Psalm from the Night

I read the #BigRead14 reading yesterday and found “Psalm of the Dawn” written by Stephen Cherry very moving. I was aware of the hope it offered and the assurance of the company of God, but I am aware that there are times when, being me, things don’t feel so bright. So I wanted to write something of the darkness that some of us can inhabit from time to time. I am afraid it is not a polished offering, but I hope it makes some sense. 

I wake before the dawn after the night stole more sleep than it gave;

my body inhabits the tomb that is cushioned but brings no restful escape.

Your dawn is preserved for others, who awaken after resurrection;

I live in the Saturday that is undisturbed by hope.

Time slows, oh God! Do you play tricks?

Slowing, even turning back the clock; suspending me in this darkness?

Midnight is a turgid impersonation of black without you.

Waken me not to the vacuous darkness but to the sun; that I may see as I am seen.

I do not deny your dawn. I long to feel it warm my heart.

I know the darkness cannot master the light.

But, I resent the patience I cannot practice

waiting for it to seep through to my eyes.



Nicotine Fingers

Found this poem that I never never posted. It was written back in January. ” I did a funeral on Friday. One thing I noticed on a number of mourners was the nicotine stain on their fingers. So . . . 

I stand and witness

the nicotine sunrise on index fingers.

It blazes,

tells of the not passive participation

in the day that sets in death.


Like many other people I am sharing in the #BigRead14 using Stephen Cherry’s book Barefoot Prayers as my Lenten resources. I hadn’t intended to write anything here in response to it. However, today I felt the need to write something so I thought I would “answer back” to his poem/prayer Fullness of Life. I answer with the kénōsis because in order to be filled we might first need to consider emptying ourselves.


I hear your prayer for fullness;

you brim over

with God-knows-what.

Oh, if only you would stop


pour yourself out.


Know this,

I choose to fill only your surrendered space.

I do not force and displace

but give by love to that created place

that you have crammed with God-knows-what


“Give me!”

I give you this path to walk.

Take off your shoes

embrace the barren wilderness

and in the desert

I will fill your hungry soul.