Sacramental Vision

Instead of posting poetry by yours truly, I’ve decided to showcase a writer I recently heard about named John Leax. Here’s a bio from

Dr. John Leax is poet-in-residence at Houghton College in Houghton, New York, where he has taught literature and writing since 1968. He pursued graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University writing seminars. He is a serious gardener, has a contagious passion for sailing, and has been married 37 years. In the meantime, Dr. Leax has published three books of poetry, a novel, and several volumes of prose, all listed at his web site. His latest book is Tabloid News, a poetry collection from WordFarm, 2005. Recently, he launched Houghton College’s online Christian Literary Magazine Stonework. John is a member of The Chrysostom Society.

It’s always good to see a Christian poet doing good work and not making a cliche of himself. Here’s the poem I found today:


Sacramental Vision

Sometimes in my dream
he is still alive.
We stand at the fence
talking about the garden.
“Plant kohlrabi,” he says,
and I remember the way
he’d slice white wafers
from the bulb, offering
them to me balanced
on his knife blade.
I would eat again
that sharp sacrament
and join myself
to that good world
he walks, but I wake
in time
and know my flesh is one
with frailty. The garden
I must tend is dark
with weeping, grown up
in widow’s weeds.

From The Task of Adam – 1985

Christ in Watercolor

Here’s a poem that’s been sitting in the back catalogue for a while and gone through multiple revisions so far [This is draft #5]. It’s been submitted to a few places and keeps getting sent back, so it might take a lot more work to get it out. See what you think!



My Father has sent me
to find bread in the wilderness,
or, if there is no bread,
to discover loaves in the earth.

The tide of the dust
lifts and bathes me
to my waist. As I wade
the ever-pleating sand
rubs my soles and chips away
flakes of unyielding flesh.

I have seen cities form
and crumble with the coming
of the clouds at morning,
their parapets milky-white
in the scaffolding of the sun.


Music has not flowed from
the stones for days; echoing
through the thick breeze, voices
wander in search of ears
to claim them. Their language
is one I speak,
but not my native tongue.

My eyes do not see
clearly the shadows
that rise as rocks mask the sun.


“he has joined the tribe
of the desert,” they will say,
and i will not live
to correct them.
my gut has risen to force
its way through my chest;
hunger and starvation
converse in the silence.


Finding a speck in my eye,
i have stopped to gaze at its size.
What seems a boulder
is now a grain;
light carves a pass through it
as through still waters.

The scabs on my soles
have fallen away,
leaving new flesh
under their veil.


Clouds drift and tumble across
the horizon, jutting their parapets
higher across the plain.

I float on each new tide,
a chunk of driftwood that
seeps with all knowledge
of where it is directed.

My Father will not come
to me but I will go
to Him. All was buried
in sand, and I was fed.


[Having trouble? Read Matthew 4:1-2.]

Thanks for reading!

Indie Jesus!

Indie people have recently come to my attention as the “new hippie,” though you could never get away with calling them that to their face. Well, along with the rest of Indie culture, we now have a savior for these mountain men, one who “doesn’t take no crap from the man.” While Indie Jesus may have kept his sacrosanct sandals and beard, he has been given a +1 Sweater Vest of Truth to replace his simple, white robes, and the addition of a vintage belt assures Him that He’ll be accepted at the next Pitchfork staff meeting.

I wonder if He stays up nights listening to Bon Iver? Now all we need is Hipster Paul of Tarsus.