Writings by Members

Haiku poem from Gary Bickel

Nuran, sweet presence.
A twinkling smile, and gentle…
Friendliness itself.

(In memory of Nuran Miller, April 03)

A Memorial Service for Peter Rabenold was held under the care of Patuxent Friends Meeting on Saturday, March 17, 2007.

Peter experienced a major turning point in his life in 1980, when he found a spiritual home with the Religious Society of Friends.  He placed an advertisement in the local newspaper asking, “Are there any Quakers left in Southern Maryland?”  Receiving responses from a small number of Friends, he became a founding member of the Patuxent Friends Meeting. Through the years, Peter proved to be a much-loved elder of the meeting.  He encouraged Friends to explore and share the progress of their spiritual journeys.  He expressed his own spiritual journey through his journal and hundreds of haiku poems that he left in the care of Friends.  Peter was also active in the wider Quaker community, contributing time, energy and resources to the Quaker Universalist Fellowship and the Quaker United Nations Office, among others.

Peter's family and many more of us, whose lives were touched by his, will miss him.  Peter’s life spoke well.

    Peter, unspoiled mind.
    Wholly one with the Spirit's
    Gracious, loving heart.

    Chris Teater, 2007 in memory of Peter

Haiku poems from Peter Rabenold


The spirit connects

Even when two are apart.

They ride the same wave.

(June 05)



Girl skips to granma's
First kissing objects enroute.
How rife can love be?

(April 05)

    Sunbeams descending
Mineral bubbles rising
Floating Ecstacy.
(Feb 05)

Can a religion
Based on love have boundaries
When love flows freely?
(Jan 05)
  By their icy coats
The trees sparkle and reveal
Their divine light.
(Dec 04)
    Thanks for the sharing
Of love and peace to come. 
From this gathering.

(Nov 04)
Geese over my house
Wedging sky in southward flight. 
Honking autumn joy.

(Oct 04)
  The Spirit connects
Even when two are apart. 
They ride the same wave.

(July 04)
    If one’s words are not
Gentle and kind, one might find
One has to eat them.

(Apr 04)
Bright red flower blooms
Welcome me to a new day
And start me out right.

(Mar 04)
  No written words can
Match a rainbow or the sound
Of the wind in the trees. 

(Jan 04)
    To follow your heart
But not leave your mind behind
Sounds like good advice. 

(Dec 03)
At least once a year
Let us give thanks and love to
Our fellow creatures. 

(Dec 03)
  The Spirit’s like a seed
That grows in the dark within
Then blooms in the light. 

(Nov 03)
    Life is a trust to
Use well, enjoy, then give back
When the time comes round. 

(Oct 03)
As the sun is in
The fragrance of a flower,
God is within me. 

(Oct 03)
  When there is a Light
Within you, your whole life has

(Sept 03)
    It’s no small thing to
Be at peace in a torn world
And to live in love. 

(Aug 03)
Let us share and hold
In the Light another’s joys
As well as sorrows. 

(July 03)
  Persuaded at last,
A hummingbird tries and likes
Our gay red feeder 

(May 03)
    Can a war be just
That kills the innocent young
Old, sick and infirm? 

(Apr 03)
Lover of flowers
And boxwood. Gentle and wise.
Cherished soul partner.
(In memory of Nuran Miller, February 03)
  What a joy to see
Bright color emerge each year
From a bulb so drab. 

(Feb 03)
    Out of the silence 
We can hear the harmony
To which we can dance. 

(Feb 03)
When all’s said and done
At each year’s end we remain
United by love. 

(Jan 03)
  Some Friends believe in 
The beyond which is within.
That is their focus. 

(Jan 03)
    Midst the threats of war
The trees bring their messages
Of peace and beauty.
(Dec 02)
How can you be at 
Peace with all when you can’t
Hear your own crying? 

(Dec 02)
  Peace from mad sniper
And through three silent peace walks
Is so comforting. 

(Nov 02)
    It is a wise man 
Who see himself in the all
And the all in him. 

(Nov 02)
Water, air, earth, fire
And all living beings are
Part of creation. 

(Oct 02)
  If you wish to soar, 
(Find the truth of your life), you
Must sprout your own wings. 

(Oct 02)
    Clean water, life source
For the whole of creation,
Has to be conserved. 

(Sept 02)
Could it be that those
Who are closest to nature
Are closest to God. 

(Sept 02)
  Illness could not dim
The light from Gordon’s great art
And his good nature. 

(July 02)
(In memory of Gordon Jansson.)
    What a sight to see--
A yellow moon under a
Pink cloud as dawn breaks. 

(July 02)
Near my balcony
A bluebird sings plaintively
For a female mate. 

(July 02)
  Help given others
Is much more than for payback,
It’s for passing on. 

(June 02)
    Music and color
More than inadequate words
Describe the Divine. 

(April 02)
May our seed within
Become a blossom and the
Blossom become fruit. 

(April 02)
  It is difficult
To speak truth to power when
Truth may not be clear. 

(March 02)
    Sometimes the Spirit
Moves us gently and sometimes
It shoves us rudely. 

(March 02)
Peace means preserving
Life, not taking it, for all
Of life is sacred. 

(February 02)
  All faiths are windows
Through which the Light passes both
Inward and outward. 

(February 02)
    Peace may end conflict
But needs positive caring
Attention to last. 

(January 02)
Like her lively wit,
Mary’s fire in the belly
Could never be quenched. 

(January 02)
(Mary Jansson, who passed away just after Christmas, 2001, was a spiritual force in our circle of Friends. We will continue to hold her spirit in our hearts and be better for her lasting influence. Peter offered the preceding Haiku in her memory.)
  Midst thorns the cactus
Splurges its gorgeous blossoms
And allays our fears. 
    An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth beget
Blindness and hunger. 
To cure poverty,
Hunger, disease and despair,
I pledge my support.
  Man’s will to power
Leads more to terror and war
Than to love and peace. 
    For Friends the term "Light"
Whether inner or outer,
Means "enlightenment."
Whether it's perceived
As from within or without
The Light is one whole
  A jolly good laugh
Can be the closest distance
Between two persons. 
    No matter how strong
Human power may become
Nature will prevail. 
How precious it is
To find a F/friend who shares your
Spiritual path. 
  Seeking and finding
Truth from whatever source is
So spirit-filling. 
    Mystics of all faiths
Have simply sought unity
With reality. 
Wise old sayings are
there for us to savor and
feed our hungry souls.
  How enlightening
is spiritual wisdom
from ageless mystics. 
    Can we be at peace
while not compassionate toward
All living creatures? 
What has more value
Than clean air, clean water, and
Clean soil we live from? 
  A second flower
like Iris now graces our
delighted meeting. 
is anti—love of neighbor
taught by Jesus Christ.
Warfare to counter
terrorism may also
bring terror and death. 
  When discouraged and
reaching the end of your rope
tie a knot and swing. 


From Ben Gorton-Williams (Age 10)

Quiet, careful, and nice
Unusually peaceful
Always people from
Korea to North America
Each has different thoughts.
Remember to come to meeting.