Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Friday, November 24, 2017

only dance

" Only dance,
and your illusions will blow .... in the wind ....
Dance, and make joyous the love .... around you ....
Dance, and your veils which hide the light .... Shall swirl
in a heap .... at your feet. "

the day is gray
and white
the clouds glower
but the snow falls bringing unique beauty

it is an in-between day
not quite sad
but not one to life your heart either

I am settling into this day
Recognizing that I too am in-between

There is a richness to life
And yet an emptiness too
white and gray

there is the good news to share
and there is news that hammers at the soul
about injustice, and greed, and falsehood

there are people to work, and sing, and play with
and yet a sense of being, at a profound level

no, I am not depressed
more reflective
somewhere in between
feeling at peace with my life, and with myself
and deep discontent

just know dear ones
that you, as you wander in an out of my life
as you like me, or despise me
as you are enriched by me, or hurt by me
as I attend to you, or seem to think only of myself
As I share my opinion,
kindly or aggressively

that you are what this life is all about
it not all about me
I can never say, “the one that matters is me. I'm the only one that matters”

Because I know that I need others

I want you, and need all of you in my life
I may not know what to do with you
But I need to know you are there

I have decided that it is time to dance
To dance along the dirt pathways in the snow
or rain, as the case may be

finding myself in the dance
finding the sacred in the snow and mud
in the trees
and in the antics of happy dog

and I will remember that you are out there
hopefully dancing


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gratitude Day

“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.”
― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are


A Haiku for Thanksgiving

how does thanks emerge
by waiting for gifts received
or living gratefully


O Sacred one
let me on this day of thanks
choose to be a person who lives with gratitude
may I be both thankful
and expectant

“We plough the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land;
But it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
For all His love.

He only is the maker of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower, He lights the evening star;
The winds and waves obey Him, by Him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, His children, He gives our daily bread.

We thank Thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest, our life, our health, and food;
No gifts have we to offer, for all Thy love imparts,
But that which Thou desirest, our humble, thankful hearts.”

                                                                        From Godspell

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What do I value?

Two questions have been haunting me lately
hanging around my head
going on my morning walks
joining me in my bed

ruining my morning soak

But they are good questions

The first question is this…
What do I value?

Not what are my goals?
Not what do I want to accomplish with my life
But what are the values that get me up in the morning
And take me through my day

What are the values that craft the direction of my life?

I have a value set by my family
Kliewers serve.  Period.  End of conversation
It just is.
Ministers, Doctors, Therapists
Serve your community!  That is why you are here

But who can exclude love
My faith system demands that
That crazy, foolish way of being taught
by some guy named Jesus

love God
Love your self
And love the people around you

Accept love
Nurture love
Be love

Actually most of what I value gets captured
In that thing called love
Compassion, generosity, connection
Kindness, all the standards
So I have to come up with something else….
And I chose

Being real
Being honest… to God
To myself, and to….. you

Hard to do when you think  you have to be perfect
An accomplisher
When you constantly compare, compare, compare
Strive strive strive

Under you are not a fool for Christ’s sake
But just a damn fool

But still
There they are
Service, love, authenticity

Serving the people, all people, in love?

Ah but there is more
So much more

Because the second question is important too
Am I living toward what I value?

The answer is often yes, sometimes no

But here is the thing… my values path is not a straight line from A to B
It is a direction, nothing more
I am moving toward a destination I will never get to

What is important is that I keep moving
And I keep moving the right direction

Sometimes I’ll get lost, at others I’ll get stuck
But I will keep heading
Down that path

Toward that compass point that is
Service, love, and authenticity

And when I fail?
With I slip and slide into strange and sometimes dark place

I will simply pull out my values
Dust them off
And begin again.

Monday, November 20, 2017


“The saddest word
in the whole wide world
is the word almost.

