MIDNIGHT SONGS

 

                  (the singer sings as the black night falls)

                         starting in late October 1989

 

                          POETRY INDEX

 

                          A......

                          A BACHELOR POET-BOY'S LAMENT

                          A DRY SONG IN A SOMETIMES WEARY LAND

                          A GREEN BEETLE FLYING

                          AS MAD MODERN MAN FACES HIS ULTIMATE

                                            AND UNESCAPABLE DESTINY

                          AT STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, GOD SHALL WIN...(Yeats)

                          A VICTORIAN SONG

                         

                          C........

                          CASTING CARES UPWARD

                          CALL IT MEDITATION

                         

                          E......

                          ENTER THROUGH HIS GATES

 

                          F.......

                          FROM PSALM 4

                         

                          G.......

                          GOD'S LOVE WAS BORN

                          GOD THE SUN!

 

                          H.......

                          HAPPY DEFIANCE

                          HEAVEN'S WASHROOMS

                          HOLY RIVER FLOWING DEEP

                          HOW BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS

 

                          I......

                          I AM A HUSBAND OF NO WIFE

                          IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF WHO
                                  OR WHAT IS A POET

                          INNOCENCE FEASTS WITH THE PROPHETS

                          IT'S SANITY WHICH TAKES THE CUP

 

                          O.........

                          ON ENTROPY

                          ON HUMAN SEXUALITY, FREEDOM AND RESURRECTION

                          ON INSPIRATION

                          ONE MAY SERVE GOD FROM THE PULPIT

                          ON THE NATURE OF GOD'S NAME

                          ON THE TORTUROUS ASSENT TOWARDS SEXUAL

                                  HEALING

 

 

 

 

                                MIDNIGHT SONGS  pg 2

 

                          R.......

                          REALIZE LIFE WHILE YOU LIVE IT

 

                          S.......

                          SHE CARRIES A CROSS LIKE A WOMAN     

                          SHE DANCED JUST LIKE A FALLING LEAF

                          SONGS OF THE POETIC PRIEST

 

                          T.......

                          TAKE A WILD FLIGHT,

                                    O SENSE FILLED MIRROR OF THE SKY

                          THE BIRD WHICH FAILS TO FLY

                          THE ESCAPE OF THE HARE

                          THE HOBBLEDEHOY DRESSED IN HODDEN

                          THEN THE DEEP WELL IGNITES WITH LIGHT

                          THERE FEAR IS NOT IN PERFECT LOVE

                          THE WELLDIGGER'S SONG

                          THIS IS WHERE MY HEART SHOULD BE

                          TO HE WHO HELPS HOLD UP

                                 THE WIND AND THE WEATHER

                          TO THE MASTER OF THE HEALING HANDS

                       

                          W........

                          WHEN DOLPHINS LIVE LIKE HAPPY THOUGHT

                          WHEN THE WORDS BECOME WORD

                          WHILE TOTTERING ON THE LIP OF THE ULTIMATE BRINK

                          WHY MUST WE ARTICULATE OUR LOVES?

                         

                          44 poems

                          Last poem - WHY MUST WE ARTICULATE OUR LOVES?

               -------------------------------------------------------- 

 

                         

 

 

                     I AM A HUSBAND OF NO WIFE

                     

                     I am a husband

                     of no wife

                     in the wind;

                     and yet one

                     more beautiful in her flesh

                     than a dream of light:

                     for she is that very light

                     in pain.

                     I am a husband

                     of no wife

                     in the wind.

 

 

 

 

 

                 SHE CARRIES A CROSS LIKE A WOMAN     

 

                     She carries a cross

                     like a woman,     

                     this gentle warrior

                     who weeps as she works

                     the hard necessary thing.

                     Who can kill like a woman,

                     or be killed upon a cross

                     like a forgotten one?

                     A pot in her hand,

                     or a broom:

                     sane weapons

                     in a necessary war.

 

 

 

 

                 GOD THE SUN!

 

                 God the Sun!

                 What, the sun God?

                 No! a thousand times!

                 But look! God, the Sun!

                 See the picture book written for children.

                 See the picture book of life!

                 See the golden Sun pour out its fierce heat,

                 generating its fiery life-giving light

                 from the core of its own being.

                 Not because of the little flower

                 does it shine

                 but because it is the Sun!

                 And because it is the Sun

                 it gives life to the flower

                 which receives it.

                 Behold the picture book of God

                 and live in joy!

                 Does God love because of something in us

                 that draws forth his response of love?

                 Or does God love because

                 God is love?

                 God loves, and the Sun is like him.

                 See the golden God pour forth His fiery love,

                 generating His own fierce life-giving light

                 from the core of His being.

                 Not because of the little soul

                 of man who needs such love does He shine,

                 (could a man invent such a God

                 any more than a flower could dream up the Sun?),

                 but God shines love and joy

                 because He is God

                 and He births life to receive Him.

                 See the little flower bathed in light,

                 in slow ecstasy stretch out willingly,

                 to open and pour out its fragrance

                 and color into the Sun's bright face.

                 Behold, it is the truth of God

                 for us to live in the warmth of an uncreated

                 and imperishable Joy!

                 So let us learn, like little children,

                 the lesson of the Sun!

                 Then, when we have learned that lesson....

                 Lesson #2, The Moon.

 

                   

                   

                                       

 

 

               AT STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, GOD SHALL WIN...(Yeats)

 

               That Angel standing under the big white umbrella

               holds a yellow balloon and a gun;

               the many headed chameleon stalks through the mall.

               Blam! Lizard blood splatters the department store windows.

               Blam, blam: the revolving doors are slowly turning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   TO HE WHO HELPS HOLD UP THE WIND AND THE WEATHER

 

                   Build the house right and it shall stand.

