Thursday, October 11, 2012

To Carry Sorrows

creative commons licensed - fotopedia
To Carry Sorrows
by Gideon Burton

a meditation upon Isaiah 53:3-6 (KJV)

To carry sorrows, this the pressing weight
the press and wait, uncertain how much more
or what it's for, these carried sorrows, freight
toward a destination without shore
nor harbor, harboring the laden craft
suspended in a deepening depth, a grief
whose eddies slowly spin this shaking craft
til all is tearing, torn upon the reef.
To carry sorrows, bury sorrows deep
within the organs' darkened tissue rich
with wrong, the layered cankered cancers keep
their host and host the oily muck and pitch
and how can I abandon cells and skin
to leave these sorrows, even now, to Him?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

Good Friday
by Gideon Burton

When I forget--this settled peace, erased;
this stillness-fullness broken, emptied, pale,
the numbing noise of business in its place;
this freshness forced to something sick and stale;
my piece of peace a sharpened, cutting shard;
my wholeness raked with ragged ripping holes,
and everything once easy, cold and hard;
this world off-rhythmed, wobbling on its poles--
then come, Redeemer, come unpawn, untie,
undo, bind up, relieve, remind my timid eyes
to look again, to watch, to wait, to try
this trial, wrench from it the brighter prize,
and let you fight for me on bloody knees,
where praying shakes the silent olive trees.

photo: creative commons licensed from aftab via Flickr

Sunday, March 25, 2012


by Gideon Burton

in memory of our first grandchild, Olive Burton,
who came to us, and left us, on March 25, 2012 

The ultrasound technician didn't know
the baby couldn't stay. Her mother, close
to dying, wouldn't last to keep the flow
of growing until safety interposed.
"And that's her arm, and here's her beating heart.
She's healthy, normal, right on track with growth."
We watched my son with tender groaning start
their child-grief, Adam clutching Eve and both
a witness to the miracle, the spike
of seeing such divinity in reach
that in our darkness nothing seems more light,
more fleeting-weighty than a parent's weeks.
     Oh, little Olive, here and gone again;
     we'll dance with you when time at last unbends.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Rocks

creative commons licensed by James Jordan
Love Rocks
by Gideon Burton

for Karen

On balance, I am not -- not balanced, all
these years of trying (and I know I'm trying):
I run, careening, leaning, then I fall
again. (Just saying, not at all implying.)
And what a lovely sentiment to state
"You are the ballast force, the leveling,
the plumb line, ever true, my steady mate,
as constant as my constant life disheveling."
But you, my equal, mess with gravity,
creative force disordering with grace.
A steady state? to you, depravity:
you smiling think, and soon explodes our place.
   Our love has rocked us sleeping and awake,
   a living rhythm, holding as all breaks.