"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, March 19, 2010

For The Sake of Ten (A Poetic Midrash)

once a long time ago, I can't really
say how long, a man and his wife
welcomed three strangers

by the oaks of Mamre, near Hebron
and in true hospitality prepared a simple
meal of milk and curds, with

bread and tender calf
and received in kind
a blessing of life

a promise of pleasure
and a son to come
too wonderful to believe

the woman when hearing this
laughed to herself and wondered
at such a marvelous claim

she (Sarah) who was old and barren of life
beyond all memory of delight, of
youth filled joys and sensuous nights

it was a promise kept, within a year
he who will laugh (Isaac) with joy
was born, as the Lord had spoken

then the story of the passing stangers
continues, and this may be my
favorite part of the tale to tell

when the three men passed on to leave
the man (Abraham of the Good Eye)
went with them for a while

only to question again and again
first for fifty, then forty five
then forty, then thirty

then twenty, and finally
for the sake of ten
righteous people

moved by his own sense
of justice, mercy
and compassion

he questioned the Lord of Hosts
as advocate, even in his fear he questioned
how can we do any less?

and yet, God who heard the outcry
was teacher here as well as judge
one who would know the truth

God invites such dialog
you see, he does not hide
he chooses to be engaged

and by doing so
seeks to guide us in
transforming our world

by the plains of Mamre
near Hebron, he came
giving birth to a nation

a people of God, chosen of God
through which all the nations of earth
will become blest

Ron Starbuck

Copyright 2010