Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Queer Stations of the Cross

March 22, 2018

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

In the Passion in the book of John we have Jesus saying, “It is me!”

Today he stands as a person of contradiction waiting to be recognized. A contradiction in that he does not judge us, but recognizes that we judge ourselves in how we love one another. I was asked last night by a young friend, “What do you think the greatest sin is?” And my answer is that of Jesus, “Not loving our neighbor.”

Do we recognize the voice of Jesus in the accent of the panhandler, in the person on the street corner  begging for food, or the person who is in jail? Do we recognize Jesus in our next door neighbor who struggles with loneliness?

Matthew’s Jesus is very clear: the measure which we respond to the anawim, the poor and needy (positively and negatively) is the measure that will be used to judge the quality of our discipleship (25:31-46).

“Many came to believe in him”, but some did not; Jesus was a sign of contradiction, his voice unrecognized by some.  The days ahead offer a perfect opportunity to listen for his call: “It’s me!”, the words now coming in so many different accents and on so many unlikely lips.

As we plan for our “Queer Stations of the Cross,” which will be in the Castro this year, people have said, “It want be the same taking it out of the place where the poor live.”

As I walk through the Castro I see homelessness  in every corner. People sleeping in door ways, the Bart Station, behind businesses, and a majority are youth; In the Castro I see the people who are in poverty trying to survive living in apartments with multiple people; in the Castro I see refugees from other parts of our country who come to San Francisco because of persecution in their states for being LGBTQ.

Good Friday gives us the opportunity to witness to the presence of  Jesus the Contradiction, in being a contradiction ourselves, and to his presence in the midst of the poverty in places we fail to look. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


1:00 P.M. –GOOD FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018


To Volunteer call Fr. River 415-305-2124



We are beggars for our support which feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, visits those in prison, comforts the dying, and is a presence to any one who comes to us.

Our finances are down, and so if you can give please give through:

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or through your check:

Fr. River Sims, D.Min., D.S.T.
Temenos Catholic Worker
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, California 94164-2656

Being an Outsider

March 16, 2018

Being an Outsider

Today I met with my doctor and she told me that she went to a citizens meeting, where the main topic was me. Her conclusion was they were transferring their visible anger towards homelessness on the one person who is visible and sides with homeless youth-me. She reflected now how she understood more fully the stress that I was under, and the threats that come regularly. She said “Your faith is strong, you are strong, and you will probably get through this, but I worry about your loneliness, your isolation, and being an outsider, you are insightful into all of this, and you know the risks, so all I can offer is my support.”

She is right, I do feel like an outsider, very much so. I feel very much alone,  I fight my doubts, and there are nights I do not sleep.l  One person who had promised to pay for a trip for me backed out, and now does not talk to me, others have simply walked away. The City is struggling with homelessness, and unless you have an answer,or support the traditional programs–you are out. I am crying a lot simply because it has built up over the last year, and now I am letting it out.

Last night late I sat with a 19 year old who left a small town to live in

“gay friendly” San Francisco, and instead he has found homelessness, sex for housing and for money, little support from social services, and he was crying and afraid. He feels very much alone, and scared. I had talked to his parents and they do not want anything to do with a “gay son”.  I listened, I fed him, got him a hotel room. That is all I can do, and it depresses me, because this kid from a well to do family will be so violated on the streets he will not be the same. And the City, all of us, stand by and twirl our fingers.

I know I have few people who are real friends-only two I trust, and I doubt them– and to say I am not afraid would be a lie–but what I believe is that until each of us walk with people where they are there will be no changes.

As for me I will stay the course, I will finish the course, and I will face God with the knowledge I have done my best, and when you point your finger, remember four are pointing back at you. Stop judging–get busy–feed someone. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

In Memory of Daniel Condor

March 12, 2018

Daniel Conder


John 3:14-21

Dan was found dead in Colorado last week. We have known Dan since he was 28 years old. We met on Polk. Dan was hooked on speed, and other drugs, and as we came to know him we found him to be a caring and loving individual.

He was born into a well to do family, whose expectations he found difficult to meet, due to a learning disability, and due to the reality he had other expectations for himself. He became hooked on speed, and found himself on the street, after serving a brief time in the military.

