Wednesday, August 28, 2013

star of the sea


edge of night,

cold consuming
blackening hills,

clears barely
the deepening ridge

bright tears -
star of the sea.

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.

Confession

I’m an unworthy vessel,
a rusty cup.

I foul your pure wine
with my common
corruption,

and yet
unreasonably
you fill me up again.

Brimful with your
glittering love
I become
a golden chalice
to hold your sacred
blood.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Night Rises

“There is not a flower that opens, not a seed that falls into the ground, and not an ear of wheat that nods on the end of its stalk in the wind that does not preach and proclaim the greatness and mercy of God to the whole world.
There is not an act of kindness or generosity, not an act of sacrifice done, or a word of peace and gentleness spoken, not a child’s prayer uttered, that does not sing hymns to God.”

Thomas Merton, “Friday Psalm Prayer,” A Book of Hours

night rises
from the still-warm earth


climbs rough trunks to
higher planes


to where leaves still burn
in golden flames.