He was almost in love.
She was almost good for him.
He almost stopped her.
She almost waited.
He almost lived.
They almost made it.”
                             Nikita Gill

It feels, some days, as if all those things
for which I have reached

have slipped through my clumsy

eluding my grasp as surely as a snowflake

my dreams a visions of self
as a minister,
parent, spouse


as a person!

have gone, far too often
slip sliding away

not quite lived out

almost love
almost kindness
almost integrity
almost honesty
almost effectiveness

but then again
I tried

Sunday, November 19, 2017

only possibility

“The magic of each day lives in the unknown. It's waking up as one person, and accepting that when night falls, we may be someone else entirely. So, when you ask what my story is, forgive me----I'm not quite sure yet.”
                                                           J. Raymond

this day I wake up
a little tired still
with a body that chastises for me all the years
of abuse and neglect

happy dog
is panting to hit the road
even though the road is yet unseen

in the profound darkness of late fall

the windows of the house star at me
black and empty
as I wander, and ponder
and wait for the light to come

I do not know what this day will bring
Oh, I know what is on my calendar
but life is not defined by the expected
but the unexpected

today I will have many choices
but they are scattered in front of me like the breadcrumbs scattered wildly
by a demented God

and I am often lost and confused

I have made enough poor choices to last a lifetime,
And beyond

people will come and go
news articles will appear on my computer
the phone will ring

and at the end of the day
I may well feel like a painting whose
Creator cannot leave well enough along

Sometimes, lately
The pondering has led to sadness
For things lost
For mistakes made
For friendships lost
For paths abandoned

and yet
it is this fact that I am constantly dying
and constantly becoming
that gives me hope

even now
for each moment where something is lost
becomes a moment of infinite possibility

no path is set
nothing is inevitable

the lonely grasping person
can find a sense of people
and get outside himself to notice, and focus others

the fearful person can find peace
the greedy person generosity
the cruel person, compassion

so often we fuse to our stories
but each story has not only a beginning
but an end

and in the freshness that is this moment
we seek to make the next right choice
and we begin again

For life changes
Our story changes
We change

Each day, each moment

We have no permanence
Only possibility

Saturday, November 18, 2017


“Earth's crammed with heaven...
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.”
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning

it is almost dark
the sun is only a hope
and the world is gray upon gray

and yet in the cold stillness
a star shines
hovering over the mountain
tardy in its departure

the white tail of a mule dear
bobs and weaves through the juniper

and the dark specter of an owl swoops toward earth
dawn patrol

life is everywhere
magic too

and I am tempted
(if it were not 25 degrees)
to take off my shoes

Friday, November 17, 2017


“Tears are words that need to be written.”
                                            Paulo Coelho

the tears do no always come
they do not flow from my eyes and down my face
to be blown away by the wind

to join the tears of the Sacred
falling from heaven

but they are there
a cry of the heart
a rending of the soul

there is so much pain out there
and thus
so much pain in here

people divided
angry, hateful

driven by words unwritten and unspoken
into acts of essential selfishness
into fearful acts of
and casual violence

pain not shared become
that which separates and divides

yet pain
and tears shared
become the bridge
across which compassion and love walk

across which God walks
to make
all things new

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


In the darkness
the cold gathers and embraces

and the stars sparkle
so alive and so distant


and in this place
the hungry ghosts
the demons of the soul howl

all the voices call
why is it am I here
where is it I will go

when I die
will I just disappear
quickly forgotten

Voices from the old days
From the future

Does anyone care?
Does anyone really care?
Enough to invest time, and love
In this meager soul

Under the clarity of an October sky
So many questions,
The answers
I don’t know

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Silence please!

There was no need for words, for there are times when words can only hint
at what the heart would wish to say.
                             Alexander McCall Smith

Words are cheap
And they are simply
Not the medium of the heart

I love you
God loves you

You are valued

Such truths can only be
by acts of love
both large and small

the cat quietly washes the ear of her friend the dog

the man, without fanfare,
does the little things
cooks a meal
cleans up
is simply

the church simply embraces
and feeds
and clothes

sometimes words

merely get in the way