Psalm 149

Merciful Lord, Your myriad mercies—
~~and I, like a forest at the timberline—my musings and metaphors.

Merciful Lord, Your multitude of mercies—my years of sin—
~~if I had words . . .


Psalm 148

A child of God is a wonder;
~~the wonder of God is a child.

The wonder child at play is king and pauper, feast and crust.
~~Ah, child wonder, stormy season, young bud love!

The spirit of truth, like science, grasps it;
~~the truth of spirit, like art, releases it.

I am that child;
~~that child: I am.

Psalm 147

They drove their art like chariots;
~~ they rode their poetry like cavalry, on hooves and dust, into the new day of God.

Soldier psalms charged the blast like trumpets;
~~versed apostles sought true seeker like treasure:

they marked a measure of the new day’s dawn,
~~and moment to carry it on.

Psalm 146

The first step is no slight foot;
~~the first step is no narrow gain on a willing map.

Hail storms the summer pasture;
~~hail storms the sleeping homeland the way illness brings desire for better.

Hail summons a start;
~~hail summons the one ready to follow faith’s path.

Psalm 145

God Within, my guardian, disclose my soul, crest of an honest life:
~~not unlike the peacock, plainly a simple bird, simply a splendid bird.


Psalm 144

Listen, Lord, and hasten:
~~hear my plea.

Teach me the unheard language of peace;
~~let me learn to speak through my tongue of tears.

Words of war increase my fear:
~~they have become too heavy for me to bear.

But Your word is great:
~~You can create from death.

If you leave me, who can lead me?
~~If you retreat, my hope will be like the weary wail of the
last leaf, leashed to a snow-leaning tree.

Psalm 143

Why deprive me, Lord, when You are king of everything;
~~when you hold all life’s wonder in Your hand?

And why make man depend on earth,
~~when his soul is all he really has?

How can I divine the days of my life
~~when You are author of both faith and wealth, maker of
both mirage and miracle, worker of the ocean and an ocean in a conch shell?

Psalm 142

A hateful mortal cannot be like the friends of God;
~~the friends of God are like a mist lifting, a wound
healing, green fruit ripening.

A hater is like a sword stuck in stone, defeated before one
has begun;
~~but the friends of God are like the blade set free: deed
and champion, reason and reflection.

Psalm 141

Building up is a bowing down:
~~raising the world is an offering placed on the path of the

Work is as sacred as speaking the words of the Book;
~~care is as pure as sounding the hymns of heaven.

Greater than gold is one’s calling:
~~glad is the girder calling the name of the Lord.


Psalm 140

End my pain, Lord, the way spring ends winter, the way sunshine ends a rain, the way laughter reshapes the air;
~~finish my suffering, please, the way song ends silence, the way bread breaks separateness, the way a friend turns when called by name.

Strength, I need it; thanks, I have none.
~~I am weak, but You are strong.

If there be no end, then make me able;
~~and when I find no finish, make me thankful.

Psalm 139

Oh that men would live like a shout of stars, bright taste in the night sky;
~~oh that men would dream with a tiger’s eye, would stir deep chambers with vulcanian desire.

Oh that men would not seek easy rest, but steer the torch of vesuvian fire;
~~oh that men of God would quest, not like a sparkle’s spark, but like light light in the dark dark.

Psalm 138

My refuge is a garden in the desert;
~~a river in the wilderness is my hope.

There the Father of the Covenant blessed Abraham;
~~there the Father blessed the tribes of man.

There the Father of the Law led his chosen;
~~there the Father of the Way lifted the poor in heart.

And in the days of Arabia, the Father of Submission raised the dwellers of earth;
~~there, from nomads in barren lands, He raised nations.

He did not desert His children there, but eased their thirst;
~~neither did He fail to feed the fishers of men.

He did not abandon His children, even in the time of the end:
~~there He founded the Garden of Paradise, His promised kingdom; His lovers, rose-like, opening.

Psalm 137

Like a find of berries in winter is forgiveness;
~~like hyacinths springing to life in the tender season are favors of human kindness.

Like a shadow, best seen in the brightest sun, is patience;
~~like an echo, best heard from the purest voice, is humility:
~~like a pond’s reflection is virtue, greatest shown by the tree of the highest nature.