Friday, February 24, 2012

This Life


Do not take for granted this life
or this face that greets you
tonight in the mirror.
All that you know and believe
can change in an instant
and be no more.

Do not think you are privileged
even though
you may be greatly loved.
Jesus himself was greatly loved
by the Father and yet
he became the womb of suffering
for all mankind.

We cannot truly, or ever,
understand how love can allow this.
We cannot truly, or ever understand why
we are here on this earth
with such uncertainty
so vulnerable to sin and its thorns.

I myself have seen life change
this day, in an instant
and what was once a stone upon my mantle
shatter and blow away like broken glass.

And so, what shall any of us do with this dilemma?
Continue to live, believing something kinder awaits us?
Love . . . even though these embers will die one day?
Yes, and forgive . . .
Let us not cling to the suffering
Love . . . while this moment is ours to live.
Love . . . even though we may never unravel its mystery.

Joanne Cucinello 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine


How many years have I known you, Sweet Man of Mine?
How many vines have grown over the Oaks
and the Dogwoods deep in the woods?
And how often have I watched you cut them down
to save young trees, to spare a life.?
You are always cutting off the dead and lifeless,
sometimes, well before the rest of us
can even see they’re dead.

Am I the girl grown into the woman you were waiting for?
Am I the one, the love of your life?
And does my smile still warm your heart?

I wait for your return each night . . .
the turn of the key in the door,
the look of your warm eyes
saying “I’m home.”

How many times have you told me you love me?
If I close my eyes, I can hear your voice
and feel your breath upon my cheek.
You are my darling love.
I waited for you all my young years,
waited for you to come out of my dreams. . . .
And here you are, so full of all I ever wanted.

Hold me in your arms forever.
Tell me I’m your One Sweet Valentine.
Never . . .never let me go.

Joanne Cucinello

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Joshua’s Lament


When will all beings be free?

When can I return to my brothers
and be greeted with open arms?
My soul dwells in this barren place
that once housed my heart.

These eyes are dry and tearless now
like the sand beneath my feet
and I have become an omen feared
my face a dark reflection of a man in chains.

The parched grass does not seed the earth
nor uproot itself and move with wind to verdant hills
just as I am bound in this anchored solitude
until the ear of Yaweh hears my cries.

Without hope, I am deprived of mercy
a hollow shell where once a rock stood
proud and fortunate. Alone, I am an empty wineskin
once full of the drink that warmed my dreams.

When will all beings be free?

They have silenced my tongue because
I spoke of peace and the end of tyranny.
Like an ill-fated child who speaks out of turn
they have dealt me vicious blows.

My cries are muffled by the wind that
moves the clouds in dark of night.
How long must I keep silent while my sisters
are raped and my brothers made to carry dung?

What am I to do? Eat locusts and wild honey
like the Baptist John and wait for my beheading?
Must I hide among the rocks and caves until my hair grows
white, my skin a dried brown prune to cast away?

How long, Lord, must I bear this sentence?
You are the One who stirred my heart to speak
of freedom from oppression, of justice for the poor
and now I preach to dried grass and lizards unaware.
When will all beings be free?

Am I to wander forever here without your solace
to never gaze into my children’s eyes? Or will you look again
upon me with your mercy and set the path before me,
carved through mountains with your word?

Will they rise without me, tear the structures from their beams,
raise the flag of freedom and sing ten thousand strong?
They will come to find me then rejoicing, but I will not be found,
my bones returned to dust in the caverns of the hills.

No, this cannot be my final destiny, to never know of peace,
to be like Moses never entering the promised land!
Find me a way Lord! Let me steal into the night by my brother’s side.
Make me swift of foot and strong of will again.

Return me to the land of the living, even if it costs my life,
for I am Joshua, your servant. You gave me a tongue for a sword
and I will never cease to wield its sting upon the wicked.
Find me a way, Lord and I will forever sing your praise!

Joanne Cucinello 2007

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