The Drift

The last dusk of the year
Falls in a pointillist's parade.

Each snowflake is a shard of glass
From a shattered universe,
A spark stricken
From the flint of a life.

See that one?
That snowflake has a dust-mote
At its center.

And at the center of that dust-mote
Is a carbon atom

That Shakespeare once exhaled.

All around us, they are falling,
The great and the wicked,

Bound up in the dance of eternity,
Combining with each other
And with us

To make new
The age-old promise
Of life after life,

Of resurrection after death.

One snowflake is a fluke.
One thousand snowflakes are a pattern.
One million snowflakes are a drift.

One snowstorm is a fraction of a moment.

Live this moment with me,
And we shall be blessed.

Happy New Year to you, from--

--Mr. Gobley


When i am cold

When i am cold
i remember the eons
of my pre-existence:

a germ of light
planted at the edge
of the vast womb of

i waited without purpose
and watched without sight.

i can dimly recall
the silence,
the stillness,

the millennia of
not knowing,

And even now
i can summon up
the moment --

the horrifying eternity --
when movement
toward Being began.

When i am cold,
i recall my first passage into warmth:
the horror, the exhilaration
as comprehension dawned,

the mighty struggle
to Become,
even as i yearned
not to Be,

the messiness,
the urgency,
the surging heat.

When i am cold,
i begin to ache for those dark silences --
against my will, to be sure,
and still --

some speck of ash at the center of me
senses the cold,
wants the weightlessness,
embraces the emptiness,
seeks the silence

and welcomes the prospect
of rest
of emptiness
of ceasing the struggle
abandoning the need

to be warmed.

--Mr. Gobley


On Sight Restored

Hosanna in the highest:

The eye is a catacomb of halos.

Within these shining rings lie the secret of all perception:
Brief, shaded, shaped by experience,
Warped by time and by grief:

Restored by heat and light.

The eye is that most miraculous of all organs:
Revealing, receiving,
Fragile, resilient,

Milton's window on the soul
Is the Throne of Pure Majesty.

When the world jumps toward you
With renewed clarity,
You are born again

Into aching color and pointillist perfection.

Glory to All That Is:
Light and life have come home to her,

And her insight is now restored
To its outward twin.

--Mr. Gobley


Meditating at Dawn

No shadows

Panes of light
Slide by as cars go round the bend

Have i sat long enough yet?

i hear the toll road
and the filter on the fish tank
and the toilet with the leaky flapper

All sighs and exhalations of coming to be
And passing away
Are borne through me
On the panes of light

Thought sinks

Soul rises

The leaves that shudder
And drift from the trees
Are like the ornaments of selfhood
That fall from my carapace --

And then i hear the thud of heels
On a bedroom floor above me,
And i feel my knees and my back,

And i know,
With no regret,
That the day has begun.

--Mr. Gobley


My Mind is Times Square

Somewhere above 43rd and Broadway
A peregrine falcon nests
On the rim of a roof-top water tank.

The pulmonary power of the Broadway bus
And its subconscious thought,
The Number 3 IRT,
Force movement and
Deliver defibrillation.

None are lost here; none are even lonely.
My mind is like this --
Full of electronics
And loud pictures,

Bright beauties
Larger than life
Colors too vivid for
Real eyes

Schools of people
Swimming uptown
To their jobs.

When i sweep the streets
At first light

i am inviting filth
Praising busy-ness
And sanctifying this
Commute through
Time's full arteries.

--Mr. Gobley


Prayer for a Friend, Dead in a Jail Cell

You were too good.

You were too lonely,
Too lost, too loved
From a distance.

You knew heartache the way
A child knows her invisible friends
(Or her other secrets)
And you fought

Until it gently took you
In its arms
And danced with you --

Danced off the edge of the stage, --
A flash of satin,

i wish to my great, silent God
That you will be held,
Where you have gone;

Because if you are not,
Then we have no recompense
For your absence,
No balm

For the wound
Opened by your final,
Muffled cry

For company.

