The Sermon

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

On King’s Mountain stands
a house of worship. Within it,
each humbled footstep makes the cool earth sigh…
not a gasp, just a breath,
as if a small child were walking
barefoot down the concave of its otherwise
barreled back.

The muted spangle of sunlight tendrils
down around and seemingly through
matter itself.
Effulgent air is grace embodied
fanning the tiniest ballet of particles.

It is here, where storied redwoods
stand in reverenced walls of sanctuary,
or have fallen into gnarled, patinated, pews.
A cathedral obedient
to only a faultline.
Flying buttresses of bay laurels
lean in to support these aged ones.

In this place,
sitting, praying, gazing,
humming and considering
are all welcome.
Squiring jays and mourning doves
herald commencement of the sermon.

Repressed within the needled ground,
submerged below sorrel and ferns,
are muffled calls which harken back
the perversion of a fool’s fortune a century
or more ago.

Before the fools,were the Ohlone, ‘the western people’,
gentle stewards before this land was
tied up
in parcels.
they were guided by planets, seasons and
transmuted stardust,
intuiting what the land could bear,
leaving sacrament, at its altar.

Indigenous yielding to the conquest
of exploration,
defeated to new settlers who built
their own place of worhsip
atop the immediate,
so available, abundant sanctuary

Blight, from plundering men
with oxen and saws, the groan of mud,
trudge, work songs, dynamite,
whiskey, and whips on work animals
are all hushed deeply
within the consuming breast of earth.

Hushed, as does a mother who simply
cannot bear to hear that her own child has died.
But not silenced,
for the anguish, heartbreak,
is deafening.

Saplings who sprouted, broadening their stance
to revered
long before any lord, prophet, or  prince,
whose stately halos stretched out to
75 feet had fallen to a thunderous death.
Shaking Earth to her very maternal core.
And all she could do, all she could do was strive,
upward and onward.

And now with each present step
on this forest floor, awareness lights awe
in meditation of forgiveness.
Land which persevered, in face of betrayal and molestation.
Revivals of new growth
abound over the oxen trails. And vestiges of Fairy Rings
honor the fallen.

copyright: Jennifer Brinn 2013


What comes in the East?
Sun greets Day,
rosewater light ladled through milky air
casts a lacy smile across an abundant sky.

Prayers from the muezzin swirl from vertiginous minarets
And as the crescent of moon cradles her single star,
she whispers insha’Allah, insha’Allah.

copyright 2011 Jennifer Brinn

Boston Strong: Practicing Unity in a Time of Despair

Practicing Unity in a Time of Despair


It’s been a helluva week. As I left the studio early Monday afternoon, little did I realize the immense cloud hanging over our country’s head. Listening to NPR on the drive home the details of the Boston bombings began to spew. I pulled over feeling dumbfounded, put into alarm about what might happen next, if there were more bombs planted somewhere else, how much tragedy did we need to prepare ourselves for? We gathered with friends later that evening and like the news feed, we all speculated at the details, but were unanimous in one question which was ‘why?’.

As I write this morning, we have the other brother in custody and I’m sure he will provide answers as to why they committed this unthinkable act. But those answers will never truly provide reasoning. Their own separation from this reality fuel the delusions as to why they thought blowing up innocent people would settle anything in their world.

I include a piece written over a year ago about Unity. I feel it speaks to our inherent need to be included and how we so easily feel despair in its absence.

Continue reading Boston Strong: Practicing Unity in a Time of Despair