The breath of God
exhaled by you
inhaled by me—
it is gift-life
to be shared with all.
-SPL (October, ’09)
of radio songs from lonely contemplations of college nights,
of brown grass shivering, begging for a quilt of purest white down,
of a lonely house, stripped of its siding, bones dry and standing naked-alone,
color my February Sunday afternoon ride a bleak, dull gray:
gray, salt-desiccated asphalt,
gray cement and steel barriers
hold us, perhaps against our wills, along the gray path,
gray dust of traction sand, blown in storm clouds across us,
gray bark clinging to gray twig fingers,
clinging to the lifeless, gray corpses of their children,
gray pond, freezing the gray clouds in heartless, soulless reflection
gray snow, not-quite-melting pitifully
in this gray waste-water bath of an in-between day
on the gray-shaded south side of the highway.
Gray of impending imposition,
Pompeii and palm ash,
reminding us in monotone chant
Nothing is black today, nothing is white,
nothing is pure, nothing extreme,
nothing so hated, nothing so loved,
...only soiled, wanting fresh rain or fresh snow.
Asperges me, Domine.
Wash me clean and clothe me in snow white robes,
or perhaps, might you bear me once again in green rebirth.
Friends, family, Parish, slipping away
presence and will of my loved ones, slipping away
the old and the tragically new, slipping away
life blood, slipping away
all of it spilling
into the gray puddle that runs to the gray drain
on the gray-shaded south side of the highway.
S. P. Lounsbury
February 13, 2010
thoughts on healing (for the Respect Life “Parish Artisans’ Evening”)
We who live were born wet, in pain, bleeding and crying,
of women who were wet, in pain, bleeding, and crying.
That is the beginning.
From there, we heal.
Life is the process of being healed.
Whether healing quickly, or taking years,
whether broken in spirit, or body,
whether the break is visible, or hidden
deep within the fallible human construct,
we wander from wound to wound,
in a constant state of healing.
To be alive is to be healing.
Many wounds we suffer and heal.
Some wounds though, we choose to let linger.
We bear them like badges,
never letting the flesh heal as it wants,
but reopening them frequently,
making ourselves bleed a little more,
feeling justified in or by the bleeding,
needing the sympathy, wanting martyrdom, or relishing the victimhood.
We choose to fester,
to let infection gnaw away at a digit, a limb, a mind.
But so, too, there are wounds we can choose to heal:
to let the pain pass through us, accepting them,
allowing their truths to become a part of our alloy.
In their healing, these scars, these remembrances, we transform
into ribbons of our courage, tattoos of our faith:
Christ-like in the forbearance of pain,
they become our own stigmata.
We learn to use the unique set of scars He gave us
to serve His children more personally, more fully, with greater depth,
embracing not the actual wounds of our crucifixions, but
the graces of the healing and the being healed—the grace that is LIFE.
For, to be alive is to heal. Healing ourselves,
and healing others through our own healing process.
To be certain, to be alive is also to be dying,
death is, after all the ultimate tax of our being alive:
no matter how we grumble, we all pay it!
Indeed, even at our end, we still heal,
for Life’s candle, even when flickering,
still sheds light.
And even when the bright flame is snuffed,
with smoke-thought trailing into the fragrant room,
the incense glow of the wick lingers a while yet.
Finally, the truest grace, the truest blessing is that
even in dying, we are healing;
having died, we are healed—
all sorrow, all pain, all death is burned away
and we are born anew, never to be ill again!
chosen, experienced or shared,
in the passive and active senses,
of ourselves or of others,
And thus it is worthy
of our healthy respect.
Voice of my song
for David and for the Newham Young People’s Choir; Fall, 2008
I. Voice of my song,
come find me
come, take me
to places of wonder,
of love’s laughter long.
Voice of my song,
come, shake me,
come make me
hear beauty in others’ songs Find in me tunes that are worthy of singing:
joined to mine, strong. Rippling of melodies, harmonies bringing.
Point me to those who will hear my song ringing
Who’ll join with me, choruses, free in our song.
II. Song of my heart,
come know me,
come show me
the laughter and joy
of the music of peace!
Song of my heart,
you seek me.
O, find in me
melodies old and new- Bear me away on the free flight of singing:
open, release! Meadows of melodies, all colors winging.
Revel within me the song we are ringing--
Rainbowed humanity, joined in one song!
III. Song of my people,
and teach us to treasure
the voice of each one.
Voice of all people
to value the gift, Course through us now: music’s power we’re singing!
to respect each one’s song. Gone now the dirges to which we’ve been clinging.
Join us in grand celebration, we’re ringing
in Joy of Humanity, joined now in song!
Scott P. Lounsbury
September 30, 2008
The warm end of the year has melted the snow
and given November’s leaf-fruit
one last fling around the town;
a brown flurry
that will soon rebury itself in winter white,
awaiting the final resting come spring green.
Copyright © 2010 Scott Lounsbury