--Mr. Gobley


The Day of the Truth of the Highest Meaning

i am about to dive down
and find what has lain silent.
In the penumbra of time
And a veil of sand
My soul lays dormant,
Not breathing,

The descent to retrieve
Is fraught:

i must move slowly
So as not to threaten
My equilibrium
Or disturb the beasts
Of the deep.

i find where my soul lies
In angry repose
And i begin to lift.

There is little weight
But great resistance:
So small an essence,
Such gravity.

i rejoice in the struggle
That risks my life,
And in the recapture
Of the soul that is
Mine and
Not mine.

Such is the life
Of a penitent
On the day
Of the truth
Of the highest meaning.

-- Mr. Gobley


Alone in the Office

Today there is a company event,
Some corporate frolick on a boat
Or a beach;
i did not attend.

i sit in my office, alone, comforted by
The hum of the hard drive

And the fall of locust leaves
On this, our first autumnal day.

There is great comfort in finding solitude
Where it usually is not to be found.

Such unexpected, unruffled quiet
Reminds the part of you that is always alone
That it is, in fact, always kept company
By some idea
Or hope
Or grocery list
Or falling leaf;

Some reflection of a passing angel on your coffee cup
As she goes off to celebrate her freedom.

--Mr. Gobley



The blessing of this day
Is its middle-ness.

Along this bridge between Sabbaths,
Sun and Moon were created,
Ballasts of Time
Hung in black bunting.

Hidden in today's name,
The god of the Wild Hunt
Gallops above the ground,
Seeking between
Sky and Earth
The bounty that mortals
Cannot fathom,
Much less attain.

i set foot on this bridge,
The bridge of the
Middle Way,

And am embarked
Upon my own
Wild Hunt
For the promise
Of each week's path --
The heart of meaning,
Toward which I fly,

Unbound by time
Unfazed by torment,
Unafraid of the moment

When silence is revealed
At the center
Of the wandering

--Mr. Gobley


The borrowed soul

i borrowed a soul
was given it, really
for a brief moment

it came wrapped in a
blanket of flesh
and box of bone

it was a mighty force
in a tiny package,
furious at its needs
and regal in its demands

it soon was clothed in
a personality
and gained
the rudiments of speech

it grew to know me
and surpass me
in all things

and now
my child
has a borrowed soul
of its own

another gift
like a telescope
that magnifies miracles more
the larger it gets

and i
full of the wonder
and the remorse
of the blessed

open my arms to
hold it
for this one

--Mr. Gobley


A Visit from Beethoven

i sat in the concert hall --
All graceful arches and spandrels,
Filigree and high polish --

And was drenched
By the wake of sound
Plowed up by
The prow of
The mighty soprano.

Outside, the rain whispered
Its praises,
Crying for joy
On the concert hall's roof.

Sheltered from one downpour,
i was baptized in another --

Or, maybe, i thought,
I had received a visitation:
Each time the great are summoned,
They appear, atomized, annotated,
Scaled and sung:

Vocal cords vibrated, raindrops condensed,
Tiny bones of the eardrum --
The soul's own tuning fork --

Rattled by rays of being
More powerful, more enduring
Than Time itself.

That evening, we were visited
By Beethoven,
i'm sure of it --
As his notes were sung
And his rain fell
And our bones, great and small,
Trembled and hummed
In the presence of
His fevered majesty.

In this way, he lives on,
And i carry him forward,

--Mr. Gobley


The tree that saved your life

the tree that saved your life
was not the oak that sheltered you
from withering heat

was not the pine
whose dry cones
and brittle bark
gave you kindling
for a fire
on that black,
aching night

the tree that saved your life
was not even the Douglas Fir
that seemed to call to you
one summer evening,
commanding you to
see wonder in all things

no, the tree that saved your life
dug its roots into rock
and by those roots
held itself upright above a gorge
calm and ageless
still and certain

impossible you said
how life makes life go on
until all going is gone

impossible how in any crag
life will set up shop
hold on for dear life
while i -- sodden with my own
private miseries --
ponder letting go

so you did as commanded:
you wondered -- at the sheer force
the desire to be
the knuckled roots determined, steady
content within their gnarled will
their unshakable embrace
holding to their eternal task

you looked awhile
then you knelt by the tree
and thanked it and
it spoke to you (in its way)

and at that moment you dug in --
your roots went down
into the rock of your life
further and more firmly each day

your branches spread
your head went more certainly
toward the Sun

and you pressed forward
to contain
to express
to share and shelter
to be
as much as that tree

and that's how
in that moment
by that tree
your life was saved.

