Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Feast of St. Francis

Sisters of St. Francis of the Neuman Community
from "Canticle of the Sun," by St. Francis of Assisi: "Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance."

Bird-song rises 
in clear, liquid waves

as golden leaves arc

to the ground.

Heavy gold

must fall.

October heat

gives way 
to winter rain

yet inevitably life flows 

like the breeze
rising from the broad sea
to the high Sierra;

grey clouds rise

and heavy snow falls.

All the living waters

give praise.


Monday, September 19, 2016


In the psalms of night birds
in the bright morning trees,
I hear your song echoing,
overwhelming me.

Always above me,
around and below,
inside me your love’s
a constant glow.

In warm summer’s ocean,
in the soft breath of night
I sway in the rhythm
of passionate life.

(15 June 2012)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Assad Visits Homs

Those who love their own noise are impatient of everything else. ... Our noise, our business, our purposes, and all our fatuous statements about our purposes, our business, and our noise: these are the illusion.

Thomas Merton.

He came to visit today
with cameras firmly fixed
on his perfect

He came with his selected throng

to acknowledge their 

as he surveyed his
Those old buildings were such a blight,
rabid rats, full of the noise
of rebellious children,
but now, city leveled, he can see
how beautiful it all will be.
Bright new buildings soon will rise,
and scrape death from the acrid sky; 
and everything will be 
first rate!
....but just out of al Jazeera’s frame
black smoke pours over
Baba Amr;
incinerated hopes;
dark stain.

(27 Nov 2012)

Headline NY Times, 17 Sept. 2016: 
                                    His Grip Secure, Assad Smiles While Syria Burns

Friday, September 16, 2016

On the Feast of St. Stephen

The Martyrdom of St. Stephen by Peter Paul Rubens 1616-1617

"The life of the soul is not knowledge, it is love, since love is the act of the supreme faculty, the will, by which man is formally united to the final end of all his striving – by which man becomes one with God." (Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain)

my eyes can see how wind tears, how
clouds ravage the sky
to shreds…

Can you hear the geese fleeing,
shouting dread
as the savage storm crouches?

Are you afraid?

I know
how the sea sometimes
launches boulders;

but the stubborn land
bows and waits
and, swollen, forgives

with torrents of life;
rivers of joy.

(20 Sept. 2013)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Window of Being

“Actions are the doors and windows of being. 
Unless we act we have no way of knowing what 
we are. “ Thomas Merton

through the door
and do
not stray
in this dark room,
thin soul of


Break open the window,
and breathe deeply
the light

of being.

(25 Oct 2012)