Selected Poems

Click play to listen to one of Chelan’s poems, “The Worst Thing”…


Come with your hearts,

Come in droves

To my open door.

No more believing

This terrible story

Of isolation.

Loneliness is pretending

We are not all of each other.

I think we have become brave enough

To test this falsity.

Come, open with me

And let us break down this myth

All the pain in the world

Is built of.

Show me the God

Within your broken heart.

I too know the same

Great beauty

Within sadness.

All of you

Is welcome here.

I have already known you

So deeply.

I have met

All of you

So many times

Within myself.

The Worst Thing

The worst thing we ever did
was put God in the sky
out of reach pulling the divinity
from the leaf,

sifting out the holy from our bones,
insisting God isn’t bursting dazzlement
through everything we’ve made
a hard commitment to see as ordinary,
stripping the sacred from everywhere
to put in a cloud man elsewhere,
prying closeness from your heart.

The worst thing we ever did
was take the dance and the song
out of prayer
made it sit up straight
and cross its legs
removed it of rejoicing wiped clean its hip sway,
its questions,
its ecstatic yowl,
its tears.

The worst thing we ever did is pretend
God isn’t the easiest thing
in this Universe
available to every soul
in every breath.

read more in Susceptible to Light >>

Eccentric God

If you think
the Eccentric God who made
the octopus
is gonna judge you
for your sins,
I’m afraid you’ve missed
the mark.

If you think this
Wild God
that spins galaxies
as a pastime
cares to get fussy
about your mistakes
or has ever made anything
that wasn’t born
perfect and luminous,
you might need to repent.

If you can’t yet admit
how lovable
and infinitely worthy
the fullness of your human nature is
and if you think God
wants to do anything
but perpetually pour
an abundance
of love gifts
upon you,
well, my dear, your soul
just might need
to go to confession.

read more in Susceptible to Light >>