‘Dreams of Mercy’ and Four Other Poems

Dreams of Mercy

I dreamed of walking through
Emerald forest…hanging all
The worries and weights of my body,
My soul
Upon thick, uneven
I felt the wind blow the
Dust out from within this
Wounded temple. I heard the whimpering
Cries of (old)
Grief come to have a say.
This grief felt so laden, so familiar,
All the years of want and the scars of
Letting go, all came out of this
Unsayable said.
The trees dared me
To let this
Grief hollow out my bones with mercy,
To paint the walls of my heart, the colors of
White & black. I have failed this challenge
Before, these
Pregnant opportunities to be held
By an urgent compassion.
Too often I have walked away, full of myself
And empty of the Truth. But today,
Today I dreamed of walking through
Emerald forest
My fingers tracing poems in the
Worn flesh of their bark…




A monk once said to me:
your faith should be like tea served Ch’an style
– rough, warm, and loosely wrapped;
and your religion the same:
warm to the touch,
& hewn on the edges of life.




the mystics great gift is
feeding hungry ghost
along the Way.




An old Abbot leaned against his cane,
rambling on about being invited to sit at the table of the new emperor.
“imagine me,” the wrinkled old sage giggled,
“being there with the divine emperor
& all those rich people.”

But Abbot, I said,
“you are the rich people.”




I awoke from a dream…
feeling like a habit held together by
flesh & grace…
so filled with God even
the Emptiness brimmed over.


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