Dan and I had a conversation the last time I saw him in the Haight 2 years ago. He talked about feeling like a failure, only feeling happy on drugs, and the expectations that people have on him, he felt extremely judged. I offered a prayer, bought him a meal, and hugged him.

God loved the world. This is my faith. Central to my faith is the figure of Jesus, lifted on the cross, knowing what it was to be devastated and a”failure” yet offering himself in love for us.

That is the call of Jesus–to be failures, yet offering ourselves in love for others.  To be a success means to “save” people in our images–and that ends up hurting people and ourselves.

A Memorial Service will be planned for next month.
Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.



Into the Maze

March 6, 2018

Into the Maze

In Dante’s “Infernal” he talked of different places in hell, and frankly I do not know where I am, but I am in a maze, and in hell.  Whether I find my way out of this maze is in question, if I do my life will be given more fully in service. Today I received an email (how personal), from a former long time friend, who was my best friend, and donor. She named all of my “sins”–too generous, treat youth as equals, do not adhere to the boundaries, and make people feel uncomfortable,among so many more, they are unlimited, and I replied, “Remember there are four fingers pointing at you, as well, and when you want to become a donor or friend again than I will listen, so after over a year, please leave me alone, and if you want to vent your anger than face me in person.

What I believe brought this lovely email to my attention was the fact someone saw me at a barbecue at China State Beach yesterday, a barbecue of ten young adults, who go to  school in Marin. Well I was there, and it was a good time, talking, hanging out, and no judgment. They are my friends, and I hang out with them. My best friends are younger than me–I do not see their age, they walked through hell with me these past months, and I will go to hell and back for them–they were there. They are my friends period. And frankly these  two people I trust completely, I trust them more than I have ever trusted anyone.

My therapist is an awesome guy, but the reality is I am not sure I am going to see him much longer, because I frankly put on a show, because when I get honest, he gets scared. One of the reasons psychiatrists refer teenagers to me is I am not afraid, but will sit with them, and listen without worrying about my reputation, I treat them as equals. You have to let go of your own fears and let people enter your life. You have be willing to risk your own life, to serve.  I see my life as a piece of wood that is scarred, and as my life is cut into those scars are shaped into beauty in God’s eyes.  The wood becomes a beautiful piece of art.

A friend gave me a quote as a fifteen year old, which I had forgotten about until this week, and it has kept coming back to me: “There is no valor in compromise,” and I will not compromise on my faith in a God who is all inclusive, and who accepts everyone for who they are, and calls each of us to do the same, giving of our own wealth until everyone is housed, fed, clothed, visited, and accepted. We must all of us give until that suffering ends. I will not compromise on my absolute vow of confidentiality. I will not compromise on my friendship with street people, I accept them as equals. I will not compromise in my belief that it does not matter if you believe in God or not, but it is in the way you treat others. Frankly I have maybe three Christian friends these days.

We live in our tribes, and I have no tribe. So frankly I am angry, angry at people writing emails and face book telling me how to live my life, when you do not know me, and you sit in judgment. I am angry when people put me in a black and white mode, and than when I do not fit in sit in judgment-I will never fit in, I am different, and it is that difference that for the past years has made me who I am and has walked with people no one wants to walk with. And I am done apologizing, period. So whether or not I live or die, which is up in the air, I will always accept you for who you are, but if you choose to sit in judgment-than do not approach me. I will tell you to go to hell. I am done. There are no black and white answers–period.

I walk in a maze, of hell, and whether or not I make it through what I know is that I will walk into the hands of the God who has loved me since my mother’s womb, called me to ministry, walked with me through ordination, rejection and called me to service, and will not be judged. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sim, D.Min.

P.O. Box 6426546

San Francisco, CA 94164

What God Want Do

March 4, 2018

What God Want Do!

Luke 15:1-32

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is about what God want do–reject people.

William Stringfellow tells us that “Being holy does not mean being perfect but being whole; it does not mean being exceptionally religious  or being religious at all; it means being liberated from religiosity and religious pietism of any sort.. it does not mean being godly, but rather being human.”

