As I have kept seeking spiritually, poetry has become increasingly important and inspiring for me. I often find myself these days with a book of poetry in my hand. Trust me … it wasn’t always that way. But today it is. I even have some “signature” poems that I like so much I have adopted them for myself. Three of these are “The Woodcarver” by Chuang Tzu; “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry; and, “Snow Geese” by Mary Oliver. Feel free to “Google” them and let me know what you think.  

But, by far, my favorite Haiku poet is my friend, Brother Paul Quenon, a monk at the Abbey of Gethsemane. Paul meddles in many things; photography, making soup, singing in church, traveling outside the Abbey, and a variety of other useful and/or odd hobbies for a monk. I love to read and mediate on his Haiku, and he has published several books of poetry.

Below are some of my favorite Haiku poems by Brother Paul that I want to share with you. The first one was written at the end of an email I received by Paul. He mentioned that he was working on a new book of poetry and photographs, so I guess he wanted to try one out on me. I loved it instantly. I’ve never forgot it. Though I have never seen it published, I cherish it as I do the Gospel itself. I call it “Love Crazy Jesus” because that’s the first line, and because it’s the truth. Jesus is love crazy! I hope you like it too! And the others. 

So, take a little time in quiet … Explore the poems below … and see which ones speak to you in your heart. And then … listen to them again … closely.


Love crazy Jesus

Look who he chose for his friends

Me, You, and Judas


With big, white flashlight

moon is walking its night-rounds

asking: who are you?


After long rainfall

Leftover music dribbles

Dancing on puddles


Boy with camera

Shoots at the moon, wants moon tucked

snug in his pocket


Memory of our bull —

How he let me rub his eyes

Between us a sweet trust


I’ve nothing to do

So I’ll get down to nothing



Grandmother’s house odors:

linoleum, iron, dry lace

cooking gas, roast beef


A solo cricket

plays his one-stringed violin —

stroke, pause, stroke, pause, pause


Robin keeps chuckling

at that story he found so

wickedly funny


Loopy night friends flit,

circle my desk lamp – mad moths,

imps and fairies all


Smart Mockingbird learned

to mimic my alarm clock

Woke me twice last night



It’s not a weed.

It’s a misplaced plant, he said

Let’s leave it misplaced


Peace came to my door

Without luggage or sandals

With just its name — peace


“Narrow is the way”

How narrow? Tight as the vent

babes squeeze through at birth


All of Brother Paul’s poems above, except for ‘Love Crazy Jesus,” are found in the book, “The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed” by Brother Paul Quenon, Judith Valente and Michael Bever.

Enjoy some serenity along the path,                                                                                                                                                Pastor Bob <><