Julia Park Tracey   


Morning Ritual (as it’s developed so far)

Make coffee. Drink coffee.

Sit outside and admire nature.
Write in journal.
Sip coffee slowly and think about G*d.
Fail at that.
Console self that sipping coffee reverently
is what you would do
if you did pray.
If you could pray.

Coffee as G*d.
G*d as coffee.
Sip slowly.


Compline  (Winter)

Bless the rain. Bless the birds.
Bless the imagination and the heart.
Bless my soul, O Lord of trees and earth.
Bless the clouds and sky.

every living thing – bird-song and wind-sigh.
Branches dripping and ice on the bucket.
Bless the cold and chill, the flutter and chirp.
Seed and flower, leaf and twig.
Bless husband, daughter, wife and son.
Bless winter day and rainy night,
Thunder-sky and distant star.

Bless black and gray and green and white.
And warmth, blankets, mugs and fire.
Smoke and music. Dance. Desire.
Bless me on days I need it most.
Praise father-son-and-holy ghost.



If you sit quietly and listen,
You will hear.
Red bird. Yellow bird.
Little black and brown bird.



Praying mantis and red-
Shouldered hawk have nothing
To say to each other.
So low. So high.
Which one is closer to God?


Julia Park Tracey is the Poet Laureate of Alameda, CA. Her poems and reviews have appeared most recently in Sugared Water, Sweatpants & Coffee, and East Bay Review, with forthcoming work in Postcard Poems. She is the author of three novels, two women's history compilations and Amaryllis, a collection of poetry. www.juliaparktracey.com.