Pilgrim Path

This blog is the work of a seeker and poet. Walking stick in hand, I head out into the world, not of the world, but in the world. My words and my friends carry me along and light the pilgrim path of spiritual journeys.

Monday, February 25, 2008


As that long tunnel appears
and the blinding flash of light
draws me home, I cross
into a world devoid of color.
I search in vain
for a drop of blood
to soothe my anxious heart.
But soon, gentle sepia
lulls me to sleep.
When later, I awaken
and open my eyes
gentle faces greet me,
open arms envelope me
and together we continue
our timeless dance.

(poem inspired by photograph provided by and used with permission of
Christine Valters Paintner - www.abbeyofthearts.com)

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Saturday, February 23, 2008


On this dark afternoon,
let me go to my room
in silence
to be alone
with the demons who terrorize
my nights and days.
Here in the quiet
they fear my prayers
to the One who can rescue
my heart from their firm grasp.
I fear that words are useless
to convey my pain
and confusion;
how I cannot
control these visions
of a life without meaning.
An open window beckons
but my body lacks
the will to move.
But before I can turn my face
a bird appears on the sill,
watching me with eyes
as curious as mine.
I close my eyes to pray
and just as a tear
begins to roll down my face,
I feel the light brush
of a crow's wing against my face
drying my tear, giving me hope.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008


Briskly on this winter’s morning,
my feet barely skimming
the icy surface of the ground,
at last I reached the garage door.

The key, that tiny thin strip of metal
instantly froze my entire hand
as I stood there jiggling
to make it fit the lock.

Finally enough curse words had passed my lips
to satisfy Beelzebub’s minions.
Opening the door, I threw myself inside,
and just as quickly slammed the large door shut.

I needed a few minutes to catch my breathe,
so I leaned against the heavy door,
blew into my hands, closed my eyes
and tugged my knit hat on a little tighter.

In that blessed moment of peace,
the unique scent of old books passed by my nose.
Taken aback, I opened my eyes and saw the stacks of books
and boxes of books to which I’d become blind over time.

I remembered the spring that Uncle Walt stole my poetic ear,
the summer I journeyed by elephant on “The Road to Agra,”
the haunted fall of “The Handmaid’s Tale”
and the winter I trekked, “Thirty Leagues to Boston Town.”

Years from now, when old stories are told,
I often wonder which ones they’ll tell about me.
I’d be grateful to hear the one that ends,
“His garage smelled like a library.”

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

- wherein we quickly learn why angels have wings

With a simple, quick call the time and date was set. And so, at the appointed time, I approached the white building in eager anticipation. No doorman…hmm, I guess even Saint Peter gets a day off every once in a while. Spotting the entry access board, I pressed the buzzer. Almost before my finger left the button, a clear, strong voice spoke my name. I listened intently to the instructions, never having been here before. After being buzzed in, I was to walk through the door to the elevator. Upon entering the elevator, I was to press the top floor button. Finally, after leaving the elevator, I was to look to the left for a stairway that I would take to the top and find a front door. (That's the part where the wings on angels come in handy.)

The door, not gates, not pearly, well maybe painted pearly gray stood before me. And, just as with the access board, my presence seemed known before I had a chance to announce myself. The door opened widely and my guide declared, "I'm K." After removing my snowy shoes and leaving them outside the door, I was led into El Santuario De Paradiso.

My bearings went a kilter as I was presented with an overload of creative beauty displayed in all manners of ways under 40 watt bulbs. K. is El Santuario's textile artist, but today he would also be my guide into the world of creation. Fabrics predominantly of earthy tones hung from high ceilings (yes, ceilings). Creation, creativity, cosmos, order, chaos, labyrinths, holy patterns from a universal world of spirituality created through the artful application of bleach lay overlapping one another, covering light sources illuminating their inner beauty. I suppose K. had been speaking for a while, but his art spoke to me more loudly.

I was shown a room of rest that took me to a Middle Eastern desert tent of royalty from long ago. It was easy to imagine quickly falling asleep in such a haven and the smile that would cross my face as I awakened to so much beauty.

I shared with K. my love of beauty and creativity and my avocation of poetry. Unfortunately, I came ill-prepared to share my work. A business card would have to do for now.

And finally the time came when we both ran out of words. We shamelessly looked deeply into one another's eyes for some time and instinctively knew we were in the presence of the Godseed at work. There were few words left that could express our feelings and so with a warm hug, I was on my way.

Just a few short weeks ago, I was blessed to receive the whispered message, "Son, take my hand. Let's go for a walk." I'm not sure I can even trace the steps that led me to El Santuario de Paradiso, but I know who led me there.

I am truly blessed.

Thank you, K.


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Monday, February 04, 2008


Then He said, "Do not come near here;
remove your sandals from your feet,
for the place on which you are standing
is holy ground." – Exodus 3:5

Otherworldly, the ground appears
not of this earth.
Footprints are easily left behind
to mark our presence
for the pilgrims who will follow. But bare feet speak up;
neither tread, nor sole nor straps instead, the glorious

bottoms of our feet letting those who come after us know
we danced a shimmering path on holy ground.

(poem inspired by photograph taken by and used with
permission of Christine Valters Paintner

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Sunday, February 03, 2008


On overcast moonless nights
clouds and stars
dance and kiss
while no one can see them.

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