Being a human being is recognizing we are all in the same boat. I was recently told that our state and federal government should take care of the homeless, and my response is being human tells us to give of our money, time, and personal energy to provide for all. It is on us, all of us. 

A friend recently told me I was a “yes man”, and as I reflected on his comment:  what he does not realize is that I have been, am, and will be judged harshly for the way I live my life. I am different. The gift for me is that I do not judge, or tell people how to live their lives and that is the picture I have of Jesus of Nazareth as shown in the parable–he provides no judgment and walks with others on the same path. I jokingly told a friend today that “I will be your role model,” and he replied, “You can never be a role model for me lol.” And he is right, I will never be his role model, we are friends who walk together.

To judge means to separate, make ourselves better, and we each know ourselves better than  anyone else. We listen, walk with people, and help them when they fall, but to judge means to separate.

Notice what the father doesn’t do: When his son asks for his inheritance, the father doesn’t kick him out for being so ungrateful, he does not hire a private investigator to find him when he takes his inheritance to take compromising photos. When the son finally comes back, the father does not make him crawl on his knees, nor change his mind, but throws a big welcome home party. He always loves.

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



Never Grow Up!

February 23, 2018


Recently I was at In and Out in Marin, and an old friend came up to me. I have known him for 10 years, and we chatted.  Last night I received an email from him with these words:

“Dear River, ‘Never grow up!’ Peter Pan” and the comment–“you have helped many, you saved my life when I was 15.”

Last week I was hanging out with two friends and I received a phone call from a friend who has just entered hospice and we talked, and than I went out with my two buddies in the woods where  we played “30 foot Tiger” and I was given a walking stick that one of my  friends named “The staff of Decrepitude”meaning “one who  passed from middle age directly into old age,” which frankly I have felt like since the two surgeries. And I should not have been out there with this shoulder, but I was, and will be again. New Year’s Eve I chose to go to a party of 18 year old’s rather than one of adults, and my rotary cup was broken and I was asked later,  “Why did you not go and be with us adults, and my response, this party was a hell of a lot more fun.”

A couple of weeks ago I did an evaluation for a mental health professional on a young guy, after spending two days hanging out, and the counselor looked at the page, and than looked up and said, “You never reveal anything my client tells you, when you can, but never do you disclose any thing, and your recommendations are always far from anything I would think of and on target, and what I see is you are there friend first of all, but a caring one.” And I replied jokingly, “I am one of the boys.”

This is the road I travel, where it will lead, I have no idea, but it is painful, and yet fun.

“I know success or failure in my life or ministry does not depend on my own skill or even on external circumstances, it depends only on my faithfulness. God will give me the gifts necessary to do whatever He calls me to do, and He will not be hindered in His work by circumstances. “
– Lester Sumrall
Fr. Christian River Sims, D.Min.
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164

The Mystery of Absurdity–The Church

February 22, 2018

The Mystery of Absurdity–The Church

Matthew 16: 13-16

I talk about being down the “rabbit hole,” and for me that is the mystery of absurdity–life makes no sense unless one finds a base to hold on to. As my doctor told me a couple of days ago, “You are running on pure will,” and I am. My strength is no longer there.
but what I hold onto is the God in Christ who sustains me in my own depths of pain, fears, and questioning and where I have experienced the body of Christ in these times.

People see the church as an institution that shapes our lives, but any more for me the organized  church is simply the empty shell of the Gospel; the shell of the Gospel–homeless people are not welcome, and it has ethics that tear people’s lives up; it could be a force, instead it is a whimper.

People have questioned my ethics, and have frankly rejected me, but in seminary we were taught “situational ethics” which is meeting people where they are, and that is what I do, I meet people where they are, and I hold out one single carrot–to be loved where you are, and in that God is present. To meet people in the black and white of where one is fails the Gospel message of love. We live in the gray’s of life.

The church for me is with those who give of their lives in service, in the nook and corners of our society, you do not have to be a Christian to be the church, you have to follow the word of love:

“I choose love. No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness, I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.”
– Max Lucado, Upwords 

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164

Myth of Sisyphus

February 20, 2018

“The Myth of Sisyphus (French: Le Mythe de Sisyphe) is a 1942 philosophical essay by Albert Camus. The English translation by Justin O’Brien was first published in 1955.

