by Chrissy Muhr
Stone on Stone
My heart is stone on stone, wounds patched with rock
I’ve quarried from my mother’s tongue and mortared
With my father’s truths until they block
The pain and strife with which this life is quartered.
But flesh sustained by stone turns hard and cold;
In darkness shame and guilt take root, damp need
Chills love and makes of stone new altars that uphold
Those gods of ego, vice, distrust and greed.
So bring your rams of knowledge to batter the gates,
Your hooks of logic that grapple with stubborn stone,
Your arrows to pierce what ignorant wisdom dictates;
This heart will not be taken so nor overthrown.
But in surrender, love’s fragile gift impart;
Self-death seeds life that breaks dead rock apart.
Self-death Seeds Life
Self-death seeds life that breaks dead rock apart
With fingered roots that pry between the stones
To wake poor sleepers ‘lumined by light’s darts
That trail through cracks, changing what is known.
As masons turn to husband new green shoots
So hearts entombed in stone find space to grow;
Walls crumble, stones shift, foundations uproot,
And then sky’s light-soaked hope begins to show.
So come True Gardener with your herbish lore
And show the way to water roots with tears,
To feed the leaves with food from fasting’s store,
To prune the fruitless boughs that spring from fears.
For untrained growth can make its own Bastille,
Where rock once stood, green thorns are barriers still.
Beyond the Wall
Where rock once stood, green thorns are barriers still
Maintaining hostile lines of fear and pride
That keep awakening love confined until
Its too hot zeal can cool, its tide subsides.
But growing hearts refuse such stops to love;
Now casting down such false humanity
That sees the self superior, above
Those image-bearers, this wide family.
So come, transform my heart to fleshly cup
From which the world can drink your wine of life,
And fill it with a love that bubbling up
Speaks peace, Shalom to ever present strife
Within, you’ve changed to flesh that flinty block
My heart of stone on stone, wounds patched with rock.