Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 2008 poems

The Changing Light
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The changing light
at San Francisco
is none of your East Coast
none of your
pearly light of Paris
The light of San Francisco
is a sea light
an island light
And the light of fog
blanketing the hills
drifting in at night
through the Golden Gate
to lie on the city at dawn
And then the halcyon late mornings
after the fog burns off
and the sun paints white houses with the sea light of Greece
with sharp clean shadows
making the town look like
it had just been painted
But the wind comes up at four o'clock
sweeping the hills
And then the veil of light of early evening
And then another scrim
when the new night fog
floats in
And in that vale of light
the city drifts
anchorless upon the ocean

Starry Night

Some say that ever,
`Gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome,
Then no planets strike,
No fairy takes,
Nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.

Hamlet – Act 1, Scene 1

An Ill Wind
By Louis Jenkins

Today there's a cold northeast wind blowing, piling up ice all
along the water's edge.

The Point is deserted, no one for five
miles down the beach.

Just the way I like it.

The sand is frozen mostly, so the walking is easy as I pick my way through the
wrack and drift.

Today I don't even leave footprints.

Wind, sand, sun and water. A simplicity that defies comprehension.

The barest essentials for the imagination's work. This shore has
been pretty much the same for ten thousand years.

Countless others have been here before me, musing and pondering, as
they walked down the beach and disappeared forever.

So here's what I'm thinking: wouldn't it be great if one of them dropped
a big roll of hundred dollar bills and I found it?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Prayers for Peace

Here are all of the prayers we posted from the Day of Prayer for Peace on Dec. 6:

Prayer by Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) :

In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss. In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving. You are our mother, brother, and savior. In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvelous and plenteous grace. You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us. You are our maker, our lover, our keeper. Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. Amen.

A Prayer for the California State Senate

Here is one of the prayers I wrote for the California State Senate in 2006. I wish it was out-of-date:

Almighty God, we pray that the leaders of all nations will work unceasingly for peace and reconcilliation in the many troubled lands of this earth. We pray especially for peace in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we ask that all who are serving our nation will be protected by your embrace and will return safely home soon. Amen.

A Prayer by Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Lord, open our eyes, that we may see you in our brothers and sisters.

Lord, open our ears, that we may hear the cries of hungry, the cold, the frightened, the oppressed.

Lord, open our hearts, that we may love each other as you love us.

Renew in us your spirit, Lord, free us and make us one. Amen.

A Jewish Shabbat Prayer for Peace

You have given us the power, O God, to bring peace and justice into the world. May we always love peace and pursue it, and love our fellow creatures. Fill Your children with kindness, wisdom, and love. Then shall they learn to live at peace.

Blessed is the Lord, Teacher of Peace.

A Muslim Prayer for Peace

God made this universe from love

For Him to be the Father of.

There cannot be

Another such as He.

What duty more exquiste is

Than loving with a love like His?

A better task

No one could ever ask.

Rahman Baba

Buddhist Prayer

May all beings have happiness, and the causes of happiness; May all be free from sorrow, and the causes of sorrow; May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless; And may live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion, And live believing in the equality of all that lives.

Prayer by Leslie Middleton

Our own Leslie Middleton wrote this prayer this morning and shared it with us a few minutes ago with a piece of art she created. Here is her prayer:

Dear God

Peace is messy. Peace is bloody.
Peace in my heart is not something I know.

In my mind, I think “Peace. This could be a good thing.”

In my heart, I cry to be free.

I cry to be free of all that is un-peaceful in my heart.

I can barely look across the desert and see the

Dark children with swollen bellies, walking slowly

Until they can no longer walk.

I can barely look at the women in my town,

Black, overweight, alone with their children’s

Children, eating day-old sweets and hot dogs.

I can barely see the ground beneath bulldozers,

Plowed under for concrete and cars.

I can barely see the green that splits the

Pavement wide, the power of soil and light.

I can, barely, in this quiet,

Except for the peace that eludes me, the bloody

World, the place within my heart where unrest resides.

But God, below me is light. I think.

Was there first, I believe.

Comes with the dawn, I must trust.

Ever more, I pray.


Quaker Prayer by Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845)

O Lord, may we be directed what to do, and what to leave undone, and then may we humbly trust that a blessing will be with us. Enable us, O Lord, to feel tenderly and charitably toward all. Help us to have no soreness toward any. Let us think no evil, bear all things, hope all things, endure all things. Let us walk in all humility before all we meet, and into your sight. Amen.

Jewish Prayer for Peace

Grant us peace, Your most precious gift, O Eternal Source of peace, and give us the will to proclaim its message to all the peoples of the earth. Bless our country, that it may always be a stronghold of peace, and its advocate among the nations. May contentment reign within its borders, health and happiness within its homes. Strengthen the bonds of friendship among the inhabitants of all lands, and may the love of Your name hallow every home and every heart. Blessed is the Eternal God, the Source of peace. AMEN

Gates of Prayer (Jewish), p. 695

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

O God: Teach us to rejoice in all the things we have in common and respect each others' differences; remind us that we are all your children, and teach us to listen; we pray that people everywhere will strive to live in peace, tolerance, and respect, no matter what their faith or race — may we gain the wisdom, grace, and generosity of spirit to overcome our differences and live as one. Amen.

Desmond Tutu, from “A Prayer for Dafur.”