In the essay, Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd, man’s futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values. Does the realization of the absurd require suicide? Camus answers, “No. It requires revolt.” He then outlines several approaches to the absurd life. The final chapter compares the absurdity of man’s life with the situation of Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. The essay concludes, “The struggle itself […] is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy”.

A friend told me the other night that in struggling as I do I am like

Sisyphus, pushing a boulder up the hill; and as I have reflected on his comments he is correct. In the last few months I have found myself pushing a boulder that is reflected in many areas.

My friendship with my closest friends is pushing a boulder up the hill, I fail, and I fail a lot.  I have yelled at them, over nothing, I  have let things slip to a mom, simply trying to do right, and I wonder why they even like me, I am very insecure with them, and they have been closer to me than brothers,  but I keep on pushing, the boulder up the hill the struggle fills my heart, I am happy;

Work on the streets is difficult, very difficult, and we see people frustrated, and threats are made, yet in pushing the boulder up the hill I find myself happy.  It is not easy to have people cuss you, have your life threatened, but in pushing the boulder up the hill there is happiness;

With my shoulder in a sling, and doing physical therapy, there is often much pain, and fear, and I am so tired, but I keep on pushing the boulder up the hill the struggle fills my heart, I am happy;

I have failed with a lot of people, and peoples expectations of me are often off. My doctor told me to day, you are going purely on will, right now, and you are suffering, but I keep on pushing the boulder up the hill, the struggle fills my heart, I am happy;

I find meaning in my life through my faith, but the reality is life is absurd, and I struggle with that absurdity through pushing the boulder up the hill; experience  extreme loneliness, and see people sleeping on the street as absurdity, and I keep pushing the boulder up the hill, and the struggle fills my heart and I am happy. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sim, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Taking Up the Cross

February 16, 2018


Luke 9:22-25

Next weekend we are picking up Akihiro. My adult friends, have raised the questions: “He will change your life, and take a lot of your time, what happens to him if someone kills you, what are you going to do when you travel, and so on, you better rethink this.”

Every young person that I hang out with, especially my street kids who have dogs, tell me what a great idea, how it will make life less lonely, and accepted it makes one feel.

For me what having Akihiro means is to have someone who will love me without question, who will respond to my love, and love me in return. He will exemplify to me what it means to take up the cross. For taking up the cross is to give of our love to others, without question.

“Deny yourself and take up the cross daily,” Jesus tell us. What is the cross but ourselves, our egos, the pains in our bodies, our awkwardness, our mistakes. To follow  is to move beyond ego trips. It means coping with the business of life without trampling on others or making them suffer. To deny ourselves means reaching a point where ourselves are no longer the most important thing in the world–to be happy to listen; to accept without resentment the diminishments that come through time or circumstances; and to see God’s hand in both the bright and dark spots.

I sat for four hours last night listening to a nineteen year old talk about wanting to kill himself because he had no hope. Simply listening he left with the strength to go on. Jamie looked into my eyes and said you think of suicide a lot to and I said, “Everyday,” but my hope is that good comes from the darkness. I had another young friend of mine really sad yesterday because a friend told on another friend who is an exchange student and she is being sent home. He said, “people are snakes.” And I told him we are all snakes, but when the cross is lifted with the snake on it we become creatures who love without question, and see the goodness in all.

We find hope, we find meaning, when we listen to people, simply listen, when we feed people, just give a sandwich or take someone who is lonely, homeless out to eat; provide a tent or sleeping bag, or simply just listen. I had a reporter question what I was doing to help–my answer is I listen, and listen, people find love, they find hope.

I have friends who prefers texting and snap chatting and I am always concerned I am saying the wrong thing, getting my words right etc, because my life is listening. I love them , so I will keep on striving, working at it, but what is the most important thing is in relationship face to face and listening. Our streets are full of suffering and I believe if we moved out of our little worlds–and listen–there will be far less, for all of us. Take up your cross, move out of your ego, and listen. Be present to people. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Ash Wednesday, 2018

February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday, 2018

Akihiro–Luminous,  Brightness

The photo is of a puppy that we will pick up soon, which is a gift of hope. His name is Akihiro, meaning “luminous, and brightness.” He is beautiful, young, and offers hope. Hope that seems unreachable.