--Mr. Gobley


Edge of Time

prepare with me
to fall into the abyss
of eternity.

Don't worry:
it only lasts a day.

Come with me
and feel time fall away
as we fall away from time.

We'll abandon all --
All cares, all commitments,
All concepts --

We'll watch the sun push shadows
Slowly through the back yard,

See backyard animals
On their unending rounds;

And soon, this sliver of endlessness
Will end.

Within that needle's eye of time,
We'll have lived a life.

Come see this sliver of forever
In our midst.

Don't worry:
It only lasts a day.

--Mr. Gobley


Waiting for You

Waiting for you to manifest inside me
Is like waiting for death to overtake me.

Waiting for you to hold me
Is like waiting for a tornado.

Waiting for you to have faith in me
Is like waiting to have faith in myself.

We go on like this.
Neither of us sure, both of us suspecting

That we contain each other,
Challenge each other,

Torment each other:

And are not
Each other.

i will never let go
Of wondering

Whether, even now,
i am being held by


--Mr. Gobley


I Hate You, i Love You

You have done this to me.

And for this,
I hate you --

You have made me to lie down in filth;
You have kicked dust in my teeth,
You have shattered my bones
And scattered my people.

What have I done--
What could anyone do --
To deserve such

Only remember:
My fierce devotion
Is not swayed by your mocking
My mortality --

Your loathing is merely
Mirrored back to you
In the hallowed blue light
Of your shallow, temporal love.

Your love is hate to me.

And so,
I hate you back.

And yet,
Seeing the burnt ember of embrace
In the ashes of our moment,
I am warmed, and
Made whole,
And scooped up from the scarred earth;

Gathered up
And held,
And then
I am i
And i remember the promises you made
And i am left alone with you,
And the sobs
That break my ribs
Are because,
After all this hate,
You still love me,

(the more fool) i

--Mr. Gobley



In the wearing of rock by water,
We see both precision and randomness;

In art, we see both painstaking exactitude
And impassioned improvisation.

Within structures, we play;
Within rules, we challenge order.

All this is done
Because it is how
All was made,

How we were conceived,
How love is kindled,

How the Earth revolves,
How the Sun rises:

Never the same Sun,
And yet always the Sun we know.

And so the message to you is:
Remake each day

As a revived and elevated image
Of the First Day;

Make tomorrow a heightened expression
Of what you had hoped for this afternoon.

And so, rung by rung
Along Jacob's ladder

You will rise with the Angels
Toward the most perfect

Of imperfections:
A life of meaning.

--Mr. Gobley



Who knew you would be blessed in this way?

Years were wound up like spools of silk;
You raised children
Watched friends suffer
And a brother die;
The world was an angry fool,
And you suffered it
With a joke, a cigarette,
A poem.

Days passed in their thousands
And on you went,
Given time to ponder the miracle
Of your eventual, silent passing --

But not today. Today there is more to know,
And still the thirst for knowing it.

You, who have known a length of days,
Wake now with wonder
That a new day can reveal
Its unique sameness

And that life's unkindnesses
All hold these kindnesses within:

For the parade of heartbeats
Marching happily

--Mr. Gobley


In Praise of Rejection

i thank you, says my small i, for confirming my worst and most deeply cherished fears about this thing i call my "self".

i appreciate your validation of my lack of worth. After all, there is no "I" to be valued.

It is precisely here that i fix my concentration: on the story i tell myself about why i have been rejected.

The insanity of it, the injustice, the demeaning and depressing heaviness of it, melt under scrutiny.

Leaving only the i, which also vanishes.

