Integer of Creation

I.Moon

The moon hung, a bittersweet glow
cupped against midnight blue behind
boney arms of our grande dame maple,
whose leaves never turn red in fall,
only yellow then brown on fallow grass.

As I watched,
just past a new day’s first hour,
I could almost see her luminous
crescent rock back and forth drawing
my eye upward, higher, a need to tilt
my head back and forth to discern
Your gift through lacy silhouette
branches standing guard between
me and Eternity.

But she pointed me to it,
to a god always present,
maybe in a conflicting place
from one night to the next,
but always there, Jupiter,
a thunderbolt-bright comfort
knowing once and again
he would meet me.

I am created no more
or less perfect than these.
I hold within myself the same
wonder of stars and moon
and trees rooted deeply into earth.
I grow and change, not staying
in one place, although I have lived
in this same place all my life.

II.

When the world groans
under sorrow made
by hands of stone…

Not stone that changes
the course of rivers.
Not stone that greets
a wanderer along her craggy pass.
These stones are as Spirit filled
as every heart that beats…

But when the world groans
from counterfeit hands
made of false stone that cannot see
within themselves the utter sweetness
of the Beloved, nor the Beloved’s
consummate sweetness in souls
they stone, I feel pieces explode until
all that is left is blackness, a dark hole
so profound not even Jupiter
could spark a flame.

From where I stand
I must be what I am first made,
gentle light, devoted lover,
precious consecration of You.

My hands, made of Your passion,
must open
to each integer of Creation.

I cry out like thunder in the desert,
groan and writhe,
but know You will hear my prayer
and open our eyes
to our manmade
stone hands of annihilation.

May our prayers transfigure
our false hands
back into cupped hands
ready to receive Your timber.

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If you would like more on this poem, please join my weekly reflection at Journey/lex. It is a weekly newsletter that arrives in your e-mail in-box usually on Saturdays.

Thank you,
Lexanne

Rules

I watch snow begin its fall,bunnyprintsinsnow
lay down this day of chill
on crisp golden locust leaves,
it clutters my path. I know
the price I will pay if
I don’t follow the rules.

I surely must move those
leaves to their proper rest
before flakes, surely not allow
them to stay where footsteps
will grind together snow and
leaves to become a musty cake
making an impossible run.

There are rules I must follow
to keep my path clear, ready
for its pilgrim to walk safe
and true.

Yet, I ask if rules are a good
matter to seek my attention,
give over my time. Rules beget
more rules until rules are all
that cover what was once a
simple way, now made less clear.

Instead I listen, start inside
with a whisper, learn who I am
from the Source. And I see a path,
simple and true, still covered with
leaves and snow. Only then
can my hand stretch to yours.
Together we will divine our way.

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Author’s note:

If you would like more on this poem, please visit my page Journey/lex.

 

This week I thank Ryan Taylor of Access Denver for his reflection, in Street Psalms’ Word From Below, on the reading from The Revised Common Lectionary. And a sincere thanks to Fr. Scott Jenkins from a Church of the Holy Family for his prayers and the Beatitudes that will be read in the Celtic Celebration of All Saints this coming Saturday. All are welcome to join us in our celebration.

 

Sealed From The Light

I sealed my eyes, clasped your hand with sinew so resolute
I would not keel.

I couldn’t see, didn’t believe I could find my own way
in the blinding light.

My grip tired. My eyes craved dawn. I let loose the ligature,
unlatched my eyes.

My urgency was not to see, not trail beyond where I stood,
but unravel in my own Being.

I stand as myself next to you, equal, warmed and gentled
from Within, well equipped for the free fall.

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Author’s Note:

I marvel at my ridiculous dependence, over a half-century, upon a carefully constructed lectionary to tell me the Story. A Story offered that is only a piece of a very large and luscious meal.

Yes, it is my own undoing, or laziness, or fear. I didn’t push myself early enough to overcome it, to be brave in, or to free myself to look back and forward, to question. Somehow I needed to learn to trust the Voice Inside.

I learned the hard way, or maybe it was just a longer route. I was growing my wings stronger. I didn’t understand that they could be built during the free fall.

Even so, I need to release the guilt, the shame, the self-condemnation. There is no time for that.

Moving on.

On Friday I started my day with Street Psalms‘ reflection of Sunday’s gospel reading in their Word From Below weekly reflection, Brigand’s of the Lord. It is always good stuff. Oh, the thieves on both sides of the cross – “gang members.” I encourage you to read it. But I wasn’t seeing clearly enough yet.

