Two poems from a day at the Grunewald Guild

Two poems from a day at the Grunewald Guild

1920 804 Robert Rife

Plain

The chuckachuck of sprinklers

slaking thirsty brown grass

drone me into an almost zombie-like peace –

a single note, unyielding, in its own

tonic harmony.

 

A thousand shades of green –

jade and emerald and pine –

line themselves up in the random scattershot

only found in perfection. Much too random

for the soldierish replants

of our brutish industry.

 

Even the highway wants a place

in this scene – wearing the yellow line

like a scarf around the neck

of its own movement and momentary digressions –

 

Like this.

 

The Smell of Grey

The smell of grey, old and musty

books holding ten thousand curious fingerprints.

The dog-eared tales of dog-eared folk,

standing together like square-jawed

colonels of mystery, harboring

citadel secrets.

 

For so silent a place, how loudly

they shout for my attention.

 

These Lutherans have it right.

There is no distance or

false pings of conscience that

“The Exorcist” shares a shelf with

“The History of Israel” and something else on liturgy.

Here, my dangerously haphazard

story fits. Suddenly, my impractical

arbitrariness feels intentional –

almost holy.


 

Robert Rife

My friends think me complicated. My employer thinks me talented but at times, troublesome. God, and my wife see me as I am - a philosopher-poet with a rather circuitous journey of life and faith, the music and worship minister at Yakima Covenant Church, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and writer. I am a graduate from Spring Arbor University with an M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Leadership. These poems, and my life, are dedicated to those places where life, liturgy, theology and the arts intersect with and promote spiritual formation – who we are becoming. Join me on this journey to word-land. Maybe we'll find each other there and share a story or two.

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