Poem: Yahweh, the God Who Delivers*

“I am Yahweh your God
who brought you out of the land of Egypt
out of the land of slavery
you shall have no other gods before me”**

And so the one true God, I Am, utters
the divine maxim of Light, Liberation, Life and Love
for all eternity, the Alpha and the Omega,
and for all peoples of the neighborly kin-dom

The Lord God told Jeremiah
“Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver You”***
and without fear, he went, he stood, and he spoke

God frees from burden and slavery
God brings up out of the chaos
God delivers from danger
God redeems out of exile

Yes, Yahweh is the God of action
that is intentionally purposeful
who intrudes and interrupts
who transforms personally, socially,  cosmically

God outmatches the powers of oppression
in our lives, in human systems, and in the cosmos
both materially and spiritually
directly and through recruited  human agency

From ancient times and still today
from Pharaoh  through tyrant presidents  and beyond
from Egypt’s slavery through todays’
empires of military-technological death

You!  be a witness, now, of this enduring testimony
of hope and courage, here, in the face of every
absolutizing power which resists the intentions
of God’s Light, Liberation, Life and Love

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
June 2019

This poem is inspired from reading Walter Brueggemann’s ‘Theology of the Old Testament.’

* A subtitle in Brueggemann’s book describing the specific, concrete action verbs which is the core of Israel’s testimony about their life with Yahweh.
** Exodus 20:2-3
*** Jeremiah 1:8 

ברוך אתה מלך האלוהים שלנו של היקום

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam…

“Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe…”

Poem: When Walls Crumble, the Exilic Journey Begins With a Step

Visions of  great fortress rock foundations
crumbling before my eyes
the very mortar flows out like dust in the breeze

One can peer out through the gaps
until the great walls slowly begins to shift
crumbling thunderously to the ground

A great grinding dissonance
until, at long last, dust silently settling
once again stepping exiled into the solitary desert

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
June 2019

Art image, Moses Farewell Song in the Desert, by Lesser Ury

The Authentic Belonging of True Friends Haiku

Finding that friend where
relationship is foretold
is Holy and whole-making

Herb Stone ©
here&now working poetry
June 2019


Ollie and the Gang, sailing the Baltic Sea from Helsinki to Stockholm, 2003
Our Havana Friend, Eduardo, visiting in Nashville at Gojo Ethiopian Cafe, TN, 2000

Poem: This Is the Way the Spirit Flows Blessed Beloveds

This is the way the spirit flows
like light in  veins
like gold filling cracked bones
like hearts unfurling
like chakra energy of body and soul

This is the way the spirit flows
like exponential radical acceptance
like unconditional radical love
like dear friends, Beloved
like walking each other home

This is the way the spirit flows
like the kin-dom (instead of the empire)
like the alternative neighborly community
like as in heaven, so on earth
like nations of plowshares and pruninghooks

This is the way the spirit flows
like light flowing over the waters
like breath in the nostrils
like splitting the wood and lifting the rock
like the stars whirring in the great Cosmos

Blessed are the poor in spirit
blessed are the meek
blessed are the merciful
blessed are the peacemakers
blessed are the spirit filled

Beloveds knock and it is answered
beloveds we are lifted up in dignity
beloveds we are receivers of redemption and grace
beloveds we are reconciled to the good of all
beloveds, thou art that

Yes, this is the way the spirit flows
in, with, and through all Creation
blessing all
lifting all
beloved all

Herb Stone ©
here&now working poetry
May 2019

Photo by Herb Stone, Reflections in the Koi Pond

Poem: God Utters Me Like a Word*


God creates order
out of chaos
with an utterance

God sustains life
out of nothingness
with a breath

God loves us
into true being
with  incarnation

God transforms belonging together
into authentic neighborly community
with radical acceptance   

Creator God
sustainer God
beloved of God
grace of God

God, may we awaken to
your utterance, breath, incarnation, grace
in our most true being and belonging together
here and now

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 2019

  • Thomas Merton quote: “God utters me like a word containing a partial thought of himself. A word will never be able to comprehend a voice that utters it. But if I am true to the concept God utters in me, if I am true to the thought in Him I was meant to embody, I shall be full of His actuality and find him everywhere in myself and find myself nowhere. I shall be lost in Him.” 
Photo, God Utters Me Like a Word, Draper Coastal Dune Lake, FL by Cathey Stone

Poem: When I Call You Friend

Friend is an important word
In my lexicon
Friend is imbued with the qualities
Of truth and authenticity and trust

Friends share their truth and healing
Friends are given, not chosen
Friends give value to our survival
Friends are forever no matter the gap

When I call you friend
It is unconditionally
When I call you friend
We are empathically available

Calling one another friend
Relating as friends
Belonging in communities as friends
Walking one another home as friends

Friend is an important word to me
One of gravitas and gratefulness
One filled with life and love
Dearest friends I call to you

Herb Stone ©
here&now working poetry
May, 2019

Photo, Friends Soaking Feet in Draper Coastal Dune Lake, with Cathey, by Herb Stone

Poem: Bumble Bee in the Foxgloves

Big busy buzzing bumble bee
in the high foxgloves
industriously visiting every bloom

Busily collecting pollen on your
big round hairy body and legs
with proboscis sucking nectar

Such a sight to behold
but stay out of my ear
which is no flower bloom

Yes, your buzz is delightful
and your touch is light
and my ear is full of pollen

Go big busy bumble bee buzzing about
back to you blooms and colony
so I may finish my gardening tasks  

Herb Stone ©
here&now working poetry
May 2019

Poem: Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death *

As the Monk at the Abbey of Gethsemane
Once wisely taught us Beloveds
One can be a believer in the historical Jesus
And an Imperialist every moment of their lives **

Believers are doers of checklist religion:
Believe in the historical figure of Jesus….check
Sit in your pew in your church every Sunday….check
Tithe according to the Give Generously committee….check
Serve the poor you oppress….check
Worship God from afar….check

There is a world of difference in believers and followers
In checking off and checking in as a bearer
In observing from the crowd and carrying your own cross
In doing as believers and being as follower disciples

Followers are authentic disciples faithfully carrying their cross
Being followers in the footsteps of The Way of Jesus
Being confessors and repenters of Costly Grace ***
Being humble, merciful, and just as required by God ****
Being transforming and reconciling in authentic community
Dying unto themselves and resurrecting in Eternal Life

God do not allow me to watch from the accusing crowd another moment
A lost and wandering ghost of this world
Make in a Spirit, not a ghost
Wake, waking, woke

Herb Stone ©
here&now working poetry
May 2019

* Psalm 23:4
** Thomas Merton quote
*** Dietrich Bonhoeffer “The Cost of Discipleship”
**** Micah 6:8

Photo by Herb Stone, Shadow

Some of my favorite bird photos! Photography and poetry go hand in hand for me.

Owl at Seven Mile Creek, Nashville
Owl at Seven Mile Creek, Nashville
Egret, Seagull, Heron at Draper Lake, FL
Heron with Fish at Clement Taylor Park, Destin, FL
Pelican at Gulfview Heights Beach, FL
Prothonotary Warbler at Radnor Lake Wildlife Area, Nashville
Osprey at Draper Lake, FL
White Egret at Draper Lake, FL
Turkey in My Back Yard, Nashville
Raven at Centennial Park, Nashville