Nadia Bolz-Weber‘s quote from a review of her new book about the meaning of the Cross and sinners, fell right into my lap. It was another way to understand Fr. Scott’s Celtic Conversation asking us what it means to be blessed and how that works with the crucified Christ. And still, I wasn’t satisfied.

So, I began again. I reread the 1st and 2nd readings and the Psalm responses. Then I read all of Psalm 33 in the ESV and then in the Message. I usually don’t use the Message for the Psalms, but yesterday wouldn’t let me rest until I did.

In a last attempt I went back to the Gospel of Mark in the Message, but this time I didn’t stop at the end of the chosen lectionary verse 45 where I was told to STOP. I read to the end of the chapter. Then I went back and read what came before.

I am learning to let go of finding the “right” or “only” way. I realize that I can use experience, wisdom, and knowledge of others to help me see. But in the end, I must stand alone on my own feet, open my eyes and ears, and let the free fall continue to build my wings even greater.

How does this relate to the readings?

Simply, it is not my place to put myself in or request a seat of judgment. I must see that Jesus is not about judgment.

I must see our Holy One from within, seeing the Light in what I can do, am called to do, been given the gifts to do. Do you see?

And remember the root command – love one another.

There is no room for judges here, only lovers.

Lady Wisdom

Bridge-Bond-Monuments-Places-Fog-Golden-Gate-Pacif-7748The fog is anxious

but the clearing,

slow may it be,

much patience required,

the opening ravishes.

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Author’s Note:

The first time I visited San Francisco, we walked the city. We didn’t rent a car but used public transportation. Our first morning out, we took the bus to the bridge.

It was foggy. Just fog and the roar of traffic.

At the visitor center, we asked where the bridge was. From behind the counter came a point to the picture window, “It’s right there.”

My husband and I looked at one another and shrugged.

“Just take the steps up.” The finger returned to the newspaper on the counter turning to the next page.

And an afterthought, “Watch out for traffic. And just keep walking.”

So we walked up the steps and the traffic noise grew, surged through the fog without showing itself.

As we continued, we began to see ghost cars melting into grey. There was one lone figure ahead of us on the wide sidewalk with just enough clarity to make out his form. As we approached, he stopped. The three of us saw only the faintest outline of the bridge, a picture frame flat and almost nondescript.

When we reached him, he turned and handed us his camera. We obliged. He reclaimed it, bowed slightly, and began to walk back to the steps. We shared what we were told: just keep walking. He hesitated and without a reply disappeared down the steps into the soup.

We looked at one another and just continued walking.

It wasn’t long. Rather quickly, as a matter of fact, that as we passed under the first arch we could see the fog clearing. We kept walking. Cars became sharper to match the bluster. I could now see across the traffic to the opposite side of the bridge opening to the ocean and began to distinguish waves roaring in harmony with the rush hour madness.

My husband tapped me on the shoulder in our pause. He whispered, “Turn around.”

There it was, the city of San Francisco, the bay, and the bridge with the fog falling away, candy-colored in the bright morning sun.

Wisdom is there, always.

She waits for me to simply listen, press on in the present moment. There I will meet her.

If I release my worry, my need for control, my fear. If I sit with my choices and understand they are past done, I see her opening the door for me to make new choices to live the life I’ve been given.

I can choose to continue on, or turn back.

I choose Lady Wisdom.
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And More:

Thank you, Scott Jenkins, for Celtic Conversations this past year at a Church of the Holy Family, ECC. I have grown and changed and learned to release. You’ve given us time to rest and question in a place of safety filled with compassion. Thank you, Padre.

A bit of synchronicity for this week. Our Celtic Conversations and the Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 11, 2015, from the USCCB.org:

Reading 1 WIS 7:7-11

Reading 2 HEB 4:12-13

San Francisco Bay Bridge Photo courtesy of: Bridge-Bond-Monuments-Places-Fog-Golden-Gate-Pacif-7748

Unfolding, An Advent Meditation

Announcing the publication of my new book of poetry and prayers.BookCoverImage

I know it is a bit early to announce. But if you would like to share this with your community, below is a sample page.

 

Tuesday
For Our Earth
Luke 21: 25-28


Breathe

Unfolding
The earth declares your Wonder,
winds roaring over plains,
snows laden heavy on our land,
waters in contempt of their barriers.

It is in your delicate disclosure
I still myself to hear
the bleat of the infant voice,
the One who will bear us home to you.

Selah
Nature moves with force, but also in whispers. Can you make time today to slow down and notice the world around you to allow yourself to enjoy a bit of nature?

Mantram
Immerse me in your promise.            