Had i sought validation from you and found it, my delusions of grandeur would have been fertilized, only to grow like beanstalks out of the fertile ground of my desires.

But as it is, you have let me know in no uncertain terms that my worth, whatever it may be, is not mine, and is not yours.

This is a gift of inestimable value.

i will take this gift with me to my grave.

Not as a burden, but as a seed of wisdom, a bolt of en-lightning, which in an instant can revive my gratitude for life, and relieve me from believing, as we all sometimes do, that i must be more than i am.

In the meantime, it will help me sleep better.

--Mr. Gobley


Revelation from a Stopped Watch

What was urgent
Has become trivial;

What was compacted
Into cubes of time

Has elongated into
Ellipses . . .

The Sun moves in imperceptible increments,
And, without my watch,

So does my day:

One task sliding into, elliding with
The next,

Moving without
Seeming to move,

Until at last, at the very end,
The sun and i

Can be seen sinking
Beneath our horizons,

Possessed of the silent fervor
Of the psalmist . . .

--Mr. Gobley


The Eve of Letting Go

This is the Eve of Letting Go.
This is that evening
When the Sun carves
A line in the sky,
Like the line that appears on a
Pregnant woman's belly,
Heralding a momentous event,
A life-changing life.

This is the evening of rest and restoration,
Of magnanimity and meaning,
Of holiness and wholeness.

This is the time when all is forgiven,
When love is made
And hurts are healed:
This is a shard of paradise
Dropped in our cupped and blistered palms.

This is the Eve of Letting Go:
All is released, all is restored,
And for this nano-now,
All is healed and revealed.

--Mr. Gobley


The Voice Within, The Voice Beyond

This morning, as the bird sang through me,
i regretted my place inside a cube of drywall,
but rejoiced at my place in this world,
where birds move music through us

And songs resonate in the cavities
Of our cares

i realized that when i am tired of singing
it is because i am not letting myself be sung

and when i am feeling wronged
it is because i resist the waters of compassion
which in time will set me aright.

Life in this world lives through us.
Love in this world is a current;
We, conductors.

Your sacred task
in this inch of Universe is

To Be
To Permit:

To let life live through you,
The Divine sing from beyond you
And reside within you.

To let yourself be an instrument,
You must, as thanks for being made,
Give yourself
Into the hands
Of the Maker of Music.

Your sacred tune will sing through you
And you will know the blessing
Known by all birds:

That the singer must be sung
In order for there
To be song.

--Mr. Gobley


All Is Said and Done

We travel on a thin wire
Suspended between two columns
Concealed from us:

The Column of Beginning,
From which we begin our journey;
And the Column of Ending,
From which we transfer to the next.

All is suspension and movement.

As we travel this transom,
We are buffeted by the winds
Of All That Is Said and Done:

The rush of Napoleon's charge
And the rustle and snap
Of laundry hung out
On a balcony in

The ice-fisherman's heater
As he sits on the frozen crust
Of the Boundary Waters;
And the lunch
Of the yak herdsman
On the steppes,
All dissolve slowly
Into waves of will

That now and always
Change what comes after.

All our aspiration
And ambition
Are expressed
In Doing
And Saying,

And it all reverberates,
Between the Columns,

So speak and act
With the care and deliberation
Of a nurse on the night watch:

Lives --
Most especially yours,
Now and hereafter --
Will be saved.

--Mr. Gobley


The Importance of Snow

We are snow --

We do not last forever,
No two are alike,
Yes, yes, i know all that --

But also:

It is made to fall,
And it falls.

It may rise up,
But only for an instant,
And only as a reminder,
A delicious delay
In its sealed fate;

It does not map its destiny,
Ponder its options,
Bemoan its passage
Or seek counseling for its fall.

It has a collective identity
And a single

But it is a dance
Of infinite steps,
A monotony
Of dizzying variety.

It is fun for those
Who are not busy;

It is water,

It just is.

And then it is not.

