Open Spaces #3: holy ground

[ Open spaces is a series of poem inspired by some of my own paintings.]

holy ground

They taught me how to pray—

A formula of words repeated

Across beads lined up in 10s

Each recitation a promise

Of finding God

Of growing Holy


And yet each utterance

Left my mouth while my thoughts

Filled with things to do

And people I knew

As my hands sped through

Bead after bead

With words learned

In my youth.


I thought of God as contained

In these little practices

Of prayers, kneeling

And houses with crosses

Upon their roofs.

Only to find walls and words

Fading into the repetition


And then, upon a hill

Outside these churches I knew

Beneath the open sky

I saw the trees sway

The flowers bloom

The mountains stand in glory

When wordlessness

Filled my mouth

I found the God

My prayer thought they knew


For in the vastness of nature

In its beauty and wildness

Lay a prayer only uttered

With open mouth and

Wonder, a holiness

Found in my smallness

Against this holy ground

Of greatness.


Open Spaces #1: The Field

I have a few paintings of open spaces and thought I try to use them as inspiration to writing. Here’s the first of the series.

The Field

I laid myself open

Like a field of tall stalks

And yellow flowers

Surrounding you with

Beauty and a silence

That sways with the breeze

Beneath the ever wide



And like those who have

Found a field

You run into its arms,

Stomping upon its stalks

Hold it in your hands

And have your fill

Until the sun sets

The grass gets itchy

And the picture taken



The ever open field

And its wide welcoming arms

Never turning back,

Never returning.

While it stands open,

Bleeding through its

Bent up stalks

Beneath the darkening sky.