Category Archives: poetry

The rivers have lifted up their voices.


The Lord is King, He is clothed with majesty;
the Lord is clothed with strength
and He hath girt Himself.

For He established the world
which shall not be shaken.

Thy throne is prepared of old;
Thou art from everlasting.

The rivers have lifted up, O Lord,
the rivers have lifted up their voices.

The rivers will lift up their waves,
at the voices of many waters.

Wonderful are the surgings of the sea,
wonderful on high is the Lord.

Thy testimonies are made very sure.
Holiness becometh Thy house, O Lord,
unto length of days.

Headwaters of the Sacramento, May 2015

It is hard to hear.


It is hard to hear the north wind again,
And to watch the treetops, as they sway.

They sway, deeply and loudly, in an effort,
So much less than feeling, so much less than speech,

Saying and saying, the way things say
On the level of that which is not yet knowledge:

A revelation not yet intended.
It is like a critic of God, the world

And human nature, pensively seated
On the waste throne of his own wilderness.

Deeplier, deeplier, loudlier, loudlier,
The trees are swaying, swaying, swaying.

-Wallace Stevens

How beloved are Thy dwellings.

How beloved are Thy dwellings, O Lord of hosts; my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.

My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God.

For the sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtledove a nest for herself where she may lay her young.

Even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house; unto ages of ages shall they praise Thee.

-From Psalm 83

It was a time of stifling.


It was a time when wise men
Were not silent, but stifled
By vast noise.  They took refuge
In books that were not read.
Two counsellors had the ear
Of the public.  One cried ‘Buy’
Day and night, and the other,
More plausibly, ‘Sell your repose.’

R. S. Thomas, 1913 -2000 









With thanks to Stephen Pentz,
who has all the best poems.
Illustration by Johan van Hell.