Open Veins

"Bleed on,
Great rivers of life.

Flow forth.

Stir the silt
And fan out
Into the Delta
Of Becoming.

Though my veins empty,
i will never leave you.
No: i will depart
Only from

i will leave sorrow behind."

When you mourn
A great love,
Say this,
And they will
Say it along with you.

Say this, too:

"i have entered boundlessness.
i have found light at my center.
As i fly free of my
i enter the home
That you and i
Shall know
Beyond Time.

Here, we begin together
An endless beginning."

As you finish:
Breathe in.

And as you do,
Know that you have
Absorbed a drop of timelessness
From life's
Ceaseless river.

--Mr. Gobley


Pride and Rain

The rainy season
Bids us recall
How small we are.

The tiny part we play --
We silent soldiers,
Tittering upstage
With our whittled spears --
Can help proceedings
Only if we remember
Our place.

If we think to
Improve the play
By dancing with our spears,
And trip the King
Upon His entrance,

There will be Hell to pay.

In the Hebrew Bible
We are told
That, as we follow
So rain will fall.

What can this possibly mean?

Only this:

Our self-aggrandizement
Will parch the Earth --
Our wickedness will flood it.

All the world is out of balance
When we are out of balance.

So hold back your pride:
Remember who you are,
And are not.

As you do this,
So will
And Grace
Fall upon you --

Not all at once,
Not with Hallmark timing,
Nor apocalyptic force, but
In small,
Silver drops.

--Mr. Gobley


Thanks. Giving.

Together, the two words conspire
To rob each other of meaning.

We must look more closely:

Individually, they reveal
Themselves to be
No less than
The footprints of God.

In whose name
Our strangely appareled
Left their homes,
Sought new soil,
Formed their feast.

It was toward the
Their thanks
Were directed.

It was
God's own giving
For which they
Gave in return.

And joining them
At the table
Were those whose
Understanding of God,
While vastly different,
Could have been,
With their own,
As grateful,
As giving as their own.
Theirs was a feast of thanks,
A celebration of giving.

Two words.
Every day:

Thanks. Giving.

Gratitude. Generosity.

But of course:
Thanks and Giving,
Scrolled around
Each other,
A Horn of Plenty.

The Source of All
Brings forth Giving
From gratitude --
From Gratitude,
And it begins again.

This virtuous cycle
Is the very
Engine of Life,
The cyclic giving
Of the heart,
The cleansing work
Of the lungs,
The way life begins,
The way we all
Come to be,

The idea in whose service
All that is
Moves beyond
To become,
All That Is:

Be grateful.
And in gratitude,
Give again.

--Mr. Gobley


Rescue from the Unspeakable

What to do in the face
Of the unspeakable?

How to go forward
When a child
Is violated
A girl
Is murdered
An old man,
Stricken with cancer,
Is robbed at gunpoint?

How frivolous
Free verse can seem
On a brittle planet
Riven with hatred --

How precious our prayers
When, somewhere
In an ocean of
Scrub and sand,

A family of seven
Is hunted for sport.

And yet:
Our feet emit photons.
The crowns of our heads
Spout the light of our souls.

Which is to say,
We have power
We cannot begin to imagine,
Even as, each day,
We silently invoke it.

And with each act --
Of prayer,
Perisistence --

We move
A great reunion.

The bitter earth softens.

A killer dreams
Of his mother's embrace,
And is moved
To give a keepsake
To a widow;

And somewhere else,
A despot is enlightened
By the taste
Of a milkshake.


In the great net of being
One soul's small quiver
Can free a being
On the other end.

Never forget it.

--Mr. Gobley


Signing Up

What happens when you
"sign up" for something?

i'll tell you:

you make a determination,
an act of will,
and you "signify" that act:

that is, you "sign",
affixing your name
as a symbol of your act of will,
and that sign extends
to realms that reinforce your
(if beneficence it is).


and what is up?

i'll tell you:

we are moving trees,
rooted in the earth
but reaching always
toward the
higher aspects of
our little sphere,

extended toward new heights,
even while touching,
drawing nourishment from,
the dust of our origins.

so go on.
sign up.
affix your name,
the crest of your will,
to healing endeavors.

just be sure,
when you sign,
that it is
that you are signing.

--Mr. Gobley


Do One Thing Right

Each day, i set this modest goal.

i am,
we are,
so deeply flawed,
that, though modest,

my aim is not an unrealistic one.

i ask simply,
meditate briefly,
on this:

let me do
one thing right."

to do one thing right --
anticipate a need,
salve a wound,
execute a task,
counsel a child,
make someone
feel loved --

is so supremely difficult
that aiming to meet this goal
but once a day
is aiming high.

try it.

the only rule:

if you happen to do something
completely right
early in the day,
you are not off the hook
for the rest of the day.

oh, and one other rule:
if it happens twice in one day,
it is not permissible
to take the next day off.

--Mr. Gobley


When You Think About It

When you think about it,
It snaps into focus:

You are unique as a fingerprint,
Brilliant as Bach.

Your music is
Just yours,
Made to shine
In a particular way.

To argue with you
About God --
God is, or God isn't,
God loves you,
Or doesn't --

Is like arguing about your fingerprints,
Taking Bach to task
About one
Derivative fugue.

Your relationship to all that is
Is just yours,
Just right,
Just as it is.

It cannot be other.

Why should anyone fight it?

Currency can be converted;
Not so with souls.

All that needs happen is this:

Examine each day
The meeting point
Between you
And Everything Else.

In the light that you cast,
Deepen your understanding of it.

All the rest is dogma.

--Mr. Gobley


What People Are Saying

Do you ever watch and listen to someone,
And get struck with the
Clumsy, primitive miracle
Of human speech?

What are people really saying when they talk?

What do these uvular clicks,
These moist plosives
Framed in a vocal-cord shimmy,
And the snakelike workings of the tongue
(Which we take to convey the essence of our meaning
But are only symbols) --
What do they really mean?

We can never say
What we most profoundly want to say.
Our deepest meanings
Never surface.

If we are made
b'tzelem Elohim --
In the Image of God --
Then our words
Are but images of
True meaning.

We live in a mirror.

It is a dimension
From which
Only the
Most Determined

Are you determined
To emerge
Into the realm
Of pure meaning?

--Mr. Gobley