well, grandfather—this is what
grandfathers are for—holding the unspeakable.
An Irish group, Waterboys, singing Yeats,
singing children to Heaven,
White birds on the foam of the sea.
Your nothing, your each other, over and over.

Lifted words
        from random Lifelines
fallen as they fell
        not as you made them
as you made them

harbor quick luck
Ax splashing sinks
remembers shape
reshaping eddy flooding star,
Thoreau, nothing
Letter to Lowell
Daily wed word
man light mindful
flower steeped-sun
Orchard deer-women
Pocket heart walking
eyebrows report bobbled
native nickel hillside 
Half-teacher in blow-sdown
before each day’s courage.
Nothing to match this
Nothing, nothing
Displacement and nothing

Not the letter
I sat down to write
Not the poem
I thought I’d intended
The poem having its own way
Like you showed us

Jim Bodeen
10 April 2013

She gave me to the poem
and even as I was given
to the dreaming world
it came with the knowledge
that she wouldn’t be pleased.

It’s her birthday
and she’s waiting
for my response.
Christ, for many,
does not rise

in their lifetimes.
Whatever happens
in this life with no guarantees,
it is my work
to stand with these
who suffer
without being lifted up.

Jim Bodeen
9 April 2013


Holy Week on the Mountain

Big room cold, cots small,
shivering, and kids asleep.
When I crawl in with you, Karen,
your body wraps me warm
with a half century of recognition.
Jim Bodeen
9 April 2013

We are in the mountains during the time of melting snow
and it is Easter; we are settling into bunk beds
in a single room with grandchildren, brought here
to see our son, their uncle, caretaker of this lodge,
to ski with him, too, on this mountain near the grand park
where he makes his home. We carry clothes and supplies
on a large sled over a snow field at night
holding flashlights, mysterious and romantic
for my wife and I, as well as the children.
After turning off the lights in the room,
I am writing in my notebook lit by a flashlight
installed as a new app on my telephone,
all of this is as new to me as this mountain.
The old notebook lit up in the dark room like a tent
accommodates me to the new and the strange,
as my granddaughter asks the question
that will keep me awake for some time,“
Grandpa, why do you write with your left hand?”
There are seven of us, my wife and I,
three children, plus my son and his friend.
It is Easter, and before leaving home, we worship together
in Yakima, on the other side of the mountains.
Our family, when together, takes up several pews,
and we stand out, not in piety, but in a kind of wondrous
transparency, multigenerational brokenness.
That this is so makes us oddly visible
in the Lutheran congregation, where we are also
identified with the small immigrant community,
where my wife’s path, has brought us together
with women and children. We were in the mountains
with them, too, for a decade. Kids in diapers
while I was trying to be important. One day
I woke up and we were backpacking
and setting up tents. Ten of these kids
have taken my piece of mind. I have put
them on skis, but they don’t have full access
to what a wilderness school could give.              
The Mexican pastor thinks I’m a Communist.
He was brought here by an innocent and guilty church.
His visa is about to expire, R1, Religious,
and he could be sent back to where
he no longer belongs. I am looking for him
in the church basement before Easter service,
waiting for the immigration attorney
who will walk us through an expensive dual path
that may circumvent church bureaucracy
allowing he and his wife to remain in this country,
even if he’s cut loose by the church.
We have spent the winter, he and I,
reading Luke’s Gospel, San Lucas,
in a bilingual edition. When I talk about
reading the Bible with campesinos
in El Salvador, he talks about guns in Chiapas.
We put on skis together, and I misunderstand
his verb for turning. All day
I conjugate what I hear as sorpear,
a word that doesn’t exist,
showing him how to turn. He can’t turn left,
Que uecesitas es mas confianza en su pierna comunista,
I tell him, You need to trust your Communist leg,
in order to navigate the mountain.
But let me tell you about this family of women,
a mother and four girls, charged with the light of God.
Waiting for the attorney, I find myself greeting them,
giving them besos de aire on the cheek, all five of them,
as if we’d known ourselves as family all our lives.
They arrive one morning this year during coffee
in the church basement. They stand out
in their We’ve come-from-here awkwardness,
like immigrants, recién llegados themselves,
no one even slightly like them in the community,
and so full of God one can’t quit looking at them,
carrying their loss as joy, exotic in their blessing.
This morning I think the pastor meant Sortear,
for turning on skis. La suerte decida cómo hacerlo
y empleando diversion medios fortuidos,
so some luck is involved, as with riesgo,
dificultad, evitarlo, o astucia.
Danger. Trust that left leg, peligroso,
the Communist one. Later he gives me
his verb again, laughing,
surfear, to surf, over water, surfeamos.
But these women-girls,
these mother-led girl-women,
surrounded and protected by God
in their laughter and language,
bright giggles surfacing from an ancient root
as their mother walks them on right past
her own bright story fearless of the uncertainty calling her.
Exotic in their beauty. Why,
I ask myself, would anyone leave
the Church in the basement
for any word coming from a pulpit?
Surprised by words, I am, upstairs,
arriving late to join my family,
grandson asking, What’s the difference
between peace and piece? only one spelling
available to a 7-year old. I draw a picture
of a heart and a slice of pie,
writing the words in my hymnal
and passing it to him, finding a bit
of satisfaction myself, in both words.
And my own pastor, the young man
and my friend, too, is good
with that impossible task,
a sermon on Easter morning.
From the East, Ohio, where elections
are decided, it’s as though he’s stumbled
onto William Stafford, walking in the woods,
overhearing the passing remark,
In scenery I like flat country.
In life I don’t like much to happen.
My friend says, walking into us
like Christ in Luke on the sermon on the plain,
Lower your standards.
I’m writing in my notebook now,
not paying attention to what he’s saying,
a kind of Sunday morning bell choir.
The Easter sermon. Jim Harrison imagines
Jesus eating fried potatoes with his friend
who drives an old Dodge. It’s a grim poem.
My friend begins with the kids, bringing them
before the congregation, looking into the box
where they buried the word Alleluia
40 days ago. Children carrying the word
turned into banners to strangers in the pew.
He tells the congregation, If you have high expectations,
Lower them with me—some of you have heard 50 Easter sermons.
No one expects resurrection—it’s like forgiveness.
Pastor has my attention.
What if God doesn’t care how we believe?
We aren’t called to believe the resurrection,
we’re called to live the resurrection.
Bowing my head, still in wonder, I ask myself,
What if God doesn’t care what we believe about anything?
Three years ago saying goodbye to each other
in El Salvador, this young preacher
hands me Wendell Berry’s poem.
Practice resurrection, Berry says.
The pastor's voice is now his own. The door
to our questions has been opened.
The young man’s voice is an old one.
This Easter sermon—brought to you
by a man building a home with the word.
"Why do you write with your left hand, Grandpa?"
my granddaughter asks? The flashlight
inside the telephone goes off. In the dark
I fall asleep remembering the year before she was born.
Standing in a patch of weeds outside an apartment
without flowers, our family holding hands
talking about things going on inside us
we cannot see. Tomorrow
and tomorrow after that, the little ones
will ski with their uncle. It’s spring,
the sun will shine and we’ll put on sunscreen.
We won’t talk about any of this,
and we’ll take 500 snapshots.
I'll call my son a lovely man
and a wonderful son. We'll talk
of how cool we are and all that we do on snow.
Jim Bodeen
31 March 2013—6 April 2013
Crystal Mountain/Yakima, Washington