--Mr. Gobley


The New Office

Now, instead of woods and a pond,
There is a pebbled parapet
Outside my window,
And beyond it, a parking lot,
Vast and forbidding
As the Sahara,

Herring-boned with parking spaces,
Dotted with duck poop.

In other words,
The view is no longer sacred:
It is merely perfect.

From here -- the second floor --
i can see people
Put on their game faces,
Put up their cell phones.

From here, i see
Life being lived
At that thin threshold
Between dreams and duties,

A forgotten sliver of time
Wedged between facades;

It is all so terribly mundane,
So routine --

So brimming with the required:

A Mobius Strip,
An unending miracle
Such as few
Are privileged to behold.

--Mr. Gobley


Shut Up, Open Up

The Sun attains its lofty arc,
Its rays regain their focus;
The soil, a rich and roasted dark,
Uncloaks its hoard of crocus.

As life gets free of Winter and
Runs riot all about us,
We slowly come to understand
How all goes on without us.

A spinning orb, a burning star,
Whose finely tuned relations
Entrap us in a Mason jar
Of constant undulations,

And bids us boldly to believe
A message oft unheeded:
To blossom, open and receive
The nourishment that's needed.

Open, then: lay bare your heart;
Let all receive its giving.
Extend yourself, and stand apart
From the dead and almost-living.

And yet, remember how life moves,
How Nature's law's applied:
When something's closed, that surely proves
It also opens wide.

Then close, and let your silence yield
A refuge for your brother:
For silence is the only field
In which to meet The Other.

Open here, and there contract
Your soul's own tidal flow;
Just as opposites attract,
So your energy must go.

The poem's done, and all i've said
Does no more than suffice;
So now that I've played out my thread,
i'll take my own advice.

--Mr. Gobley


Benediction for a Grumpy Waitress

The coffee sloshes over the rim,
A black tongue of recrimination
Lashing you for your smile.

Your attempts at congeniality are rebuffed.

You -- with your indecisiveness,
Your picayune requests,
Your spilt Splenda --
Is there anything you don't complicate
Or desecrate?

Must you take so long?
Ask so many questions?
Try to be so damned cheerful?

When her back is turned,
Wave your fork in a circle,
Toward the level of her heart,
And silently say:

"With food you nourish me,
With pain you revive me.
As you serve, so may you be sustained.
As you nourish, so may you be renewed."

You will see her spine straighten
And her demeanor change.

Just to be sure,
Leave a tip large enough
To confound.

And as you leave,
Know that you will have
Saved one small corner
Of the Universe,

Sending its bright arrow of blessing
Into the heart
Of an otherwise unforgiving

--Mr. Gobley


On the Loneliness We All Feel

The loneliness we all feel,
The terrible low moan behind the scrim of our weekday mind,
Is the vastness of Space pressing in on us.

It is the indifferent howling of solar winds
And the crunch of crustaceans
In the black hold of the deepest seabed.

On the bitter mountaintops
Of distant stars,
Some part of us is keening.

And here, as we daily struggle,
We hear that keening and feel
The fear just behind our thoughts
And we think,

"i am so lonely.
If i could just find . . ."

Know that what you are looking for
Is another part of your self,
Carved off,
Risen up,
Left as a husk;

A shattered vessel
That held the beginnings of you
Ageless eons ago.

As you make your way back,
You will see your earthly loneliness
As a little thing --
A mood, a memento,

A little shard under your nail,

Reminding you that the Greater Self
Also is feeling your absence.

Tugging at you. Calling you back.

Do not be afraid. In time, you will go,
And the call will have been answered.
This troubled nap,
This brief war
We call life
Will seem to you

A statement of boundless love
From the Self
To the smallest part
And all
Of you.

Know this now,
And let the loneliness
Leach from your bones
And rise to the sky,
Where all of us
In every moment,
Even the last,
To meet
And know
And rejoice.

--Mr. Gobley


A Blessing for Daylight Savings

Maker of Time,
Architect of All:

One hour more,
One hour less:

We ebb and flow through the seasons,
Sliding the disk of our days
Beneath the brief lens of life,
Peering close
To see the molecules
Of our desire.

