ADVENT, 5

Advent 

5.

           ~John 3:1-21

You have heard the chant,

answered the call,

drunk the water made wine.

All that was yours has been stripped away.

And now you are in a dark room.

Your feet root in the earth,

water rises up to your neck,

and from somewhere, a wind.

You shiver there, alone. 

And when you think 

you might have died,

a light shines in the darkness—

you are surrounded by lamps,

there is a lamp in your hand,

and the circle presses around you

and you are part of the circle,

robed in white.

And no one outside the circle,

and no one outside the room,

is saved.

 

 

ADVENT, 1

I’m trying for a Poem-a-Day during Advent. Here’s the first:

 

ADVENT

1.

Incomprehensible, 

word made flesh among us—

that which shattered 

to make the worlds

congealed—

light made flesh.

We can not receive

until we turn,

look over our shoulder

to glimpse the shadow

as it turns away.

A NOTE TO DAME JULIAN

A NOTE TO DAME JULIAN

 

This morning I saw what you saw.

Not a hazelnut, but a photograph

taken from Saturn—

a speck of yellow against the dark—

and not all that is made,

only our world with its little gray moon.

So many have left off believing

that we’re kept, and loved.

Strange, isn’t it, 

when you know we can’t know 

the whole Body of God—

just the sacrament,

this outward and outward sign.

 

WALPURGIS NACHT

WALPURGIS NACHT

Last hold of winter, grip of dark and cold,

our times of gathering close by the fire.

Tomorrow the maiden will strew flowers,

tomorrow the furrow, the scattered seed.

But tonight, once more belongs to the old

who know to sit quiet and count the stars.

Blessed sameness in the passing of years—

mountain snows flowing from river to sea,

trout lily leaves poking out from the mould,

rhythm of courting and birthing and tears.

Shall we gather tonight on the mountain?

Shall we sing together the last winter hymn?

Already the children dance by the fountain.

In the light of the sun, our fire grows dim. 

Winter Prompts #8: Bless what there is

BLESS WHAT THERE IS FOR BEING

      ~Rilke

Winter Prompt #8

Bless this runny nose.

I am alive.

Bless the ancient white cat

whose long hair covers my clothes.

Bless the darkness outside my window

and the brass lamp that shines

till the dark goes down

the west rim of the horizon.

Bless the notebook and pen,

the words on slips of paper,

the red book, the green-rimmed bowl.

Bless Debbee’s art, and the one bud

on the cactus that always blooms late.

Bless the crack beside my thumbnail

that reminds to to pray

for everyone in pain.

OMEGA

OMEGA

. . .that which is sought transcends all knowledge, 

being separated on all sides by incomprehensibility 

as by a kind of darkness

~Gregory of Nyssa

 

Light through the grisaille illuminates

Omega on the shabby wooden altar.

What we’ve called “God”

or something like, is disappearing

into a cloud of galaxies

and unanswered prayer, or devolving

into fire and air and trees.

 

Some of us are here, bound in ritual.

Who knows what we believe?

Some of us have been around outside

and turned, or turned back,

hearing the echo of a name.

We murmur the ancient creed.

The psalms are full of mercy and blood.

 

Angels have descended and grown small,

their voices turned to syrup, or tin.

Shall we yet fear not?

A dead Jesus hangs on his cross,

between the guttering candles.

The cup is emptied and filled.

We make our humble offerings to the dark.

April prompt #22

April prompt #22

Write about your blind spots

Janet’s #6

EXTENDING THE METAPHOR

Not so much a spot of blindness

but an absence of vision,

 

frosted gray circled

by lack of clarity, an odd distortion.

 

Not like the walls

that closed in, slowly

 

at first, then fast,

swallowing up all

 

but a thin vertical line,

and then the rest,

 

and opening again,

strangely, on a train

 

in the midwest.

Not total, like that.

 

There is light now,

and periphery, but

 

everything is too large.

Faces are elongated.

 

It is not possible

to make out any words.

 

At a certain distance,

everything has a shadow-

 

image, an echo below it,

tilting to the left.

 

At night, the usual clues

disappear, lights line up

 

in curious ways. It’s best not

to approach on my right side.

 

I’ve learned to close one eye.

I’ve learned to turn my head.