Spiritual Poetry

Rainbow oil slick

Spiritual Poetry – Moving Forward on the Spirit Path

You don’t have to be a Christian to be a follower of Jesus.  Being a spiritual person does not interfere with any religion’s basic teachings.

When you truly love yourself, you are secure and do not have to conquer or put others down.

Moving Forward on the Spirit Path

Jesus said that His greatest teachings

were to simply love God

and to love your neighbor

as you love yourself.

Jesus was a crafty teacher.

His instructions were simple:

Easy to understand; hard to do.

The prayer that helps do this is also simple.

Let me love myself so that I can serve others.

Let me serve others so that I can love myself.

Loving myself and serving others

is the path to loving the Creator.

Loving one’s self is the foundation

for the ability to love all others, including God.

When we do this, we are Jesus’ follower.

When we fail to do this, we are not.

© Copyright 2017

Rev. Jim Hetzer

July 22, 2017

Spiritual Poetry – Smoke Ring

Smoke Ring is all about the relationship of a heroin addict to heroin.  The poem is semi-pornographic, which is fitting because heroin creates an obscene relationship with the user.  At the time I wrote this in 1972, I had a friend name Fox that was an extremely gifted artist and a heroin addict.  He read the poem and said that it was pretty close for someone that didn’t do heroin.  I told him that that was “close enough”.

Smoke Ring

The candlelight dances

on the silver spoon

borne in no mouth,

but cherished by many

as the candle of tranquility

and the substance of life.

There is no need

for other things or for you.

The sharp, happy pain

winks as the needle slides home;

big breath in, now wait…

slow sigh out.

Warm, wet, floating easy

into the arms of a lazy lover,

and The Lover smiles with you

like she is your very best friend.

But then you look closely and find

her teeth are all needles,

her tongue is a rubber tube,

and she screams feed me, fuck me, fill me.

You sweat, you smile, you ache, you cry

and then you hit the street

looking for the Candyman and hoping

that he won’t mind that you are a dollar short.

But, he does mind, and you only have the deposit

on six Coke bottles, you’d kill for a dime.

“Friend, spare change?  Thank you.”

The candlelight dances on the silver spoon.

© Copyright 1972

Jim Hetzer

Spiritual Poetry – Predators and Victims

It is hard to understand the changing roles that we experience throughout our lives.  Nature is a great teacher if we keep our eyes and mind open.  The situations and stations of our lives can change in a moment.

Predators and Victims

I am the hawk;

floating, soaring, drifting

high in the winter sky.

I watch many things.

A mouse sunbathes

beside its burrow;

a rabbit rambles;

munching slowly.

Across the hill,

a young chicken strut

before her rooster,

but I will replace her lover.

I dip my wing to the sun

and fall like a dart,

straight to the mark;

rigidly silent, deadly.

The shotgun blast

stops my flight in mid-thrust,

freezing my universe

in an echo of reality

The farmer breaks open the gun,

tossing the spent cartridge

upon the crushed sack

of my feathers, entrails, beak, and claws.

The farmer swoops quickly

to break the pullet’s neck,

carrying the dangling bird

off to Sunday dinner.

© Copyright 1973

Jim Hetzer

December 18, 1973, Mexico City

Spiritual Poetry – Eagle Soaring

Many fear change.  Many fear failure.  We must face these fears to progress upon the Spirit Path.  Sometimes we are pushed into unexpected situations to challenge us, and to make us take the leap.

Eagle Soaring

That eagle you see

soaring on hidden currents

without motion, seemingly without effort,

was once terrified.

As an eaglet,

it peered above the nest

and gasped in panic

at the great distance to the ground.

It’s now mighty talons

clutched at twigs in the nest

desperately resisting the nudging

of the mother eagle.

With a shove of its head,

the mother eagle pushed the eaglet

into space beyond all comfort,

and the eaglet flew.

Make the leap.

Soar above the clouds of doubt.

Ride the currents of your destiny.

Be an eagle soaring.

© Copyright 2011

Rev. Jim Hetzer

Spiritual Poetry: Completeness from Within

Whatever is the opposite

of loneliness can only be

felt from within one’s self.

There is no outer source of being.

What is the opposite

of loneliness?  I have been alone

in crowds of people;

surrounded, but isolated.

It is from within that we find

that we must stand alone

and still be complete.

This is our strength and our weakness.

There are no pretensions

within our souls.

We are complete or empty

by the beliefs in ourselves.

Be alone and not lonely,

and never deceive yourself

that others can make you whole.

Be complete and true to your soul.

© Copyright 1998

Jim Hetzer


Who Are We, Really?


