Learning to Pray


Swaying walnut trees above the rooftops

Wave golden tipped arms over the

Unmoving great blue heron in

Frozen pose at river’s edge, patiently

Poised for rainbow trout swaying in

Crosscurrents of pristine ice melt

Smoothing granite composites as it

Laughs its way to gulf and sea where the

Great whales dive for giant squid and

Sing their base songs of love amidst

Oscillating feathers of red and blue-green algae.


Deer attune oversize ears like radar and

The great bear sniffs the breeze as

The golden eagle soars thousands of feet

Above the tiny mouse scurrying along a

Moss laden forest floor above the family of shrews

While over the snow-laden peaks lies a vast

Desert bejeweled with flower flames that

Burst forth en masse after the rains that

Filled dry wadis, awakened toads from sleep,

And gave drink to antelopes and hares as

Diamond back rattlesnakes sunned themselves.


The centenarian struggled from his chair

Gripping the walker tightly and slowly

Shuffling out to gaze at Aquarius, great Ea,

His wispy white hair blowing like the burgee

Atop the mast of the anchored schooner

Which itself nods in thanksgiving for the

Gift of the water-bearer; at one with the

Prisoner gripping the cell bars with scarred

Eyes straining skyward and the bedraggled

Homeless woman peeking out from under

Old newspaper blankets in the alleyway.


Children laugh and play in sandboxes under

Monkey bars while seesaws creak for oil,

Daddy’s push swings, mommies on benches

Chat about crumbling empires as cathedral

Bells toll the passing of time, ringing hope

Across the land, and calling the gentle

Cloistered to prayer while, across town

A minaret adhan sings forth and the

Devout face east at the same time that

Phylactery strapped men rock in gentle

Rhythm with prayer books in hand.


Scent of burning sage, swinging thurible,

Flickering candles, the Yoruba call upon Olodumare,

Indigenous dances in colorful colors, drum beats

Cassock and surplice adorned children

Sing Bach arias that harmonize with the

The brooks and whales, birds and trees,

Laughter and tears, hearts and minds,

Incantations and prayers, songs and groans, all

Drifting into ethereal realms where seraphim

And cherubim alike add their voices to the

Chorus of cosmic praise.

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