Our game is to imagine
That we have in our hands
The vessels of life
And the measures of meaning,

To quietly share the joy
(And the fear)
Of moving nanosections of Time
Into different orbits
Above the few moments
You have bestowed.

For this, let there be a blessing:
Let that blessing be
One more hour for us all,
One more shaft of daylight
To shore up our souls,

One more canticle of praise
Sung beneath the slowing Sun
Of Your faithful love.

Warm us by this, only for another hour,
And we will be warmed by your
Mighty fire,
World without end,


--Mr. Gobley


i can't

Don't try to cheer me up, OK?, she said?

Don't give me lots of positive affirmations about how I can do this because I can't. I feel I can't and I know I can't, and nothing you say can change my mind.

I know my strengths and weaknesses, she said. I know my limitations. Why should I bash my head against a wall? There are lots of easier ways to get a headache.

i said to her:

You can't imagine the thousand little victories that come from trying. You can't foresee what might come of the effort. Something inside you is burning to do this; otherwise, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

i disagree, i said, with whoever said failure is not an option. Failure is always an option; it's part of life's curriculum. We imagine it to be far worse than it is. Take it from me; i know.

I know what'll happen, she said. I'll try and fail, and it'll suck. And then you'll try to make some great lesson or some meaningful experience out of it, and it'll just suck.

Will it suck forever?, i said.

No, she said. It'll just suck.

And when it's done sucking . . . ?

She sighed and looked out the window. Then she looked back at me.

Then I'll just get on with it, she said.

Welcome to the human race, i said. Where we all hurt, and just get on with it.

OK, I'll try, she said. But I'll be really pissed at you if I screw up.

Screwing up is different than failing, i said. You won't screw up. As for failure: who can say? i never mind failing, as long as there's still at least one meal to look forward to that day.

We put on our coats and went to our prospective wars.

--Mr. Gobley


To The Cardinal That Sang As i Shoveled Snow

Dearest Winged Choir of One:

Your song has saved me --
Plucked me from a sea of gray and white,
Plunged me into the color
Of the coming of Spring.

i saw you not,
But your song saw me,
And heralded a blossoming
In my bones --
Promised that,
As you have returned,
So will my blood run again

Toward hope and healing,
Through arteries of ardor,
Flowing into the warmth
That is so mercifully

Let us fly:
You toward the barns
And the bridges
Of our vast, frozen interior;
Me, to one more sanctified season

Of the impossible:
Green grass,
Blue hills,
Life's passion:

The blessing of breath.

--Mr. Gobley


A Fisherman's Prayer

Dear Maker of All Things Mortal:

Even as i seek sustenance
From an element
Of which i am made
But in which
i cannot dwell,

So You seek sustenance
From us, Your molecules,
Your emissaries to
Imperfect Life,

Your missives to
The Moment.

Please guide me in the ways
Of Your goodness,
So that, in being fed,
i might also feed You.

Help me to be grateful
For all that is given;
Let me spare what i do not need.

Let me extend the
Great Chain of Being,
Borrowing only a little,
Only briefly,
From Your fluid forge.

Let me live on the water
And return again to solid ground,
Where i will gratefully
Pledge to You
All that is Yours;

All molecules of being
That You have momentarily
Made mine
Will swim upstream again
To the headwaters of Your
There to be made new.

--Mr. Gobley


Meditation on a Yellow Light

O brief beacon, goddess of transition:

Smile upon me as i speed
On my way, i know not where.

Remember to bless and to forgive,
As i promise to thank you
With a wink in my rearview mirror.

i further promise,
With my whole, hurried heart,
That next time, i will slow,

It is you, not those above or below,
In whom all time reposes,
By whom all grace is given,
Through whom all who mindlessly rush
Either make their appointments
Or meet their Maker.

To you i send solemn thanks,
Toward you my prayer does rush
With rapid pulse measured on dials;
A thin slice of the day is all that is granted you,
And from it, you fashion worlds.

i thank you for the small moment
That opens onto the rest of my brief life,
And leave a trail of blessings behind me,
Scattered and rustling beneath

--Mr. Gobley


On the Joy of Being Cold

This must have been what it felt like
To fall from the stars:

i was a one-celled organism
with an ice-cream headache

a goosebump hurtling through space
soothed and smoothed
only by friction
with the atmosphere.

