Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Evolution

Sun rising
flinging green fire
on flashing leaves

as birds flit
and call to each other
ancient songs of  
lust, warning,
hunger.

In twisting architecture
they rise,
sure-footed, fleet of wing,
fearless,

while below I stand,
neck craned,
stiff with gazing.

Back to my room,
I go - back to
my comfortable cave,
my simian
roots.

(19 June 2011)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Chemin de Jerusalem



“Openness is not something to be acquired, but a radical gift that has been lost and must be recovered.’ Thomas Merton


I walk
slowly
seemingly without
aim or
direction


gaze down
to flowering tiles
waver
feel lost, yet
see the way
leads always
to the 
center.

(22 June 2012)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Royal Presidio Chapel, Monterey California




Pelicans fly at dawn, 
Heavy, unsure of the wind, 
Their hungry cries piercing the sky
Fiercely searching receding waves. 




Ancient sorrow lingers here, 
The stunned saints with fading stigmata
Painted dimly into ever-falling shadow. 

Our Lady of Sorrows wears a black mantilla. Her
cold, glimmering hands clench 
The lace handkerchief Maria Antonia brought. 

Our Lady of Solitude pierces my soul, 
Her face shining forth from layers of death, 
Her astounding eyes glittering with living anguish.













(15 March 1979)

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Gate of Heaven is Everywhere


“The gate of heaven is everywhere.” Thomas Merton

I can hear your soft breath,
gentle strains of music

the easy breeze
nudges the curtains

and peace flows
across my skin
like cool water.

But soon impatient dusk
will overtake bright day

when the sun dims
in the dark grip
of eclipse, and ancient
terror thrills even
the most
comprehending mind;

for this is when
metaphore
overtakes fact,

and unknown stars glint
in the afternoon sky.

We never knew
they were hanging so low,

diamonds in deep
caverns,

new light!

(27 Nov 2012)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Psalm for the 4th Sunday in Advent

In the morning mist
wait the coastal hills, 
waves fixed, sea frozen
to solid rock, 
smooth
as rippled silk.
The mountains wait too,
but closer to the sun
they know more, 
and do not despair
for they know that soon
heaven will beckon them
to proclaim His peace
and plenty!
Then will the poor 
have their fill
of justice.


(24 Dec 2011)


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Photograph



We must know the truth, and we must love the truth we know. Thomas Merton

On her way to the big dance
my sister patiently waits
for the camera to click.

Her dress is white,
her slender fingers wrapped in
tight, petite gloves,
while top to bottom,
in her brilliant hat and polished shoes
grasping the patent handbag
she glows, so cool
in the autumn sun.

Carefully posed,
her little brothers cluster.

The oldest, just fooling around,
grins slyly
waves his
Lone Ranger cap gun.

The smart boy,
just down the step,
holds his hands in his jacket pocket,
and confidently smiles
for the camera.

But the little one stands apart
in a forest of shifting knees,
close to the ground
steadied by her strong hand.

Mother's long arm
reaches far down
to his slight shoulder,
and her power
still towers above them all
wrapping them in her
safe embrace.

(22 May 2012)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

fog conceals

fog conceals
winter dark streets
but gently reveals
her tears, her
cold, soft hands,
my mother’s hands
rising from
the waters,
from the fog.

(9 December 2014)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lost Soul

“Just as it is impossible for a man to see his face in troubled water, so too the soul, unless it be cleansed of alien thoughts.” Thomas Merton

Soul without light
he screams in anger,

curses his mother
for carving his dying flesh
from her course blood.

His darkness is complete.

He will not see
the sun
though it streams golden
through his open
door.

A prisoner,
he can only gaze
on blighted shade; he cannot stray
beyond the constrained
cell of his narrow
self.


(11 March 2011)

Winter's Tree of Leaf and Bird



Winter's tree, of leaf and bird, 
of mystery stripped
silent and spare

where living glade
with leafy trunk and fragrant limb
once hid mockingbirds 
as they played
through drowsy summer's 
longest day.

But now in winter's brittle chill 
all is silent, all is still
as death works out 
his hollow will.

(28 Dec 2011)