Already in mid-October the couple across the street

are setting up the front yard – a spinning Santa,

dog elves pulling holy family on family sleigh,

gortex snowman skeptical on the evergreen grass.

Gently they get everything propped up and plugged in.


The holidays ease down with a calming courtesy,

the kind it takes to go to this outdoor trouble.

What still circles the earth from long ago always lands

in velvet reds and ribbon come winter, signaling stone

nativity deeps to haul up this curbside misrule once more.


Now it’s midsummer and the yard scene’s still in place,

blistered in July heat, and anyone driving by

has good reason to slam the breaks and take issue

with this off-season theological disarray.

Nobody’s going to do that.

© copyright 2021 Ray Waddle






I told my mystic friend don’t do it

don’t walk off just yet

don’t step otherworldly away

onto other trails or bow your head

toward other realms other mansions

walk here another minute

upon these rocks through this music

this tarmac this commerce

of God’s crowded images

don’t you see it takes a mystic

to see all this and abide and adore

and touch flesh and flailing pulse

amid outbreak and notebook

so don’t pack board depart just yet

you’re needed right here

© copyright 2021 Ray Waddle



The sky’s what’s there until we see God –

protector, infinity at hand, impossible to trace.

An itch to argue says it doesn’t exist, the sky:

it’s just a fancy scatter of sunlight,

blues figment, cobalt smear of atmosphere.

Talk all you want: the sky outlasts the circus act of reason.

Sky and prayer come to this: they send words away.

I thank God the sky is no metaphor –

towering it bears down, blaze inconceivable,

what’s there until we see God.

© copyright 2021 Ray Waddle