These Carnal Threads

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I look down at my hands and know that within those tissues and cells, blood is coursing,
coming from,
going to,
minute after minute, circuit upon circuit. But where is my soul in this pink, freckled flesh? Where is my spirit in this troubled, pondering life?

Is the soul hitching a ride on red blood cells as they careen by the white?
Is my spirit holed up in one of my vital organs? My brain, maybe? Concentrated in a command center, overseeing all my worldly cognition.
Perhaps soul and spirit share space, intertwined in the four chambers of my pulsing heart.

But when the soul is gone, the hands are still there, and even the blood; but what stops really when we say life is gone? As the flesh cools, lying motionless, is the me-part that is really me immediately absent,

or hovering, waiting for further instructions?

It is said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, but I am wondering when the absent happens. What changes in that one fragile second to another when what was thought alive is now

and these carnal threads release their hold?




Not Home Yet

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Walking in shadows, occasional whispers of light remind me I am
in Him
inadequate, but on the path to home.
The yearning, the longing, keeps doubt in check—
somehow, hoping that
someday what we partly know will be known in whole—
The here seems material, the then so far off; and this shadowed world,                               so full of souls and stains would break even the strongest, if not for the
the gracelets,
the glimpses of the intangible, leading us from discomfort to discovery
and home.

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A Moment’s Yes

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly


slivers of light, blossoming blue-green and lavender

in rippling paths,

a wet veil of wonder, and I wander

in this place

in awe of what is seen–ever aware of the greater unseen.

Can I still stare at the miracles even if I don’t understand?

Can I still sigh glory even when I know reflection covers hidden darkness?

In this moment, I breathe many yeses,

and in this moment, it is enough.

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My Meta Metaphor

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

Well, now,

I have filled all your feeders, and I’ve cleaned up your messes.

I’ve protected you from rats, cats, and this and thats!

You pleasure me as I view from my prized place, my all-seeing window, but . . .

the question would arise:

Why do you scatter when I open my door to you,

open my life to you, fill your spaces with warm words full of love and provision?

Why must I view through a double-pane?  A double pain?

If I go out, you wait in the trees, holding aloof, half ignoring, wary,

willing to eat but not to come close,

willing to drink but not while I’m present—too much of me there, I suppose.

. . . I’m sorry, Lord, did You say something?

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But a Reflection


A reflection, broken, ever changing: We live here bound to the deep, layers upon layers,
sometimes muted, sometimes shimmering,
so real, so seemingly solid.
But reflection will not bear the weight.
Its wonder is what it mirrors—the real, the solid, the lasting.
Look up!


I Caught the Wind Today

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

I caught the wind today.

It wrestled my hair, trapped in the tangles.

It rushed in my mouth, stealing my words, pressing the back of my dry throat,

then rushed out again on a squeal of joy and a breath of respect.

My coat wrapped tightly,

it snuck in the crannies, coloring cold my prickle skin,

but I hugged a tighter me, trapping it there,

warming it with my pressing.

I caught the wind today,

hair and hand and panting self;

but before I closed the door, I let it go

so to find wind still another day.

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A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

I hear the voices from fairytale days,

of bruised knees and bloody noses in the night,

of dogs and games and Disney

to pouts and pen and ink on walls—

and happy endings to bursting and weary days.

     I hear the voices of sweet Camelot hours,

     of swings and things dirty and germy,

     of teeth brushed and songs sung

     to whines and colds and sorrys—

     weary endings to full and happy days.

          Now worlds distant in faith and place,

          there’s weakness in these spiraling days,

          and all I can do is cry and pray

          when I hear them in the night—

I still hear the voices.


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Ah, Life is Poetry . . .

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

(This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the following verse!  It was zoomed from the parking lot at Costco, proving that Kirkland brands even have control of the weather!)

I love blank verse,

though saying something is probably preferred.

I have a passion for free verse,

but getting paid,

so much the better.

And since we’re talking about poetry:

Diamantés are a girl’s best friend.

(Another totally unrelated photograph below.  Of course, if you do find a connection, you could probably teach college English!)


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Far and Near

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly


Why does the bloated Biafra baby bring a tear,

and the hungry eye-cries of Haitian earthquake victims urge us to tear

our wallets from tightly held fists,

when the man,

the man with the sign in the planter area by the on-ramp,

we assume has a lesser need–that is, if we see him.

The lady,

the lady trying to sell the grubby Beanie-baby at the entrance to the grocery store

does not deserve eye contact,

hand contact,

I-know-you-exist contact,

and we breeze by without even a “No, thank you”–that is, if we see her at all.

Are the far needs greater than the near?

Or just easier to get over?  Unchanged.

Are foreigners more worthy than neighbors?

Or is it just safer to care in one fell feel-good swoop

than love thy ever-present neighbor as ourselves?

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Dance in the Dark

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

I dance in the dark. 

Inhibitions cast off,

I twirl and twirl, like a graceful ballerina, free in a broad expansive world. 

Walls disappear and the dark of my room rushesto blend with the testimony of the universe—spirit meshed with Spirit.

My arms hug tight and reach wide—

stretch inward and outward to embrace and be embraced. 

Move, Spirit, move.

Simple melodies carry my open-chested praise past the corners of the ceiling

to celestial halls unfettered by   atmosphere     and         stars           and                 space.

 Miraculous union—the soul’s yearnings unbounded—

unloosed in a moment of genuine worship,

fitted one with the other,

created with Creator.

Slow slow, fast fast, step step – mind and body joined in declaration of Your worth.

 My will lays down my right to rule.

 I  b  r  e  a  t  h  e  out surrender as the music plays.

When I sit in church, hands in front, fingers tap…

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