He went down among them and stood on a level place.
            Luke 6: 17
Luego bajó con ellos y se detuvo en un llano.
            San Lucas 6: 17

What’s he saying?
I can’t hear.

What’s he doing now?
Where did he go?

I can’t see a thing.

No pierden sus ojos de este hombre.
No despeguen sus ojos.

I think he’s here with us.
He came closer and disappeared.

Into us?
I think so. Just listen.

¿A dentro nosotros?

Jim Bodeen
30 March 2013—4 April 2013

            Justo L. González

A los hambrientos los colmó de bienes,
y a los ricos los despidió con las manos vacías.
            San Lucas 1: 52

John’s on his way and Mary already singing.
We’re in a basement,
a small group of blessed ones.
While I never had Easter eyes,
I fall over and over with pilgrims.
He has filled the hungry
and sent the rich away empty.
The great reversal in Mary’s song

carries me through winter.
No one can see the future
but it’s already here.
Violence reproduces itself.

Only peace can disarm violence.
How to get there, but with the women,
trying to learn their language,
walking on the side, watching.

Jim Bodeen
31 March 2013


They threatened resurrection.
Now it's austerity.

Jim Bodeen
3 April 2013

“Were not our hearts burning inside us while he talked with us on the road…?”
        Luke 24: 32
—¿No ardía nuestro corazón mientras conversaba con nosotros en el camino…?           
        San Lucas 24: 32
This must be my life
Slow one on mountain skis
Wintering my eyes
Jim Bodeen
31 March 2013
“When you devote yourself to the divine reading…seek the meaning of divine words which is hidden from most people.”
          Origen, 3d Century

In the mountains, a friend gives us the word—
Living word—read, meditate, pray and contemplate—
not to be studied, the Word of God—
not theological analysis, but Christ as key.
Entering peace, not studying it.

From Origen to Ambrose to Augustine—
to Benedict and Lectio Divina,
a 4-step program written up by Guigo,
John XXIII speaks for it opening Vatican II.
A text that combines these traditions comes from Paul in Romans X:
God’s words in the believer’s mouth or heart.
Ora et labora, pray and work.
Benedict says idleness is the enemy of the soul.
Bernard of Clairvaux says in reading you’ll find it in meditation.
Knock in prayer open in contemplation.
Four steps as shown by John of the Cross,
an infusion of love through listening and firing the soul.

Letting go of our agenda and opened again,
mouths filled with God.
Don’t let the reading be too long.
Reading is listening. Reading is waiting. Prayer is an opening.
Not to be contained. Not to be controlled.
Shrinking from noise and agitation.
To be alone with him who loves us,
as Teresa says, in healing the family tree.

Jim Bodeen
15 March—30 March 2013