Demanding Justice-A Free Verse Opening to Luke 18:1-8


Certain words,
Grouped in one, two, and three,
Laid down, evenly spread
Righteously and rhetorically,
Those cannot help,
But to be
Unsung notes,
For unwritten songs,
Seeking new tones,
Clear and crisp,
Listen now,
Or they gone in a whisp’,
Like autumn’s first cold,
“What did he say?”
Just three words,
“Then Jesus told.”
One, two, three,
Now you see,
This story of patience,
And words;
Cannot be seen;
It must be sung-
It shall be heard,
A parable begun,
Justice to be done.

–Richard Bryant

The Cone of Death


I do not like the cone of death,
Or the grim lines easily placed,
By men and women of lovely face,
I do not like the cone of death,
And will evacuate,
Finding a way,
To drag my dying weight,
Before the winds,
Begin to blow or ever abate,
No cosmological dictate,
Some weatherman’s whim,
An evil crimson sprawl,
This deathly pseudonym,
Rings, Howls, and Calls,
Like a phantom limb,
I do not like the cone of death,
This is my hurricane hymn.

–Richard Bryant

Night-Friday Richard’s Breviary


Gracious God,

In the silence,
Darkness surrounds us.
Though we cannot see,
We do not fear.
You are here.
Our words and songs are carried beyond this place.
Thank you for our day and all we have encountered.
The good gifts of time and place, people and love are fresh in our minds.
We lift up to you those whose journeys are encumbered by sickness and grief.
May we help lighten their burdens tomorrow as we seek your peace tonight.
Words come slow and still in the dark.  In the spaces between words, we listen.
Hear us, O Lord, as we pray.
Thank you,


–Richard Bryant

Might That I


Might that I,
Sometime between,
The fading night,
And twilight’s shattered seams,
Seek a moment,
To say,
If I may,
These words;
Be they kind enough,
A worthy suffice,
One scattered few,
Indelicately placed,
Around the air,
Above the windows,
Beneath the pews,
Where they hover,
Round Holy spots,
A place to be,
Heard in silence,
By You and we,
I think I will.
Find a way,
To cobble a phrase,
And try to pray.

–Richard Bryant

I Need To Be Found (Luke 15:1-10)


Gracious God,
We do not know we are lost.
Nor are we aware of a need to be found.
Our existence,
Defined by our soul’s incapacity to see,
Being marked only by our presence.
This cannot last.
I cannot remain unfound as
One wandering among nothing.
Yet, I am,
Lost and do not know.
A self-misplaced,
Joy ripped from Grace,
Waiting to be found,
Reunited with the forgotten,
By someone who cares enough,
To look.

–Richard Bryant

To Connect the Disordered (A Prayer)


Gracious God,
Restore my soul aright, but not at ease.
May I be comforted and called,
to serve, wait, and simply be.
With your people,
In this place,
A kingdom now,
Which readily awaits,
With overwhelming needs,
May we reset the fractures,
Bring healing to the wounded,
Connect the disordered,
Listen to one another’s pain,
As we keep your love,


–Richard Bryant