Saturday, March 11, 2017

Trial By Fire

Trial by Fire

This is a different version
of the phoenix we once knew.
You, with your angel wings
shining gold in flames of my temple,
time and time again, returning--
both of us learning.
You hold my feet to the fire,
then help to heal the burning.

You’re willing to brave the heat,
the black, the flame
calling my name
knowing there will be beauty for ashes
but all the same
there will be ashes too,
and soot
and smoke.
And while you walk the hot coals,
you invoke the powers of Heaven.
And find me as a little child,
lost, and wild, and still ablaze.
And call me by a new, and sacred name.

All I see through the haze
Is that you came.
-          s.b. Westenskow March 9, 2017

Friday, May 10, 2013

Drawing Nigh

It is truth
when He says He draws nigh
unto us
when we draw nigh unto Him.

Immediately welcoming
we, His prodigals,
no matter how far
or deep away we have been.

He lets us in
to feast on His Spirit
over and over again.

What a son will do for love of a mother...

It was an insensitive demand
to be sure
that you relinquish that last vestige
of manhood, that in his presence,
you possess
in order, your dying mother, to address.

It was a gift as precious
as breath
in the presence of
almost death.

Yet with a sharpened blade
(that knoweth not the
of sacrifice there made)
cleared stubble from the jaw

and left those of us
who watched
in awe.

Friday, February 10, 2012

For Jacob

With apologies to Robert Hayden)

Weekends too, my son arises early
and from the frosted darkness sends back cracks
of axes splitting aspen into kindling,
he pack wood in and drops in scattered stacks.

And I am comforted by warmth in duo,
by fires from heated hearth and happy heart,
and I, not sure I've said sufficient thank you,
or told him he does far more than his part.

From boy to man, he's been his mother's keeper,
my snuggling, squishy faced potential God,
my bleached and earringed, semi-rebel manchild,

I see who you've become and I am awed.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beauty For Ashes

Beauty For Ashes

She comes bearing gifts.

(I know she must!)

I have to believe

(since I know in whom I trust)

that within the mussed,

the pierced, bare-shouldered

paucity of her youth

lies some sweeet and, oh, so

merciful truth...

Like Tara

raising up a Scarlett

in the ashes of her burning,

I am (with, I'll admit, some difficulty)


that every step into the smoky shadow

bequeaths something shining

and Divine...

something uniquely,


written in the stars,