Solace is a Chocolate

I like my chocolate dark
and just a touch
before bitter. I like my
chocolate barely sweet.
There are hands
that would close my lips,
priests who would say
I should feel guilty for
taking thin Lindts
on my tongue
like wafers at communion.
What do they know
of the Christ at Cana,
who is just now leaning in
to slip me another piece
of solace.

We are writing "solace" poems at HighCallingBlogs. Want to join us?

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Sermon Notes Poetry: Philippians

Catching up on posting these. Two weeks worth of sermon notes poetry for the price of one. At the church I attend, we have outside speakers come twice a month. It gives us a more rounded perspective from the pulpit. My daughter and I were marveling that some speakers inspire better poetry (in my case) and sketches (in her case) than others.

Philippians 1:15-29


We are the true
progressives, marching
students into sanctified
lines; I can show you
charts that flower
white like paper

"Bring them"

to Jesus, the one
who rises beyond
suicide bombs,
resurrects breath
from vacuum
of atomic cries.

Philippians 4:4-13

"By Order"

Don't worry that you can't reach the top shelf,
you know what's up there, don't you?
Practice the prayer of thanksgiving,
and a piece of God will tumble down.


When you lift your minds,
do it with books, art, the Yankee game—
you could build a tower all the way
to heaven, but I suspect you'll find God
far before you reach the top floor.

"Paul's Brag"

I went searching for the Ark
but shipwrecked along the way.
Don't say you couldn't do it too;
it's a matter of Christ calling
to the Christ in you. Even cows
returned the covenantal box*
when an empty, bell-fringed tent
murmured them home.

*see 1 Samuel 6

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Only When I Dance

I watched him dance the dance of a story— a true story of a man whose dance danced him, rather than the other way 'round. It was breathtaking.

And I wondered why it has taken me this long to experience the language of dance. Such language gives shivers, sends us inside ourselves and out again.

You can find the dance that made me wonder where I've been without this language, tucked in the middle of this documentary, but only if you get the film. Unfortunately, it's not in the trailer...

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Put it in a Psalm: Sorrows and Tangerine Petals

A while back, Glynn tried the 'Put it in a Psalm' lament exercise from God in the Yard. His words stayed with me.

This morning I thought, why not? Why not give it a try too? So I sat outside, listened to the morning and the burdens of my heart, and put them in a Psalm...

Sorrows and Tangerine Petals

I tire of trying, of holding on
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good

I chaff at the myriad tasks before me
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good

I stir our sorrows, stare into the pot,
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good

I think that the world is too much with us,
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good

Sun barely touches the black-eyed Susans,
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good

Dew kisses the edges of tangerine tropicals,
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.

From rose-painted teacup, creme fragrance rises,
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.

Give thanks, give thanks,
for the touches barely, the kisses
moist, the tangerine petals, and eyes of brown,
for teacups painted and Earl-Grey filled,
for Spirit in all this glory found.

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When Did We Get 'Spiritual Practice' Stuck?

I am musing on A Simple Country Girl's beautiful teapot and crockery photo. Such a sweet gift in celebration of the little Tea Pilgrimage my girls and I are doing this year.

The photo, quite by accident, ended up with a window-pane shadow on its belly. Unmistakable shape of a cross, on the roundness of promise.

A thought pushes in, a question really, or two... when did we get so 'spiritual practice' stuck that we narrowed our lives down to the cross and not the marvelous round belly of life after it? When did we declare that the Christian life must focus mostly on our sin and failure and penance ('spiritual practice' often seems to be a dressed-up form of penance), rather than celebrate the communion the cross ushered in?

I picture our problem this way... the cross opened a door to a beautiful place (the book of Revelation pictures it as a banqueting place, communion on a grand scale). But we are still busy huddling near the door, wiping our feet on the doormat and worrying about how ill-dressed we are for the occasion. Candles are flickering at the table, china is glimmering and silver is refracting flame, and bread is split open with steam and fragrance rising. But we are stuck at the door.

Maybe the shadow-cross on A Simple Country Girl's teapot was a photographic accident. But I wake thinking it is an invitation to embrace life after the cross, to embrace freedom as simple as a joyful cup of tea (this morning I've tried out a new Creme Earl Grey) and have that be as Christian as a trip to the confessional.

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