Earth’s Heartbeat


(on a hike at Devil’s Punchbowl near Pearblossom, CA)

Mountain-shaped silhouettes
Mark the the tall pale stalk 
Of a spent yucca:
Are these its last lines of praise
For the land where it stands?

Above, the yellow pine
Sighs with the deep gratitude I feel
As wind vibrates
Its long-needled vocal chords.

Below, in the canyon,
Slabs of pale sandstone tilt sunward.
The fault line that lifts them
Carves a long notch into the mountains beyond,
And drives a crack 
Through my imagination.

A thin bright stream shapes the stone
With tumbling grains of sand.
A pinon tree lifts hidden water
Through roots, up its trunk, through needles, 
And into the air.

Slowing, I breathe scents of sage and pine.
This is the silence of the centuries
Between the last earthquake and the next.

No less alive than I
Is all I see, and the ground on which I stand.
Can I stop long enough
To catch the heartbeat of this earth?


I’ll be speaking on THE BIBLE AND THE BRAIN – exploring how recent findings in cognitive science and in the evolution of human consciousness can inform the way we read the Bible – this Sun, Feb 12, 8:30 am at Manhattan Beach Community Church.


For your progressive Christian calendar – events that will be celebrated in churches around the US and beyond:

February 12, this Sunday:  Evolution Weekend
April 15, Sunday:  Blessing of the Taxes
May 6, Sunday:  Pluralism Sunday – sign up your church to participate, now!


Right after I wrote last week’s “musing” about progressive taxation, President Obama quoted the same passage from Jesus that I cited:


See a recent article by Diana Butler-Bass refuting conservatives’ charge  that a “war” is being waged on religion in America. 


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