"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.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


In the enormous complexity of our lives,

between breathing in and breathing out,

before eyes open and muscles stretch awake each day,

in that secret place of the soul where dreams and reality join,

where God’s presence dwells and is known,

there is the stillness.

between the broken rhythms and compressed moments

involved in rushing to and from work,

between the head jerking abrupt stops and nimble starts

or frustrated cries and angry looks, with words

uttered under a tongue no one cares to understand,

there is the stillness.

between the action of cars racing from one

lane into another in a continuous motion

where two moving bodies

both try to occupy the same space

and all destinations eventually come together,

merging into what seems like a single parading line of lights,

there is the stillness.

between the slapdash after school and weekend itineraries,

when parents taxi children from one

busy social activity to another;

from piano lessons to play rehearsals,

scouts to soccer, and baseball to ballet,

there is the stillness.

between the blurring flutter of a humming birds wings

as it darts from one brilliant blossom to another

or the quick smooth movements of a spider racing across

its web to descend hungrily upon the lost wayward fly,

or in the moment just before sunrise when light

spreads from east to west like a golden Japanese fan

folding out across a pale saffron colored morning sky,

or in the fluid graceful motions of a rainbow trout

swimming upstream to its spawning ground or

before the initial breath of a newborn baby when oxygen first

enters the small delicate pinked fleshed lungs

and marks the moment with a triumphant sound of outrage

and a puffed up rosy face,

there is the stillness.

before a small t-shirted blue jeaned boy playing marbles,

carefully takes aim at his opponents position and with a single

accurate thumb flick propels his marble across distant space and

then watches with delight as worlds collide, electrons swirl, and

singularities form to infinitely curve space-time,

there is the stillness.

or in the moment when a small young girl dressed in

a simple cotton dress, with patent leather shoes,

lace trimmed bobby socks, and a satin bow in her hair,

kneels down, before a Church’s altar,

on red and white needle point trimmed

cushions to partake in her first communion,

and with open hands and heart

receives first the wafer and then the wine,

and by that act also receives God,

there is the stillness.

And so the Psalmist writes,

"Be still, and know that I am God".

R.P. Starbuck

Copyright 1991, 2002

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Earth Echoes

Because they are so large and seemingly silent,
There are some who will never concede
That within a boulders center,
Larger than ourselves, larger than our small concerns,
Formed by the dried tears of God,
Layered one upon another, echoing the earth,
There is the sound of a beating heart.

Slow and steady, measured not by
The passing of seconds, hours, or days,
But rather by years, centuries, millennia, eons,
Each one being wrapped in its own color of time.

Those who will not listen, would not know, because
The rhythmic beating of our earth, is now beyond,
Beyond their hearing sense, and, not knowing
How to listen, how can they hear?

With ear pressed to stone, listen!
Listen for the echo of earth's voice,
Deep inside its heart, or listen to
The long pauses between each beat.

This is the silence of her song
And the anguish of her giving,
The dried tears of God
Layered one upon another.

R.P. Starbuck
Copyright 1991, 2002

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wisdom Comes So Slowly

why is it that wisdom
comes so slowly

teach me Lord to ask
the questions of compassion
as you did Parsifal

who served the grail
who healed a king

who walked the
"pathless path"
long before i was born

like Parsifal
let me too
meet the Fisher King

turn my thoughts

towards waiting
towards patience

towards healing

as i wait
in the darkness
which is not darkness
only a veil of shadows

as i too wander
on a path
in a forest
which is only illusion

for that one moment of clarity
in which we begin
to see that our

self inflicted pain
is the next step
towards a wise mind
a world of wonder

and a couragous heart
which is open and free
to love the mystery

reflecting from us all
created as we are
as images

arising out of the
stillness and

the silence

and the emptiness
where wisdom rests
waiting for

waiting to serve
the Fisher King
answering the questions
of compassion

let me become such a brightness, where

"the night is as bright as the day"

Ron Starbuck

Copyright 2009

The Book of Common Prayer, Daily Evening Prayer Rite One

If I say, "Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light around me turn to night," darkness is not dark to thee, O Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to thee are both alike. Psalm 139:10,11

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Dearest Darling (for Joanne)

my dearest darling
i who was an awkward child
(and awkward even more so now, as time may tell)
can find no words, of poetry or prose
from which to speak, with any eloquence
to you my dearest one.
while you my beloved
speak more movingly
with a single smile,
and a knowing glowing look
people discern
the moment you enter
(with joyful hope filled grace) any room,
or cast a welcoming glance
seeing with eyes (bright with Godly affection)
that compels heaven’s own compassion

your voice, vulnerable and strong,
friendly with the deepest intimacy,
touches people with warm delight,
while your smile lightens the heaviest
places of our hearts.
your laughter, riot with infection
helps heal this world,
and then your beauty,
beyond all measure
in these wise eyes of mine,
reminds me that
God in His good judgment
(clever beyond all knowing)
knew from earth’s beginning
you were to be and are still now
an answer to my prayers
before wishes were formed
or words first spoken between us.

in years spelled out with clemency,
we have nearly learned to see and
speak each other’s thoughts, often
understanding what the other means
in quiet moments
through silent gestures and knowing nods,
tacit with expression.
so well it seems, that words
spoken with haste (quickly now who speaks first)
may often slip through our tongues and
choke our speech
listening is a learned art
i am learning still.

yet, such love as ours
knows no boundaries in time
or space for that matter.
it is a patient love, an enduring love
meant to bring, a quiet peace unto the world
where dreams are bred, and heaven is born,
you my heart are God’s gift to me
and i to you it seems.
He told me so you see!

I bow to you now, as Texas bluebonnets
bow graciously in a warm spring breeze
blooming with color, as you bloom with light.

Ron Starbuck
Copyright 2007