Illustrated Lecture

After everything was still
I sometimes crept
Back down the stairs
On some child-important errand,
Walking step edges
To avoid the creaks.
A quick excitement filled me
As I pressed into the shadows
And paused to peek beyond
The light-framed door
Into my mother’s room.
Often she was kneeling
At her bedside, resting on elbows
With hands clasped and lips moving
In urgent murmurings.
Her head nodded the imperatives
As she discussed
A current need or blessing
With God, who was
Her friend.
Now I leave my door ajar
Just in case
Someone needs to watch
A mother pray.

[illustration] Painting by Wilson Ong


To know God,
the man Moriancumer
pled God give light to man
by touching stone.
Moses sought God
beside a burning bush,
climbing ancient Horeb
to find the key to holiness.
To become holy,
the ancients plied faith with
sacrifice, trusting the Redeemer
to save them from their sins.
The Mediator of the covenant
lit the night for Enos and Jacob,
touched stone for the man
who fled from Babylon,
And spoke from glowing branches
to the man who fled from Egypt;
showing that darkness seeks its own
and seekers of light can know the Holy One.
To remember him
we lift the bread, the cup, our hearts,
praying, as the ancients did,
that we might know him.

“I Wish I Knew”

I wish I knew
the things you do, and
could comprehend where
my beginnings
Would you bring me
into the circle
of your understanding?
But please …
take me not faster
farther than
the light of my own lamp
will reach—I’m afraid of the dark.


If he should ask me
To climb the flagpole
And sweep the clouds away,
I’d probably try.