"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.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Mockingbird's Song

There are moments,
like this morning,
when my heart is so full
it has become the song of the

Mockingbird singing outside our windows.
Who may sing at any time day or night, its song
of wonder and making.
Who is binding the world together

with each single and heart-making note, whose
songs are as bright as God's love for all of creation.
It is 4:42 AM precisely now,
at such and such longitude and latitude.
(29° 48' 22'' N 95° 23' 47'' W)

And I am sitting in a chair
typing as quickly as I can these
words arising out of the emptiness
of my own being, alive with wonder.

So that no single word may escape the
gesture of my mind, which in this
moment is like a razor's edge,
sharp and clearly defined.

The Mockingbird is still singing its song,
which you may easily imagine moving up through its
gentle heart, and throat, and out through
its voice, to spin again and again

up and around this fragile world, our home.
The song of its being is still winding its way
into the many mansions of my heart,
opening my heart to the mystery of its word and voice.

On Friday afternoon our neighbor delivered to Joanne,
a bouquet of lilies from her garden, Easter Lilies in May.
Oh, more than a dozen I can picture now.
And then yesterday Joanne brought home

even more flowers.
Carnations and mums for church today,
so the house is full of their fragrance,
along with the smell of my morning coffee.

If the self is constantly changing,
from one moment to the next
as my Buddhist friends tell me.
If the self is so impermanent as

to be not-self, or no-self, anattā (uhn-uht-tah).
Why is it then that I feel so
completely and utterly
alive in this very moment?

Why is it that I can still
hear the song of the mockingbird
entering my heart?
Raising it up again and again

like a sacrament,
to the wonders of creation,
to this gift we call life.
Why is it that this one song never

seems to leave me from
one hallowed moment to the next?
Why is the song more, much more,
than a vague and distant memory?

Maybe as the Buddha suggests, this is
a question we should put aside for now, not to worry.
And just to be as we are, to answer or say neither
yes or no, to live in the mystery perhaps.

Still, wherever you may be this morning, whatever
you may be doing, stop now. Stop and take one
deep breath, breathing in slowly and fully, and out once again.
Stop, and realize if nothing else, that you are alive.

And that within your own heart is the same song, of
the same mockingbird, in the very same tree outside our window
that is singing through our own hearts, binding us
together as one human family, a family of humanity.

Let this one moment become a beginning, a healing,
a grace, a passage from one human heart to the next. Where
the world is made new and whole, where we know who we
are with a certainty marked by compassion.

Where we come to see Christ, and even the Buddha, alive in one another.

Ron Starbuck

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mockingbird Morning

Early this morning, I listened to the sound

of two Mockingbirds singing a duet,

with the composition of their song twisting

and spinning through the air

like brilliant streams of light.

When I looked up to find them,

I saw the waning moon bright with the

promise of dawn, framed by the branches

of our neighbor’s pecan tree,

heavy with new leaves from the spring.

On any morning we can go out

to one of our two porches

and listen to the clever and soothing songs

of Mockingbird, Dove, and Sparrow.

The Robins have returned as well, for now;

they always fly on when the heat of summer comes.

It is early May, and the warm humidity of Southeast

Texas is just beginning to edge up.

Each cool morning now is a gracious gift

we treasure, knowing that the hot days

of summer will soon be coming.

What I want to do most today is to

sit for the longest time listening to the

sounds of the morning, arising out of

the quiet emptiness of the earth. To simply close

my eyes and meditate on each song moving up

through the bones and marrow of my body,

and out again through my breath, binding together each

stray particle of my being into one coherent symphony. This is

what God must feel each moment across one universe to the next,

as endless galaxies and solar systems move timelessly through

the deepness of all creation, spinning out the

one clear song of this, his divine design.

If God, as many believe is love. Then I believe

it must be that our love added to others, is helping

to fashion his one song of creation.

And that if we ever stopped loving, really

stopped loving one another, then the world would

truly end suddenly and sadly with no warning at all.

This is why Christ gave us his two greatest

commandments, and Buddha taught compassion,

because they knew and wanted us to know too.

As long as one single person remembers how

to love and forgive anew each morning, like a child,

then the world is saved again and again.

Each morning becoming a new creation,

as God’s Holy Spirit moves across the waters

of our life, and we find our way home to Eden.

