A Book of Uncommon Prayers by Michael



I am a house on fire with fever


for the breath of the Ultimate

to blow out the flame


I am out wandering in the woods

trying to get lost

hoping to be found by Eternal Peace.


I am a tear drop descending

into the Ocean

of Existence.




Let me go

            like a slip across a slick floor

to tumble quickly into

            one last moment of creation.

Let me go

with eyes wide open

and curious as hell

an exclamation mark

on my horizon

            as I run towards it.

Let me go

            into death

as though it were not coming for me.



This despair which seeps out of me,

spreading over the landscape

soaking into the ground of my days

permeating those around me

does not see the clouds drifting through a sky

painfully blue

nor affect the flight of birds

or sway the growth of flowers in the wind.




There is a voice I will not speak with

a vision I will not see with

a touch

a smell

a taste

not mine, all not mine yet mine...


A sense that my common sense denies

though I sense it

within my eyes

my ears

the odors of my life

the layers of my trembling skin


I will speak sense beyond common sense

release the vision

a quake throughout my flesh

caress the rapture in silence

hear the rapture of that small voice

still insisting it will not be still

I will use my uncommon sense.


With the force of my will I would hold the leaves

gone to sharp reds and stiff yellows

on the branches

I would spread tears of sunlight across

a painfully blue morning sky

I would

if I could

let the leaves do what they should in autumn

let the sky be as it will

turn the corner of the season

and let voices adrift find my ear

let dreams find my sleep

let my will lie down inside my body

and become the rhythm of my breath

with the force of my will

I would relinquish my will

to Yours.



across expanse of sky

where day folds into night


where my heart caresses the hour

and listens for a sound reverberating

back from the future

a point where all ends, to begin again


between, aside, not quite,

as life begets death


I want to be There.


The visions of the sublime

the rituals of smoke and mirror

awards and gifts and

hurrahs abundant


It's not the bells and whistles of my life,

it's the silence that gives it meaning.


I take stock of the crop the past year has given me

go into the counting house of my soul

I wander through the grains,

some soiled, some the delight of mold spores,

others dry and ready for the harvest of my blessing

for it is I who bless myself. 

I give to myself the blessing of my life

by acknowledging my life

I give to myself the blessing of my life's mishaps,

pains, and difficulties by finding in each tear

and cry and moan a lesson to be learned

and then learning it well. 

I bless my life by watching the sun set

instead of keeping it away from my soul

by smiling thank-you to myself

when I notice how others smile at me

by letting go of that grudge squirming around

beneath my dreams

by letting loving-kindness walk steadily through my actions

into my world. 

Today I bless myself

by accepting life’s blessings

that flow to me, and through me.



The growth of thorns and underbrush

Wild roses and raspberries

round my muscles and ligaments

the bloom of dawn in my blood

the inhalation of evening in the hollow

chambers of my heart and the gray matter of my brain

Under the snore of a clouded horizon

all manner and demeanor of wind and weather

rises up from my loins

I am the sun as it ignites my neurons

the earth which builds the cellular membranes

the day and the night my consciousness

I am this life and it devours me.



Cold, like a heavy cream

coats the day

like a dream


the heart

yields a warning

stay alert!

To lie against ambitions,

to slumber in procrastination

promises a quiet death

stealth death

cold death

like a delusion curdled and sour.



I step into the day

release the guardians of my heart

go forth raw and naked

Tears, the sweat of my heart,

can flow as they may

Joy, the power of my heart

can flow as it may.

Love, the substance of my heart,

can flow as it may.


I step into the stream of the day

release the guardians

the fetters

the reticence

of my heart

and let my life flow as it may.



In celluloid and sin

I will pardon confusion

in video with vice

I will forgive delusion

in the novelistic metaphors

of sorrows and of frights

I will understand the search for a solution

II these artifices of art

that assault and confound me

I will find a place to heal my heart



Searching among the embers

lending them my breath

I will turn ashes to fire.

Where love is weak, undernourished and fragile

each breath give me joy in the endeavor

so my heart may warm others

my light mingle with theirs.

We are the beacon fire on the he hill

stronger, brighter, more visible to others

to offer sanctuary and safety and comfort

when we join with one another.





