Spring On Ash Wednesday

Spring On Ash Wednesday

1679 1273 Robert Rife

Begins again this Springward journey;
rebirthing all that once lived.
Trickle again once fickle brook and stream
sickle sighs yet in repose, sleeping still.
Earth, sore and Winter-stiff, seeks, sighs
stretches out skinny arms of want.
Her cold, hard bosom births not what soon will come
e’er the Sun’s hungry mouth suckles,
fills his lusty gut on hopeful barrenness
feasting on milk of timeworn, weary passage.

* * * * * * * * *

She forgets not the suddenness of late
and sooner dark, splayed upon a fine, greenness
come for to spite the buds of transforming light
bidding death where life has yet to emerge.
Warmly insistent she speaks, sharing her story
poured out over the long-shadowed land.
Bring such bothersome beauty to branchier speech,
fall around us, spilling, foaming such fury
and fermenting our soon-drunk wine of promise;
earthen spirit’s Eucharistic prayer.

* * * * * * * * *

Hush now, silence yourself bold coldness and spare not
freedom’s great gift only taken this once year’s-life.
Steep instead in warmness, worried not for lack
but bubbling and birthing bold words lightly spoken.
Remind us, refresh and reframe what is still rooting,
routing sad night-hood to don the new, the now, the never again;
only to return, restored and restoring,
regenerated, reborn.
Give us again your beauty for our ashes.
Wednesday speaks your secrets.


 

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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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