Yellow pillow top upside down

Yellow pillow top upside down

Pillowed yellow clouds

coat the world in lemon cream

as sun sets unseen.


Billowy yellow clouds

quilted mattress upside down

sheets world in yellow.


Quilted yellow clouds

flood the world in bright yellow

yet don’t spill a drop.


Unearthly yellow

filtered through billowy clouds

says sun’s not yet down.



yellow that spreads over earth,

coats cars, roads, houses.


These clouds yield no rain

just lemon yellow light-fall

flooding streets of town.


Drink deep and remember

Drink Deep and Remember

 by Jeff Hensley

Goblet full of time,

for that’s the stuff life’s made of

whether we quaff it,


sip it or spill it

— or watch evaporation

swift drop the level.


It passes by us

running through the hour glass,

goblet upside down.


Lift the cup, enjoy,

savoring every fleeting drop,

while the liquid lasts.


Know too there is more

beyond this finite wine glass

because of the One


who once held the cup,

asked if it might pass him up,

but drank, nonetheless.


When he faced the pain

he burst the finite limits

all had faced before


making possible

that which had escaped us all

water into wine


and more the miracle:

time into eternity,

wine that never ends.



Appalachian Spring’s Unseen Painter

April 10, 2001

Appalachian Spring’s Unseen Painter

Seeking overlooks

as spring daylight fades to blue,

I seek evening views


from Blue Ridge Parkway,

remembering my last trip

and that light, that light


that fades to reds, blues

from these swerving mountaintops,

these curving vistas.


On that trip I’d cursed,

wishing I’d had a camera.

Now the opposite.


Camera in hand

I scurry from overlook

to next overlook.


North of Charlottesville,

in blues to flood a palette,

I see a pickup


pulled up to the edge,

with spreading Shenandoah

stretched out before them.


I’ve become Martha,

wishing I’d chosen Mary,

seeking the Artist.


Boot Town

Boot Town

 It’s Stock Show time now.

Folks in cowboy boots abound,

even at Starbucks.


Outside at table

sits couple who don’t know cows,

— at least by first names.


He wears fine black ones;

she, shows off Justin lace-ups.

Clothes: stylish, laid-back.


It’s Stock Show time now.

And Fort Worth people’s roots show,

sprouting from pant legs.


Pigs in (my) space

March 13, 2001

Pigs in (my) space

Walking in light rain.

Eight feral pigs cross my path,

too close for comfort.


Especially since

six of the eight are piglets

ranging from red to black.


I slow my actions.

At close range my first concern:

is to not threaten.

I’m surprised to find

wild pigs moving through these woods

here in North Texas.


Last time pigs chased me

a herd of javelinas

suddenly appeared

as my wife and I

came to the top of a knoll,

saw one we’d followed

along refuge path

had turned to face us, joined by

reinforcing troops.


Turning on our heels

we decided, as today,

that was close enough.


Six little footballs,

strung out between their parents.

Sporting goods on hoof.


Breaking out, breaking through, breaching schedule

March 5, 2001

Breaking out, breaking through, breaching schedule 

I run to pier’s end

to catch close view of dolphins

as they pass by here.


I’d kept pace with pod

for half mile at Folly Beach.

This was my last chance


to watch them breaching,

running parallel to shore

in group of seven.


Charleston behind me

called me to day of meetings,

but sand, salt, dolphins


added spice of life,

slice of sea life bursting through

crust of scheduled life.



true Spirit

February 21, 2001

true Spirit

by Jeff Hensley


The lie of modern thought,

the deepest, darkest of the lies

deceives us into thinking

we are all alone.


All our links this lie would break

until at last we lay awake

pondering our fate.


Are we doomed to be unknown

dying cold and so alone?

If this is true, then

Christ has died for naught,

the God Man coming down

to leave no greater legacy

than buildings tall, Franciscans brown,

the snarls and gurns of gargoyles found

to laugh the last and soundless sound.


But lies are lies

and truth resounds

when unity of life is found,

when atomized illusions drown

within love’s interwoven bounds

of family and mother’s love

of deathless ties, below, above

that worship gives a form.


True worship forms its unity

of faith and song

of words and deeds

of sweat and tears and laughter loud,

of mourning and rejoicing and the day-to-day

persisting in the proven way.

The way trod now for centuries,

not blighted by dissembling.

The trail that leads through dust and stars

that calls to hearts from age to age,

that heals the heart’s most grievous scars.


Red-winged blackbird amoeba

April 1, 2001


Red-winged blackbird amoeba

Five hundred red-wings

lift and fly half mile by swamp,

like black amoeba.


They rise from treetop,

then repeat the pattern:

Condense and disperse;


condense and disperse,

with a rhythmic movement like

undulating walls,


of a writhing cell.

At the tree they seek, they twirl,

condense, and descend.