To relax the grip and grasp of the hand

it’s nature is to open

and when open to receive

the hand of another.

To live is to let go

by letting go I receive the blessings of life.


To relax the wanting and fearing of the heart

it’s nature is to open

and when open to receive

the hearts of others.

To love is to let go

by letting go I receive the blessing of love.


To empty the names and conceptions of the Divine

it’s nature is to reveal

and when I am open receive

I encounter the Divine.

To empty myself is to let go

by letting go I receive the blessings of the Divine.



Where is the night without the banshee howl of doubt

the cry of stars collapsing so tightly

they suck in all hope of light’s escape?

When is the dawn

and who will announce it’s blue as deep as the blood hidden inside us?

Who will articulate the exchange of deep for expansive?

Who will instruct us in the ways

to open eyes and let go the dreams?

I Wait for Your touch to raise me from my fear

I listen for Your words to clean my ignorance

I dive down into myself to find You.



How distant, lost in dimming stars, collapse of stellar furnaces, the eyes of night.

How sunken into the eternity of thought the pupils spun in darkness

what muscle the gray/green/blue/brown iris to enclose so tightly such secrets revealed only in the curvature of a glance

a desire askance the tender rim

almost sore, faintly red

as length of a lash, closing of an eyelid

is all that holds us apart.

No matter the depth of darkness, the deception of darkness,

the secrets of darkness,

the sun will rupture and reveal

explode, implore, explore,

and we will all be trembling with delight in the presence of a Unitary Universe.



In this hore frost of times

these days of molten spirit

when I, like a bubble, am

hurled against the thorns of despair

my heart heavy

and sinking

and crying out to You

I ask for strength to do Your Will

I petition for serenity

but only it find what truly matters

I ask for wisdom

but only to know Your love.

I need You, the source of all being,

to cradle me in Your arms

and let the universe be the lullaby

whispered in my dreams.


So still

in umber earth

my soul

would grow deep

into Thee

and heart laid bare,

beat given up to trembling,

would see

Light in all eyes.


I pray

to slay

my silly doubts

put out

all sorts of angry voices

Listen to silent sermons

heed inner commands

give up divide

and opposition

and separation

to grow deep and tall,

at One with Thee.



When the moon rises in the

corner of my eyes

night adorns my soul

as wind rushes away my breath

and wind chimes strain to untangle

my thoughts in it’s melody and song

I resolve, weary, yet I do resolve

to maintain the moment and let

loose the visions of future days

and new ways

this night, oh God, I seek sanctuary in the moment

my head at rest

on the beating of the universe.



Placing words of God gently on my heart

thoughts of God laid on my crisp heart

murmuring prayers and candle light shuddering

upon my heart

may the pressure of my need break open my heart

the words of God, the thoughts of God,

the prayers and actions for God,

sink down into my heart now wide open

to the heart of the universe.


(Oh heart of mine

hectic heart

crusted with tears

words of God alight

and crush my fears

oh heart of mine

break apart and open wide

to abiding calm

clear, still source of all.)



On the precipice of night,

I not knowing, not certain,

the wind abounds

and sings throughout the chambers of my heat.

I tingle deeply with the vibrating song of You

in my soul.

So where is night, and where is dusk and dawn and daybreak but carried to me by the wind?

I hear you rattling around in my thoughts

liked wind chimes tuned to a minor scale

setting all without and within to sway.

I tingle with the vibration of this song

and long

to hear the full glory of Your music

muffled by this flesh.

I am so moved, so touched,

so filled with the odor of joy and sorrow and joy…

And were I to step beyond

I trust you,

Great Wind to carry me,

to lift me

support me, sustain me

a feather resting on Your back.



The erosion of hours

the demise of stars

the squiggling of a worm through dark earth

soft season and hard frosts

wailing and giggles

sore sunsets salved with deep blue:

may all these things and more

give pause to

draw my wandering, unruly attention

tugging it, nudging it back

to find myself in the dark

the silence

the abiding calm

deep in Your embrace.



I will not wait for the noble cause

to clamor at my door,

to grab me by the back of the collar

and drag me off to victory.

I will not let the noble cause be lost

because I could not fight great battles.

I will let You push me gently but persistently along

until Your cause is won.



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