Ron Starbuck
Copyright 2010

Hear what our Lord Jesus saith: 

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great
commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt
love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments
hang all the Law and the Prophets.   Matthew 22:37-40

Book of Common Prayer - The Holy Eucharist Rite One 


Monday, May 3, 2010

Saying Yes to Jesus (Waiting with an Expectant Heart)

Luke 1 (21st Century King James Version) – Annunciation and Magnificat

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  28 And the angel came in unto her and said, "Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women."  30 And the angel said unto her, "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God.  31 And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS.  32 He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David,  33 and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end."

46 And Mary said, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.  48 For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For He that is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is His name.

Saying Yes to Jesus (Waiting with an Expectant Heart)

It’s the Christmas holiday season again Jesus.

Help us to know that it’s all about saying yes to you Jesus,
isn’t it; as your mother Mary said yes to God?

And it’s all about learning to share your love with others
and learning to wait for your coming
with an expectant heart.

How can we find the strength within ourselves
to give you that yes Lord?

Every day we wake up and there is always one more
thing that someone has added to our long list of
things to do, and the holiday season only
makes it worse you know.

Here we go again Lord, off to buy our families’ things
they can’t seem to live without; our spouse the
newest iPod, or our children the latest video game.

We rush around during the week and the weekends far
too much and far too fast to even hear
the announcement of your coming birth.

It’s a wonder we don’t miss Christmas Day in the rush of it all.

This year Jesus, will you please help us to slow
down and hear the angels singing?

Will you help us to hear the announcement during Advent
that you, the long expected one, are
coming now?

Will you help us to wait with expectation?  Emmanuel – “God with us.”

Will you help us Jesus to see that now, here deep inside our hearts,
not tomorrow, but now; now is the time of your second coming
and that if we blink too fast we’re going to miss it all Jesus,
we’re going to miss it all.

And when Christmas comes, will you help us to hear the sound
of your voice crying as a baby and the sound of
angels in heaven proclaiming that birth?

Will you help us once again to understand the miracle and
mystery of your birth and what your birth actually
means to a world broken by sorrow?

Will you help us to say yes to God, our Father, as Mary said yes?

Will you even help us to give birth to God’s love within ourselves,
as Mary waited so long to give
birth to you in the little town of Bethlehem?

Will you please help us Jesus to feel and come to know the
holiness of this holiday season, from
Advent to Epiphany, and beyond?


Ron Starbuck

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Which or That

I’ve almost always
preferred the word Which
over That.

I know it is in
writing a most
grievous sin

causing all sorts
of confusions and confessions
again and again.

So, I’m wondering once more, again.
Why I wish for Which, instead of That
and that is simply, well, and you know what

I’m going to say next,
don’t you, instead of,
Just That!

If we could all be clever, beyond
all telling, then one would
think that we could invent a new

Word, for both, like
‘Wthat’ or ‘Twhich’
Or even ‘Whichthat.’

And let all of us pick
one or another, of course
that leaves us where we started.

So, I’ll stay this old and weary
argument, at this, or is it That?
Tell me simply, which one to use.

Ron Starbuck

Copyright 2010

If you are still confused, please go to this page on which and that.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sadie Lin

Sadie Lin  -  Sadie Lin  -  Sadie Lin
Is coming, she is coming today
She is almost here you know
She is coming with a

Host of angels from heaven
Above, and will be guarded
And loved by a host of angels
Here on earth, and her name

Means wondrous beautiful loving child
Princess of light and love, and
She will have the smallest
Of hands and feet

With fingers and toes to match
And ears and nose and eyes to
Hear, and smell, and see this world
We call the earth and love so dearly

She will come smiling into the world
As God smiles on us all
With her mouth wide open
With a great cry and a shout

To let us all know that she has
Arrived, and she will arrive as a blessing
A blessing of love and a blessing of joy
Her eyes will reflect the stars of heaven

Her breath will be as sweet as heather
Her cries a sound to mark
The brightest passing of life
From the heavens above to earth itself

She will change the world forever
She will change your world and our world
She will rock the world with her
Very body and being

Even though she is one of
The smallest of creatures
To be born on God’s
Good earth today

And she will bring with her
The brightest visions of heaven
And a new love, unknown before today
Because this is the day of her birth

Because this is the day of her birth
And the world has taken note
Of the miracle of life, of how this
Gift of life always calls out to life

While all of creation waits
With bated breath, to see
Her grow day by lovely day
Into the graciousness of God

Into the fullness of Sadie Lin

Ron Starbuck
Copyright 2010

Sadie Lin Meek was born Saturday morning, May 1st, at 10:25. She is absolutely precious. She weighs 8 lbs. even and is 20 inches long.  Mother and child are both doing great.