Tag Archives: poetry

Blessings for 2017!


Kristen Cervantes is a Student Pastor at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waco, TX, while she continues her studies at Brite Divinity School in Ft. Worth. We have weekly conversations that help us both grow in ministry.

When Kris responded to presidential election results, she posted these wise words:

I will not despair. Or rather, I will not only despair.

At times like this I really do wish I believed in a God who is an active agent in the world. But as I think of the gut-wrenching sobs I have heard, felt, held in my body and held in the circle of my arms, in my friends’ bodies, I don’t have that solace.

I have solace in the beauty and wonder of the world we share. I have solace in the deep emotion that means deep commitment to the continued work of building the beloved community for all, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizenship status, ability, and all the other boxes we try to fit ourselves and others into. I have solace in the help and strength and brokenness and beauty and potential in every human body and mind and soul.

My church says it wants to ‘create a more just and loving world.’ I take solace in the knowledge that we do not stand, move, and struggle alone in this painful and difficult act of creation.

I will not despair.

The New Year is upon us! May you find your way out of despair and into community.

One day post election


Some electives post election:

My focus today will be on music, art, nature, and community. Beyond difference lies beauty. One moment, one person, one love at a time might begin to heal divisions. May we reach out to one another as best we can.

Blessings and grace to each of you, dear friends.



Kairos has found me at last in this time, this space, this moment of reflection. Cool morning, warm sun streaming through my favorite window.

Having moved non-stop it seems from holidays, son’s wedding, conference, sister-time, ministers’ retreat (with work to fill “spare time”), pastoral care, a couple of sermons squeezed in, meetings, plans, and more, means that personal time has been limited at best. Not a half day off with no work that had to be done, to the point that it did not qualify as true rest–just another thing to wedge between A & B and on toward Z. I have not had/blocked out enough time to give my soul a chance to catch up.

So I pause without agenda–except to let everything go–for the next few hours. Let this sunshine recharge my weakened batteries for a spell. The battery warning light was not glowing orange but red. Reserves have been tapped frequently to get through specific tasks or responsibilities only to leave me depleted at the end. Complete a task–barely–and move on before taking time to sweep my spirit clean. Float free like wind and water.

So let my spirit clear up with these blue skies after a gray day; let this breeze flow through me; let this poem speak to my heart; let this walk bring me down to earth; let this music dance for me until I can dance, too.

Patti Tana at Sea


Sept. 19, 2011

My feast of poetry on this cruise included Patti Tana’s This Is Why You Flew Ten Thousand Miles. The ‘why’ refers to Lilliana, a girl adopted from China whose parents flew that long distance to bring her to a new home. The parents had prepared a home surrounded by love and decorated the nursery

Parents and prospective parents will go long distances to give birth, adopt, or foster a child. Then for a lifetime they will strive to protect and empower; to love and let go. Ten thousand miles or about ten thousand days may be what it takes to launch a child. She or he is still very much our child, no matter how long we live.

For a time we find ourselves in the sandwich generation when we have both children and elders for whom to care. Parenting is one way to learn the skills needed as parents and grandparents become increasingly frail and vulnerable. Our children may in turn have a chance to assist us in our later years.

Patti writes about living, loving, and “daughtering.” She writes of the delights of parenting and the despair of loss. Many of her poems are very sensual in nature.

I “met” Patti on the phone shortly after I repeated an error in a newsletter. The article had attributed her poem about a garden/gardening to Anonymous. The closing line, “That Patti, she was one hot tomato” did not refer to her demise but of her own wish for her personal legacy. At least that’s how I remember it several years later.

At any rate, Patti tracked me down and gave me a call to correct my mistake. “I’m not dead,” she told me. I enjoyed a delightful conversation with this New York Jewish poet who teaches as well as composes poems. I bought a couple of books from her and she sent me an extra. This Is Why You Flew Ten Thousand Miles, her latest publication at the time, became part of my collection. I loved it so well I bought a second copy for a friend who had adopted a Chinese daughter.

By the way, I also read a book of poems by Hafiz on this trip, but I think he will not call no matter what I say about his poetry!

Here’s a short poem by Hafiz:

The Happy Virus

I caught the happy virus last night

When I was out singing beneath the stars.

It is remarkably contagious –

So kiss me.

“The Happy Virus,” The Subject Tonight Is Love:
60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz, versions by Daniel Ladinsky
Pumpkin House Press, 1996, p. 40.

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