Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pursuit

Photo: Brian Federle, Pacifica Sunset, 

The Lord travels in all directions.
The Lord arrives from all directions at once.
 Wherever we are, we find that He has just departed.
Wherever we go, we discover that He has just arrived before us.

Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island


 I try to catch you, 
 side-glancing

facing forward to see
your heels flashing fire
in the shimmering red sea.

I gaze into night, 
desiring sight
of your dancing eyes.

I whisper, I sigh,
but you elude, 

ahead always, 
always behind.

(June 2014 ; May 2017)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Movement of the Soul


"All the passions can be reduced to four: joy, hope, fear, and grief. 
These four are so closely connected that, when one is controlled, 
the others all obey.  Consequently they can be reduced to one: joy.  
And desire is the movement of the soul seeking joy."  
Thomas Merton, The Ascent to Truth


Fear
is knowing
that the dark cloud
bearing down
on thrashing trees,
sending calling birds
to awkwardly flee,
holds both
life
and death,
but not knowing
which it will be.

Fear
can lead to grief
when tumors increase.
Blood grows
thick
until, together
at last, we stand
coffin-side
and wonder
why.

This is the line that splits heaven from hell.

We comb his hair
and shave his face,
carefully fold a rosary
into his cold hands,
and wonder that
his chest is
so still.

But his eyes are safely
sealed against the
terror of the grave,
so we lay him to rest
and slowly go
our separate ways

Remember
those cold March days
when we stood, our
backs to the rising sun?

Too bright
to see, the sun
strokes us
with a lover's warmth,
and rekindles in us
life's desire.

Thus will it always be.

Death can never win
though his illusion is strong.
The mortal body succumbs
but the soul ascends,
like birds, joyfully rising
to the morning sun.

(2013, 2017)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Rockville Cemetery



Among broken stones
folded over soft grass
we linger.

See how the fallen pillar
leans
on the graven rock?

Someday
they’ll search
for us, too.

In this garden,
beyond
all calamity,

beneath sunny lawns,
in a deeper shade
we’ll fill our own space
and in peace
we’ll wait.

(2012,  2017)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Shadows

Shadows 12-29-16.jpg
Photo: Brian Federle, Shadows in the Desert, Dec. 2016


Your shadow in the desert
by the winter sun cast.


Searing pain
as I gaze
on  dark

absence.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fire Falling

sunset 2016-01-02 .jpg

Photo: Brian Federle, Sunset, 1/2/2016



Fire falling
to golden waves
consume the world
with your love.