The Psalm for the Day

Katy Tackes

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
   to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
      to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
      and your faithfulness by night,
         to the music of the lute and the harp,
         to the melody of the lyre.
   For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
   at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
   and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
      They are planted in the house of the Lord;
      they flourish in the courts of our God.
         In old age they still produce fruit;
         they are always green and full of sap,
            showing that the Lord is upright.
   The Lord is my rock,
there is no unrighteousness in him.

Psalm 92:1-5,12-15

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On Writing Poetry

Paul Bond

It begins
a single word
popped like a frog
out of a window`box
plopped like a rain`drop
from a clear blue sky
a fish out of water
a single word

It grows
into a phrase
pebbles on thread
snatched off a strand
the phrase into the chain
a rosary of primroses
given spoken spent
washed away
by a tide

It lingers
in its reader
last rays of a sunset
remembered at dawn
no longer the word at all
of which it was born
by now the rumble
of a distant

“Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers
as soon as his first excitement dwindles.” ~ Annie Dillard

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On Wisdom

Arthur Dove

The Prophet
prefers wilderness
to the ivory`towers
of Academia

Eats flat`bread
sopped wild`honey
with toasted locust
and rain water

Asks questions
rather than answers
offers long silences
given equations

Shuns a society
convinced of itself
without conviction
thru medication

Wisdom resides
outside the package
peddled as learning
province of fools

She’s the property
of all human poverty
the mind pared down
to the open spirit

“If I were an early person
I’d look for the limits of wisdom
by going to sacred oak trees
or the local blind man with lips on fire.” ~ Anne Carson

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The Good Life

Painting With Graphite Powder

The good life
  [so people say]
is filled with stuff
The shipping is free
A game`changer!
  [the guy says]
in the TV ad

I am Waldo
  [I am afraid]
lost on some page
surrounded by junk
I can’t do without
  [so they fear]
at Wayfair

Set me free
  [I pray Thee]
from all this lust
for what gathers dust
to find my delight
  [as You’d say]
in simplicity

“I am happy living simply . . .
To come to things—swift
as a ray of light, or a look.
To live as I write: spare—the way
God asks me—and friends do not.” ~ Marina Tsvetaeva

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Windows of We

Nancy Eckels

Living in the crowd
we are too much alone
intimidated by the noise
of too many machines
Reading people’s lips

in the boistrous bars
the fat roosters agawk
at sight of legs & breasts
stalking for laying hens
plumped for plucking

From across the room
I see your shutters close
as you retreat to solitude
your soul already absent
behind windows of We

“In a package of minutes there is this We.
How beautiful.” ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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In the Garden

William Ronald

The earth crumbles
in composted clumps
turned`over in spring
the dark womb eager
for a salvaged seed

We see the Creator
down on bent knees
clutching the fist`full
of the rich dark loam
scented of fecundity

Inhaling its potential
shaping it to his form
exhaling it into a being
greater than the angel
barely less than a god

Gardeners know God
who at dawn and dusk
visits just to remember
his first fist`full of dirt
to chat weeds`n`seed

“In the gold mouth of a flower
the black smell of spring earth.” ~ Denise Levertov

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On Stains

Giuseppe Santomaso

The stains
on the shirt
long remain
to remind us
of our spills
in pale blue
& purples

To others
a heads`up
to the flaws
at our hearts
to ourselves
the danger
of hubris

“Like Oedipus I am losing my sight.
Like Judas I have done my wrong.” ~ Anne Sexton

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The Psalm for the Day


Lori Latham

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;

I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name
        for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
    for you have exalted your name and your word
        above everything.

On the day I called, you answered me,
    you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth.
    They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
        for great is the glory of the Lord.

For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
    you stretch out your hand,
        and your right hand delivers me.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 138

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On Faith

Francis Picabia

A man
without a god
lives without hope
a jar of blood without a heart
a bubble of gas without a soul
a pile of ashes without a plot
love in an envelope
with no return

to plead lame
than know nothing
a sonic whisper of a heart`beat
a gasp in a drown`man’s breath
a flower on a dead man’s grave
better a leap of faith
a little prayer
of trust

“My hope is that this minuscule prayer
will reach out to the god unknown I just sensed
passing in the rivulet of breeze above the mere rivulet
of water in this small arroyo . . .” ~ Jim Harrison

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On Peace

Tod Milen

Peace hides
between tides
in a churning sea
now here now gone
an isle of dreams
just off`shore
thru a mist

Truce rides
the iron rails
of hard promises
we make then break
mere sand`castles
on shorelines
of power

      “Rowing, I reach’d a rock — the sea was low —
Which the tides cover in their overflow,
Marking the spot, when they have gurgled o’er,
With a thin floating veil of water hoar.
A mile astern lay the blue shores away;
And it was at the setting of the day.” ~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

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On Fatherhood

Hollis Richardson

She was my wife
who became their mother
when I became their father
a fine brother & fine sister
I was a husband

Til the years fled
snow`flake to wild`flower
sweet`fruit to October`leaf
snap`shots in scrap`books
stream out to sea

She’s still my wife
who became grand`mother
when I became grand`father
a fine brother & fine sister
I’m still a husband

“Are not my children as dear to me
as falling leaves or
must one become stupid
to grow older?” ~ William Carlos Williams

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On Optics

Oleg Shuplyak

We see
each other
thru windows
vision skewed by
flaws in glass
once grains
of sand

The eye
will distort
grief to grace
or scar to beauty
filtered thru
the optics
of love

The eye
hand to fist
or nod to insult
filtered thru
the optics
of fear

“The window is a fragment
of the world suspended
in the world, the known
adrift in mystery.” ~ Wendell Berry

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