On this my final Ash Wednesday, the words “Listen, O man, you are dust to dust, to the dirt you will return,” echo out the world in which we live:

People sleep on the street, broken from life, from the struggle of living, broken from the selfishness, the resentment, the hatred, of “have’s”, who refuse to share;

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, to the earth you shall return;”

Social media is our new god, it builds falseness into our relationships, allows us to ignore the pain of our friends, isolates us into simply being, a fake being;

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, to the earth you shall return;”

Race, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, separate us into tribes, which leads to hatred, and division;

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, to the earth, you shall return.”


Ash Wednesday on the
Streets–Join us at Noon, Polk Street side in Front of City Hall–Short Service, and than walking up street imputing ashes on people.

by T S Eliot

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.


Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree
In the cool of the day, having fed to satiety
On my legs my heart my liver and that which had been contained
In the hollow round of my skull. And God said
Shall these bones live? shall these
Bones live? And that which had been contained
In the bones (which were already dry) said chirping:
Because of the goodness of this Lady
And because of her loveliness, and because
She honours the Virgin in meditation,
We shine with brightness. And I who am here dissembled
Proffer my deeds to oblivion, and my love
To the posterity of the desert and the fruit of the gourd.
It is this which recovers
My guts the strings of my eyes and the indigestible portions
Which the leopards reject. The Lady is withdrawn
In a white gown, to contemplation, in a white gown.
Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness.
There is no life in them. As I am forgotten
And would be forgotten, so I would forget
Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper, saying

Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

Under a juniper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining
We are glad to be scattered, we did little good to each other,
Under a tree in the cool of the day, with the blessing of sand,
Forgetting themselves and each other, united
In the quiet of the desert. This is the land which ye
Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity
Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance.


At the first turning of the second stair
I turned and saw below
The same shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapour in the fetid air
Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears
The deceitul face of hope and of despair.

At the second turning of the second stair
I left them twisting, turning below;
There were no more faces and the stair was dark,
Damp, jagged, like an old man’s mouth drivelling, beyond repair,
Or the toothed gullet of an aged shark.

At the first turning of the third stair
Was a slotted window bellied like the figs’s fruit
And beyond the hawthorn blossom and a pasture scene
The broadbacked figure drest in blue and green
Enchanted the maytime with an antique flute.
Blown hair is sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown,
Lilac and brown hair;
Distraction, music of the flute, stops and steps of the mind over the third stair,
Fading, fading; strength beyond hope and despair
Climbing the third stair.

Lord, I am not worthy
Lord, I am not worthy
but speak the word only.


Who walked between the violet and the violet
Who walked between
The various ranks of varied green
Going in white and blue, in Mary’s colour,
Talking of trivial things
In ignorance and knowledge of eternal dolour
Who moved among the others as they walked,
Who then made strong the fountains and made fresh the springs

Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand
In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary’s colour,
Sovegna vos

Here are the years that walk between, bearing
Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring
One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing

White light folded, sheathing about her, folded.
The new years walk, restoring
Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring
With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem
The time. Redeem
The unread vision in the higher dream
While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse.

The silent sister veiled in white and blue
Between the yews, behind the garden god,
Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke no word

But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down
Redeem the time, redeem the dream
The token of the word unheard, unspoken

Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew

And after this our exile


If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.

O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice

Will the veiled sister pray for
Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee,
Those who are torn on the horn between season and season, time and time, between
Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait
In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray
For children at the gate
Who will not go away and cannot pray:
Pray for those who chose and oppose

O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Will the veiled sister between the slender
Yew trees pray for those who offend her
And are terrified and cannot surrender
And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
In the last desert before the last blue rocks
The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.

O my people.


Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth This is the time of tension between dying and birth The place of solitude where three dreams cross Between blue rocks But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away Let the other yew be shaken and reply.

Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164