"Wheels Turning Inward" is a is a rich collection of over fifty poems, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions. The artwork at the top of this page, is one image found in the Gordon Moore Memorial stain glass window at Trinity Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, by the artist Kim Clark Renteria. The image of these three circles, is emblematic of both the Trinity and the title for this new collection of poetry now available from Friesen Press.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Jesus Prayer Flag

this morning, quite early
in fact,
an hour or so after dawn
while walking to my office

i saw a parking garage attendant
in the courthouse district
of downtown Houston
waiving a red-orange

traffic flag
back and forth
back and forth
with the word
written there

there he was
waving Jesus around
for all the world to see
he was waving Jesus
like a
Tibetan Buddhist prayer flag
flying in the wind

stirring up the Holy Spirit

he was waving Jesus as a message
as a hope
as a charity
as a blessing
as a reminder
in remembrance
so that we might
wake up and

remember too

if you listen

along with me
you can hear
the voices
of the homeless

the poor
the imprisoned on parole
the weary
like voices from heaven
as they too pass

saying ...

Come, Lord Jesus
Come, Lord Jesus

Come, Lord Jesus

uttering his name without pause
as a prayer, as a song, as a thought

in the back of my mind I can hear them singing

"Jesus loves me this I know,

so the Bible tells me so" ...

i'm sure it is a prayer
a cry from heaven even,
it must be
for i hear the voices too,

the voices of angels
appearing and arising
as unexpected messengers
as strangers


i think i see Jesus smiling,

i'm sure i do,
in the smiles on their faces

as i pass by looking, seeing
but staying quiet all the same
not a whisper crossing my lips
not even a small hello

but certainly a smile, and a hint of some
blessing unasked for
grace given freely
freely accepted

a witness to
God's compassion
at work
in the world
the Kingdom

of God
coming closer

and closer
each day

Ron Starbuck

Copyright 2009

The Harris County Courts District is at the northeastern edge of downtown Houston, Texas, quite close to Minute Maid Park. Within the district are several social services organizations, various county agencies and courts, the Harris County Jail, as well as Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal), and Annunciation Catholic Church. The district includes a diversity of people. It is quite common to encounter the homeless, the hungry, and even the sick; or county prisoners dressed in orange stripped suits working outside the jail for the day; various professionals involved in the courts or county administration; and the public at large going to and from an Astros baseball game. Harris County, Texas, is the third most populous county in the United States; which makes it larger than half the states in the Union and many countries throughout the world.