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

Adhan

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

Panhandler

Cemented
at the intersection of Divisadero
and Fell a fallen angel waits.
One hand open, one hand clapping
the side of his thigh, gnarled at the knee.

A bowl of soup, a piece of bread,
a home, glowing from within
welcomes you, a place to hang your hat
from the sheets of rain, shards of heat, stench of exhaust,
sneers of others who will never know your name.

Your face, an angry sea
twisted by time and trauma
encompass the glaze of your eyes
affixed to no-thing and no-where.

Who threw you away, sweet one?
Let your leathered skin be oiled
your feet be anointed, bathed in rose water
and milk.

Come inside from your poverty,
restraints of your reality.
Detach yourself from the incapacity
of those who hung their old coats on you
with their this ways and thats

Launch! from the tangle of this downward serpent
and bob your head to the surface of this life..your life

Own it now and take your seat.
One step from cement into
the cathedral of stillness,
erect yourself in the pew
worn with familiar patina.
In this place of the hush
in this place of the arms,
will you hear the wisdom of your wellspring
and step forward into the truest potential of your light.

copyright 2013 ~ Jennifer Brinn