Heart of the Baobab. Liturgical Arts by Scott Arany.


Saints and angels stomp in our living room
hearing the words of He Who Calls
moving to Her rhythms
dancing to Their fiddles
counting the Call: one, two, three
four living creatures swing 'round,
Joseph passes Mary to Moses,
Daniel knocks some spoons
and The Christ calls:
“Come to the ground!
All ye who are weary with joy—
Come to the ground!
All ye with two left feet, no feet, or lame hearts—
Come to the ground!
Holler with a holy transience,
bring down dust from the rafters,
let the neighbours kick you out and kick you up
for in My Father's House
are many stages
and the seventh song sung is a rest."

In the early mist,
when the grey is vibrant and the sun thaws,
I'll rub my hands together,
cup them and blow,
watching the puff of breath plume
into vapoured

Let me come into your house and weep.
My bones are sore and I'm tired,
I want to release this weariness with you.
Despite the aching I raise my hands;
Why am I reaching when I should be resting?
What stars to dream must I stretch weary hands and muscles?
Do I tremble with fatigue or yearning?
Let me come into your house and weep.

lead me
to where
I don't know I
should be...
be it with you.

Saint Anthony and me,
He with his pig and I with my laptop
So intent his focus—
devoted to those words,
—dwelling in a divine world.
Demons prod and poke,
pull and tease,
snigger, offering rabbit trails and tangents.
Anthony does not waver,
so like his pig:
content to wallow in the clay
where God's word breathes life.
Patty-cakes of mud will be my bread
and light my wine.

When I am in need
I will cling to the Blood—
let it trickle down my back,
saturate my heart,
breathe in my life.

When I am in need,
I will lean into the Holy Wind,
let the Spirit swirl
leaves of delight
around me.

Psalm of Lament for the Uninsured
I am afraid today,
I fear for what could happen
should I fall or stumble,
if I were to dash my own head against a rock,
an accident befall me,
or sickness to overtake me.
For I am unsecured in a land of plenty,
I am uninsured.
You have blessed me with wealth,
but not enough for this.
You surround my heart with a hedge of faith
yet my body is beset by the winds of
denials, expenses, and co-pays.
If I were to fall today,
I could not pay for my own healing.
I would rather die than be held captive to infirmity and debt.
I have worked so long to be here!
You have been beside me,
a companion and advisor.
Now, I need you to be my healer and my HMO.
Shield me from ruin,
and my feet from falling.
I trust—yet with fear.
My faith knows you hear
yet my body is weak and susceptible;
I am a broken reed.
Behold your servant whom you have chosen
Your beloved in whom you have been pleased.
Put your spirit of strength and health upon me,
so that I can shout your justice in a society that charges for care,
desiring debt for deliverance.
For otherwise I shall fall in my fight,
my cry will fail,
and my voice be heard no more.
Do not bruise this broken reed further,
Do not press this smoldering wick,
For in your name
—god saves—
I hope.

Rain, gentle, a kiss from God—
Uplifts my spirits and makes you smile,
Two fingers touched to Her lips,
caressing our cheeks.

This forest is beautiful.
There's a bird that sings like my truck's squeaky wheels.
A tractor works in the orchards below me.
I look across a valley of apples in harvest time—
what are you growing in me?

Fall colours are dressing some trees.
Tall, stony mountains rise up to give foothold to the other side of the valley.
Spider-webs weave branches together with silver thread—
what are you weaving in me?

I break the bread, I pour the wine.
the wine is sweeter than I had hoped;.
I need to take several swallows, quickly, one after the other,
to feel the burn and warmth down my throat.
There's a rustling in the woods behind me, off to the right of me—
what are you moving in me?

I sit in the garden, studying,
—so still—
that a child thinks me a statue

I sit in the garden, among the Buddhas,
—so still—
that a woman stops before me and prays

There once was a squirrel who
dangled off the rim of a trash can,
desperately straining towards
the refuse within,
beyond his reach.

He reached with such desire that
he would fall off the rim and into the trash.
Startled—perhaps embarrassed—
he'd leap back out of the trash can and start again,
not realizing that he had finally reached his stinky goal.

After several rounds of this,
he perched again on the rim,
resting and settling into sleep.
Then he woke up to try again.

Just inches from his trash—
a clear, clean stream of water,
soft mounds of grass,
and a tall tree warmed by the sunlight.

i am formless and void
waiting for the spirit to hover over me
to create
water, earth, moss
for my mud to be cradled by hands
calling me Good.