Saturday, April 22, 2017

On the Feast of St. Catherine

The poet on the radio
earnestly read her expert lines
about the sad state
of the world,
the failure
of governments,
the certain decline of
the cosmos,
the end of the world.

Her lines were exquisitely made,
and I listened with admiration and envy
to perfect rhymes, subtle
metaphor, nuanced images
until I felt both elation and

Then I looked around me,
to the riot of life in
my backyard,
the shrill ecstasy of birds
the shout of the rose.

My children gathered today
for a Sunday feast, full of
laughter and my corny jokes.

Maybe the poet didn’t have a backyard,
could gazed only on bleak
city walls; maybe her lover
walked out (or should have) or
her children never call.

I worry about the poor;
whenever a grimy hand out-
stretches, I see the pierced hand of Christ,
offering me gifts, pearls of great price!

(29 April 2012)

Author's Comments:

 I'm feeling guilty about dissing Adrienne Rich here... she really is a marvelous poet.  If you'd like to explore her more, try this link:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Brian's Psalm

In winter's stark dawning 
in cold fog encased,
your warmth I'm discerning
though night will not fade, 

for unwilling is morning 
it lurks in sore limbs,
yet your song is arising 
and I know that you'll send

to my darkest night-hour 
new light to set me free
and your song I'll be singing
in the glow of the east!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Photo by Brian Federle, Hawaii, 2016.

"I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while,playing on the surface of his earth;
and I found delight in the human race" Proverbs 8:22-31

Dark mountains rise
to meet the sun.

Night drops
to the western sea.

lifting joy to heaven

as dark waves clash
washing clean the past —

all pain subsides,

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Caravaggio,Supper at Emmaus 
National Gallery, London

Walking through the dusty grove

we talked of death and empty graves

when a stranger suddenly appeared.

He walked with us and asked why we trembled so.
Amazed that he seemed not to know
of the blood and pain in Jerusalem,
we told him
how dark the day became, how the sun slid down
to shivering night
when, broken, our friend was placed in the cave.

Rebuking us for our lack of faith,
he explained how it was all foretold in the ancient books;
from Adam to David, the inevitable grave
insatiably claims
corrupt humanity

until now.

We heard, eyes cast down,
when at Emmaus he broke
our common bread

and looking up, we saw Him.

His face was blazing like the sun!
We blinked, and then he was gone,

but the bread remained.

(7 May 2011)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

from "Memorial"

Seven years after my father died
my first child, my son, was born in spring,
and in the gleaming, sterile room
I first held him in my arms
as, with his impossibly wide, blue eyes
he calmy gazed right into my raw soul,
and I felt in a sudden rush of warmth,
a timeless love
and at last discovered
the reason for my life.
It was then
I understood my father.
In my son’s face I saw my own
and felt my father’s eyes gazing
in warm wonder on me
and I glowed with
unconditional love for my son.