Blessing
In praise of sleeping roots wintering
underground, may I take time to rest.
In praise of darkened nights,
may I find peace enough to slumber.
In praise of water icebound,
may I make time for transformation.                                          


Breathe

Unfolding is a daily devotional for the season of Advent. Beginning with the first Sunday in Advent, Lexanne Leonard brings a gentleness to the days through her offering of scripture, poetry, and prayer, ending on Christmas morning. It is a breath and pause to reconnect with the Divine in these busy days of Advent.

Each meditation was written through lectio divina from the lectionary readings for each Sunday of Advent, Cycle C. Every day a piece of the Sunday scripture is expressed through poetry, prayer, and reflection. Also, each day of the week is dedicated to bringing to the forefront compassionate concerns for our world.

Through Lexanne’s own practice of Passage Meditation, she presents a “mantram,” a short phrase, for each week. It can be said throughout the day to bring one back to the present and to draw strength from the scripture passages, poems, and prayers offered in the daily meditation.

“Here, within her words is the rhythm we all may be seeking. Instead of clamor, there is quiet. Rather than over spending in order to give, there is the offering of gift which no money can buy. We will not faint under the pressure to get things checked off a list, but instead simplicity is called upon with bible, candle, silence, and reflection.” – Scott Jenkins, Director, Celtic Way

It is now available at Amazon.com or your local independent bookseller.

 

Random Acts of Poetry Day, Showing the Love

 

Sharing the love from yesterday’s Random Acts of Poetry Day. Random-Acts-of-Poetry-Day-Hairpin

Thank you, Tweetspeak Poetry for inspiring us to share the love of poetry randomly around the world. Let’s do it again next year!

My first grade class at Independence Elementary in Colorado spent the day randomly visiting classrooms to share their favorite poems. We wrote our morning and evening chants on colorful sentence strips and placed them on the walls all over the building. Our principal asked us to keep them up because on Friday principals 12115975_10206529840036695_4543547717059554816_nfrom all over the Cherry Creek School District will be visiting us and she wants them to see our love of poetry. So our random acts will continue to spread through the week and, hopefully, other schools.

I also gave a copy of Tania Runyan’s How to Write a Poem to one of our teachers. Ms. Hearne in third grade won the drawing and says she will use it with her class. Yay!12112477_10206528920493707_1837883931268855796_n

And…yesterday, I was presented a copy of the Psalms, the poetry of the bible, by my new “family.” I was named the first Artist-In-Residence at A Church of the Holy Family, ECC in Aurora, CO. I am so grateful to know how Fr. Scott Jenkins, Kelsey, and Jennifer and all in my church community in their passion for Celtic Christianity honor the role of the bard.

My heart is full.

I love poetry. I hope you do, too!

Filters, Poems by Lexanne Leonard

It is with great joy and gratitude that I announce the publication of my first book of poetry at Amazon. com.

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I discovered my love of writing in 2009 at the Colorado Writing Project. For two weeks teachers of elementary school students gathered to expand our skills in the teaching of writing. What we didn’t know was that we were going to be asked to become writers ourselves. The mornings were filled with research and lesson plans and the sharing of ideas. In the afternoons, we wrote. There I discovered I am a writer.

Fast forward a few years and another milestone in my life came as I stepped away from the Roman Catholic Church and found Fr. Scott Jenkins at A Church of the Holy Family. It is a Catholic, but not Roman, church of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. The ECC truly welcomes all.

Here I found a love for the arts – poetry, theatre, music, visual. I also found a place that creates space for Passage Meditation and numerous ways to pray and learn to live a Christ-centered life through a Celtic lens.

Soon I was writing and acting in plays, designing liturgy and liturgical space, composing prayers, and most important to my journey, writing lots of poetry. Filters is an encapsulated account of my faith journey.

During this time my monologues were published in two editions of Audition Monologues for Young Women compiled by Gerald Lee Ratliff. My poetry is included in How To Write A Poem by Tania Runyan, published by T.S. Poetry Press. Two of my poems will be seen in Casual next April 2016 in Tweetspeak Poetry‘s e-book for National Poetry Month.

Finally, my Advent devotional commissioned by A Church of the Holy Family will be available on Amazon.com this coming Advent season.

I thank all of my family at Holy Family, as well as my husband, Leroy Leonard, Fr. Scott Jenkins, and Kathleen Gorman for their unwavering faith me. They gave me the encouragement, the hard-ass-stick-to-it-lady-you-can-d0-its, and led me to discover in myself where the Divine resides. I now realize that I actually do have a ministry – sharing the Word though poetry and theatre.

I am deeply grateful for the harvest of this season.