Monday, September 19, 2016

Omnipresence

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
hair. 

He came with his selected throng

to acknowledge their 

devotion
as he surveyed his
demolition.
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)


Knowing,
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)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Abyss of the Soul



“The truest solitude is not something outside you, it is an abyss opening up in the center of your own soul.” Thomas Merton

When night rushes in
and tightly presses
my fading eyes
and even the faithful wind
fails,

with breathless prayer
will I call you.

Your strong hand
will catch me as I fall
beyond my failures
beyond the
brutality
of my will,

down to my truest solitude
to the abyss
of the soul.


(9/9/2013)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Psalm 9-11 (dedicated to Fr. Mychal Judge)



I hear your soft voice
In the hushed evening breeze
as gentle wind fills 
these tall, murmuring trees.  

For you're never too far;
your soft breath I can feel.
My soul stirs with faith
that no anger can steal.  

Through the cold, empty night
you fill my dark soul.
Your brilliant light breaks
death's harsh, ancient hold.  

In the morning I'll hear 
your clear voice proclaim
my life you've restored,
bitter tears wiped away.

(7 March 2014)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September 11th



“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will.”  Thomas Merton

+++

Rushing from shower to sink, I heard the TV
blare its usual chatter of news and advertising
as we made our hurried preparations
for another busy day,
when I saw it:
dark smoke rising into the blue New York sky.

And I stopped, all schedules forgotten, transfixed
by high flames scorching glass and steel.

Calmly, the newsman speculated
about airliners and tragic accidents,
when the passive camera caught it, the black spot
flying straight and sure as a bullet, piercing
the second tower in a shower of orange flame and shattered glass.

This was no accident,then, this morning violence, and I wondered
how many people were already at work when,
pinned by burning jet fuel and melting steel, their busy day
suddenly ceased in searing red pain and numb darkness?

I wanted to go on with my own day,
to hide in the comfort of my routine,
but I could not turn away when I saw jumpers
drop to merciful deaths;

I saw a suited businessman,
pale in white dust, slowly plodding
through a deluge of drifting memos,
clutching his briefcase like a life preserver;

I heard the shrill, muffled
sirens of ambulance and fire-trucks,
lost in the dirty fog of terror.

And I knew in that moment
that we all are New Yorkers,

we all are falling into our dark, quiet center
where, sinless and without fear,
we encounter God, Yahweh, Allah,
The Eternal,  

as our shattered bodies rise
through flames of anger
into the pure, cool, forgiving
September air.

(9/11/2011)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Survivor






My busy day paused,
gassing up the car,
I waited as the gallons flowed
and clicked to a stop,

and ready to go,
I slowly drove
toward the busy street

when the sudden crush
of limb and leaf,
held me on the edge ­—
wondering

how a dying tree’s 
green embrace
cradled me
in my shattered car,
unscathed.

Simplicity of being

"....it is of the very essence of Christianity to face suffering and death not because they are good, not because they have meaning, but because the resurrection of Jesus has robbed them of their meaning.” 
Thomas Merton
*********

The moon fades, 
clouds enshroud stars
pale trees glare 
ensnared by winter winds 
blanching at death's edge,  

and yet you whisper 
gently in the rain, 
promise me gifts 
of disease and pain
to strip me clean
and pure again.  

O, make me
your sacrament!

pure essence,
of eternal gain.

(11 Sept. 2011)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Day's End



I'll fill this small space,
coarse stone in the stream,
as soft, summer winds
gently shape me,

my rough lines smoothing,
polishing dull skin,
‘til golden and gleaming
I’m clean once again.

(30 June 2011)

Political Poem




I don't want to write political poetry,

but conflict washes over my native land
like a Katrina surge.

A tempest in a teapot
doesn't mean much
compared to the
relentless fury
of the tsunami.
This year's leaves, floating
gently to my lawn 
glowing orange and gold
through the afternoon sun,
signify more than any inept
congressional 
super-committee;

but when I see a policeman, 
a man I want to call 
protector, hero, friend, 
spray orange pain 
on crouching kids;

when protesters become enemies
of the state, and plans to smash
hope are made
on great, glistening tables 
in bank boardrooms 
gleaming
with the tears 
of the foreclosed, 

then must I write political poetry.

I'll lob a simile
into the executive suite, 

I'll make strong the barricades
with my fierce metaphor.


(21 Nov 2011)
*

Политические Поэма


Я не хочу писать политические стихи,


но конфликт моет над моей родиной

как волна Катрина.


Буря в стакане воды

ничего не значит

по сравнению с

неустанной ярости
о цунами.
В этом году листья, плавающие
осторожно, чтобы мой газон
светящиеся оранжевые и золотые
через день солнце,
означает больше, чем любой неумелой
Конгресс
супер-комитета;



но когда я вижу милиционера,

Человек я хочу назвать

защитник, герой, друг,

спрей оранжевый боли
на корточках дети;



, когда протестующие стали врагами

государства, и планы, чтобы разбить

надежда сделаны

на больших, блестящих таблицы
в банковских залах заседаний
блестящий
со слезами
из исключил,



Затем я должен писать политические стихи.


Я уволю сравнение

в Executive Suite,


Я сделаю сильными баррикадами

с моей ожесточенной метафора.
*****************************************
Обратите внимание на мои русские читатели: Я используюGoogle Translate, чтобы сделать эти стихи  настоящей записки) на русский язык. Хотя я изучал русский язык в колледже, много лет назад, я чувствую, неопределенной, что эти переводы являются удовлетворительными. Не могли бывы выслать мне комментарий и скажите мне, если онихорошо читать на русском языке? Я был бы благодаренпредложения. Спасибо. Стивен Federle