This Holy Skin

This Holy Skin

This Holy Skin 150 150 Robert Alan Rife

We stand and crane our necks
reaching for heaven’s bright smile,
upon shoulders of brown and moving green,
and in the act forget ourselves as one and there and good.
Made from unmade to make again,
these arms outstretched with fingers hoping
to touch the air and the unseen,
we hope for less than our skin suggests.
And yet, in this, there is no shame
since we ourselves are of the dust – rooted,
embranched and gnarled but numinous and whimsical
as the clouds and rain.
To escape from this is not as good
as other fingers poised to touch,
to show what we weren’t looking for…
ourselves, God’s fingerprints smudged
on the pane of humanity,
in the humanity of our pain-
on us.


Robert Alan 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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