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

Saturday, October 17, 2020

How Long

Gentian blue sky

dandelion seed clouds play

hide and seek with the sun


brightly colored ribbons hang

from hawthorn, old party

streamers from branches, banners


of longing, a prayer for healing

the great divide of the heart

or a beloved consumed by cancer


or simply the echo of the Psalmist’s

ancient cry, “How long, O God?”

into the vast and thunderous silence

                     Christine Valters Paintner



Injustice lurks in the hall of justice

How long, O God?


Narcissism ignore 200,000 deaths

for petty grievances

How long, O God?


Good people die

and not so good people plan even

over a still cooling body

How long, O God?


Covid-19 spreads among people

who refuse to do the simple things

to keep each other safe

How long, O God?


Division rules

and “we the people” are ripped asunder

by those who would polarizing

using party and prayer

How long, O God


You are a God of love

woven into the fabric of the universe

into the hills and trees

rivers and streams


present in the gently waving aspen

and stately conifers

in the brilliant red gold coats or oaks and maples


part of our flesh and bone

we Sacred Children

who carry you

the third incarnation


after creator created

after creator enter creation

after creator arrived to dwell not just among but within us


how can we deny this presence

so readily, so profoundly


how can we listen to lies and shrug

violate morality so casually


how can we chose the way of domination and wealth

so eagerly


do we not know the story of Adam and Eve

and the tempter

who lured with the promise ‘they would be like God’


do we not know the story of Jesus in the wilderness

as the tempter offered fame and fortune

and early power


to Jesus

who reject that path


for another of sacrifice and service


How long, O lord

How long


Will our choices cause such pain?


until we follow

until we realize that an unholy alliance

with power

and with the world


will cause our souls to shrivel

and the image of God to be blurred


We cry to God

“how long?”


there is thunderous silence


and out of the silence

word’s echo’s back


“how long?”

God asks

“how long?”




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