And now
billions of years later
a megalopolis of molecules
i walk into the heartless wind
and i laugh.

And my laughter-fog
freezes into a cloud
and the wind
punches me in the nose

an icicle begins to form on my tonsils
and my eyeballs feel like
hard-boiled eggs.

Some ancient inner atom
knows this cold as home
recognizes this astral blast

as its origin
its resting place
the reminder
of the long journey
it has traveled
and the promise of
a loving
if tomb-like
embrace --

The rest of me, however,
Is just cold.

--Mr. Gobley


Ode to Barbaro

Whoever said only man had free will,
Fierce spirit --
A soul --

Never met a quadruped,
Nor knew the awesome privilege
Of seeing you run
And later walk

With a gait more proud
For being awkward,
More alive
For having been so close
To death.

If only we loved life
As completely as did you,
Colt courageous,
We would in gratitude
Weep for our every moment
As with wounded souls
We cry
Over your last.

We hear most clearly
The voices of those who do not speak:
They present to us no options
But to understand,
No intentions but the clearest,
No desires but the purest,
Direct from God,
Unsullied by fear and treachery.

We understand ourselves better
Because you wanted so much to live,
Worked so hard to win,
Then to simply be:
We see our narrow lives
In the vast expanse
Of your desire to exist,
And we regret our timid desires
And our arthritic crabbing
After another afternoon nap.

There is more room for us now,
But a soul has gone out from us,
And we feel unworthy of,
Unwelcome in the space.

Gallop on: all is healed.
To the paddock: all is done.

Lead us by your memory
Toward faithful, unflinching love,
By your example
Toward real living.

--Mr. Gobley


Meditation on Anger

i come to you, heart on fire, and beg you to heal me.

My anger is nothing more than pain and fear, and nothing less than love betrayed.

Do i hold this anger in my heart? It feels, rather, that the anger is holding me.

Please help me to release its grip, and to place patience in its stead -- the patience of a smooth rock in a frozen stream. Then i will know that, as it has for millions of years, the stream will release me and flow over me again.

You who made us in love sent us forth in anger. We are the inheritors of your ire. Teach me to forgive as you have forgiven. Teach me to be present as you ever have been. And give me the patience of that lonely rock that knows the solitude of this season, and that knows its prison will surely melt away.

--Mr. Gobley


Lazy Susan

The light reflects off the varnish;
The bird at the center
Does somersaults.

The hieroglyphs on the edge
Tumble and flash.

The Lazy Susan winks
But does not illuminate,
Spins but goes nowhere;
A point at its edge
Will travel much further
Than a point near its center,

And yet these two points will make
The same number of revolutions
In the short and silent lifetime
Of their little, wooden
Solar System.

And i, i sit in a cone of silver light
Astonished that this turntable
Would show me the
Way to peaceful resolution
Of my fevered dreams:

Move, but stay centered;
Spin and sparkle
But do not fly apart:

In this way
You will be
What you were made to be:

A cornucopian presence
At the center of life's table,
A stationary dervish,
A votive vehicle,

And returning
On one well-finished

--Mr. Gobley


A Prayer for Jury Duty

O Just and Righteous Maker:

Today, as we begin the process
Of deciding the future course
Of a troubled life,
Be with us:

Be with us in the tedious hours
Of testimony,
The breaks for bad food;
Let us sense your presence
Beyond the grimy courtroom windows
And hovering above:

As there is judge and jury,
Prosecutor and defense,
So is there
Your patient Providence,
Which encompasses all of these,
And more.

Whatever the actions of the accused,
Whatever our decision,
Let not shattered lives
Be lived for naught.

And let those of us
Who have been brought together
To determine one person's fate

Be to each other
As counselors,
As companions

On a journey
Toward the justice
You have always sought
To make.

--Mr. Gobley