Thatched and lashed with horsehair
thread, even well-built nests
have casualties, tip in a storm,

spill family overboard, and we
remain to make repairs – find reason,
where so often there is none.

If we have love, we have no choice
but to fall with them, over and over
into the void – and we do it,

not to savor grief, but to collect
what parts we can, to piece our nest
back-together again.



A prayer saved for those
subject to the senseless,
the unexplained, the never
                    to be resolved pain
                    that will shape them
with every throbbing ache
in this flesh – a prayer pulled
                    from mountaintops
                    surviving storms.

A prayer saved for the living
left to grieve the unexplored
alone to find themselves –
                    yet never more
                    the same.
A prayer saved for tenderness
and strength, for love and faith
                    that will endure
                    in time.


We repost these poems for the community of Newtown, Connecticut. Originally dedicated to Jeff and Alie McKee in December 2010.

5 responses to “IF WE HAVE LOVE

  1. Beautiful sentiments John. So much waste of unfilled lives.


    • Perhaps we, as a nation, can learn something from this tragedy. We have much to attend to here at home that seems to be slipping through the cracks. It makes no sense to me that in a culture of instant satisfaction, we have neither time nor money for mental health. Nevertheless, we grieve, along with the rest of the country, for the community of Newtown.


  2. Thank you John……


  3. May I post one or both on Facebook?


  4. Certainly, Heather. Have a Merry Christmas!!! J&R


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