We are not what we once were;

or are we, in fact, the same?

We were founded on ideals;

ideals of liberty and justice for all.

Really, did we ever meet

that lofty goal for those

that were different than the norm;

the others not just like us?

First, there was the massive genocide

of indigenous people mislabeled as Indians.

Then we deny that we built the nation

on the backs of slaves without any liberty.

Each external crisis caused an internal assault

on those that weren’t just like us,

whoever and however we defined as not us:

different colors, origins, races, and religions.

Now we have a leader that tells us “like it is”,

and most of us don’t like the “it” that is being defined.

We don’t have public lynching or many swastikas,

but we are far from liberty and justice for all.

Yet, this aberration of a racist bully leader reflects

to the world that we are not what we once were.

We need to stand up and speak out

that greed, racism, and paranoia do not define us.

We were warned against the military-industrial complex.

We shared the grief of the world when we were attacked

on our own soil in a horrible reflection of the world anger

that we have helped to create by our own aggressive ambitions.

We are a nation that must regain the standard

of liberty and justice for all without exception.

We have just shown what a group of caring people

can do to overthrow hatred and fear mongering.

We, the people, must regain control of our destiny.

Our destiny is not to rule the world.

We need to take care of our own, all of us,

and share our wealth and greatness as we once did.

It is up to us, each of us, you and me,

to redefine who we are and who we want to be.

Wake up! Rise up! Speak out! Vote!

Restore the dream and live up to our promise.

© Copyright 2018

Rev. Jim Hetzer

Take Me to the Mountain


Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his final speech on April 3, 1968, at a church in Memphis, TN.  It has been called the Mountaintop Speech.  This is an excerpt from that speech.  It was a prophetic statement that came about in a few hours.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot at 6:01 p.m. on April 4, 2068.

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Dr. King’s words have been an inspiration to many, and led to a spiritual chant that begins with the words, Take Me to the Mountain.”  There are many spiritual references in this chant, and this will help the reader understand how it all comes together to affirm that Dr. King did not die in vain.  Only the physical body was killed on April 4, 1968; Dr. King’s soul will live forever.

The spiritual meaning of the chant Take Me to the Mountain follows:

Take Me to the Mountain

Take me to the mountain; let me touch the sky.

Take me to the river where souls learn to fly.

Take me to the rainbow where promise never ends.

Take me to your heart; let me feel your love again.

© Copyright 2017

Rev. Jim Hetzer

Spiritual context:

Psalm 121(KJV)  says, “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”

Water is considered to be Spirit.  It is through our spirit that we are freed to travel our own unique spiritual path.  The river of life calls us on our spirit path.

The rainbow was the sign from God that there was a covenant that God would not destroy all creatures on earth again after the great flood.  In Genesis (9:16 (NIV)  it says: “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” 

The heart is considered the seat of love.  Trust in the Creator allows us feel that love.  Unless we love ourselves, we cannot truly love our neighbors or our Creator.

Dr. King’s dreams have not been realized.  Justice and respect for all is again under assault as racism, religious prejudice, and economic inequality continue to thrive.  It is up to each of us to help everyone achieve what the Declaration of Independence proclaimed.  Each of us has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We can help make Dr. King’s dream come true.  It is our duty.

© Copyright 2018

Rev. Jim Hetzer

April 4, 2018

Change of Scenery

My parents were truly amazing.  I kept in touch with Dad every day by phone.  We visited my Mom and Dad every few weeks from Columbus to Parkersburg.  When my Dad passed, the day itself was very calm.  We all thought my Mom would be the first to go because of her health, but that isn’t the way it turned out.

Change of Scenery

Each morning I would call.

“Hi Dad, how are you doing?”

And he would reply,

“Well, I’m still here”.

And now he isn’t;

not in the same way as before.

Verizon doesn’t connect us,

but Spirit does.

Mom still sees him sometimes.

She worries if he has lost his glasses

or if he needs new hearing aid batteries.

She’s a little confused, but we understand.

Nearly sixty-eight years of marriage

establishes connections beyond reality.

It would be a mistake to think

that Dad isn’t still with Mom.

When Mom says that she wants to be with Dad,

we all understand.

She won’t be happy until they are reunited.

It won’t be that long, but it will seem long for her.

It is hard to explain how someone is here,

but not in the same way.

She makes space for him on her bed

so he can be beside her again.

I explain that he doesn’t need any more space.

He is always wherever she is.

It is all about the separation of spirit from the body.

It is all about remembering the soul never dies.

© Copyright 2012

Rev. Jim Hetzer

September 23, 1998