                   First the wind,

                   first the weather,

                   first the sky, for that is the foundation;

                   then the stones,

                   then the mortar

                   then the boards and battens and glass,

                   for that is the building.

                   Then the rough skinned animals move in

                   and become two pearly, sensuous people

                   in love,

                   for they are with the wind

                   and in the stone

                   and are the glass.

                   He who looks through the looking glass

                   shall help hold up

                   the wind and the weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

                    REALIZE LIFE WHILE YOU LIVE IT

 

                    Realize life while you live it,

                    if you live it at all.

                    Life is a matter of spirit;

                    even children know this.

                    "Which spirit?" the blind Irish fiddler replies.

                    The one which leads to the perfect love

                    and opens blind fiddler's eyes.

 

                    I walked from County Mayo

                    down to County Cork

                    where my old ancestral cottage

                    dwelt in mossy ruin;

                    and found an open road

                    and an open heart,

                    and a fiddle, and a poet's

                    wailful crying.

                    And there through desolations

                    and the gray of winter's skies

                    the musky light of morning smote upon my inward eyes;

                    and all those ladies dancing

                    on the green bright dewy lawn

                    were of epochs yet to come

                    being of ages past and gone.

                    The musky light of morning shown upon that cottage blear

                    and the sulking shadows shouted

                    that the very truth was near!

                    So I danced the widening circle

                    and waved a red kerchief

                    and felt some music moving down to blood--

                    and all the ladies dancing there within the dewy dawn

                    were dressed in Christly garments like a bride.

                    Rol de rol de ree O, rol de rol de for,

                    blood is on the lintel

                    and incense in the fire.

                    Rol de rol de ree O, rol de rol de mir,

                    light is in the cottage

                    when the dancer's here!

 

                    

 

 

                             

                        

 

                        FROM PSALM 4

 

                        Think deeply soul

                        as your body lies upon your bed.

                        Seize the moment of life again.

                        Find the doorway

                        illuminated by the one vital

                        constant spark,

                        the doorway which opens

                        to the holy door of fire.

                        Be turned over within you,

                        bowls and brain,

                        and listen to the life of your life

                        pitter pattering like soft rain

                        into a luminous pool.

                        Listen, listen,

                        lean into listening

                        until you fall listening

                        into the pool of your life.

                        Be submerged, O my soul,

                        and feel the music of silence

                        swallowing you,

                        drowning you down into the inside of you,

                        where you, floundering,

                        find ears opening in the water,

                        which hear the light

                        pitter pattering all around you

                        down in the pool of your life;

                        and floundering down, slowly deeper down

                        into the stilling waters

                        find the wonder of your GOLDEN EYES opening

                        which see in the luminous pool

                        reflections which cannot be seen.

                        Now rest and partake

                        of the living dreams of God's presence

                        which is our final kingdom and peace -

                        O my soul,

                        O my body upon my bed.

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

               TAKE A WILD FLIGHT, O SENSE FILLED MIRROR OF THE SKY

 

                                 I.

 

               Take a wild flight into a Sunday bath

               and prepare the whole air for the mystery

               of the midnight wedding where

               the trumpet's golden music blasts.

 

                                II.

              

               The big clouds rise above an empty house

               surrounded with lilacs and rhododendrons

               rustling their leaves in the beams,

               shaking their fragrant flowers in the golden reams

               of sunlight to awaken the supposed sleepers.

               But no one's there. Nothing but mist and musty air.

               Such a wealth of wind whips down

               from the white milkshake of the clouds

               to rattle, to stir around the whole house

               and sky.

 

                                III.

 

               Dream now of a lamb with a gossamer eye.

               Dream now of a dove with fire for its feathers

               and let them be! Behold, the whole thing occurs

               and fills lost islands with swans and stars.

               And the gossamer lamb gambols through summer bright fields

               and the silver dove sets a whole forest ablaze

               with color and burns twigs into pens,

               leaves into pages, bark into art.

               The one house there is filled with children singing

               and red and blue and yellow birds everywhere.

 

                                IV.

 

               A peasant river runs on little islands

               where lambs and lions and children drink

               and simple souls bend to know

               the taste of wine in the river

               and are bathed and baptized

               and come up singing with wild white wings

               tearing out from bones through skin,

               snatching them out into an ecstasy of flight

               through the very heart of the dark encircling night,

               out to the one new continent where

               no empty houses gloom in an age's fiery aftermath

               but life is wed to Life at the trumpet's first blast.

               And so comes the next to the very second last

               invitation to the mystery of a Sunday bath!

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         HAPPY DEFIANCE

 

                         Though I tweak my back

                         and it give me a twinge,

                         still I'll twinkle till twilight;

                         though others tweedle and twiddle

                         their thumbs -

                         ta dumb, ta dumb:

                         I'll twine my locks

                         and wash my socks

                         (on a twig, you prig,

                         --or with a pig),

                         and twinkle

                         and thinkle

                         till twilight.

 

 

 

 

 

                        

 

 

                         A VICTORIAN SONG

 

                         Clear Comfort:

                         Rose buds and golden hair;

                         Blue birds singing;

                         Eyes soft with candlelight;

                         Hearts soft as rosebuds;

                         Lips scarlet as cherry wine;

                         Mouths filled with silent singing -

                         Clear Comfort.

 

 

 

 

 

              

 

                     ON THE NATURE OF GOD'S NAME

 

                     I want to let be

                     what God is pleased to be

                     and to let God become

                     what glorifies His name.

                     I want to let Christ be

                     who He is in me

                     so that death's blow

                     is on me and not Him.

                    

 

 

 

 

 

            A GREEN BEETLE FLYING

 

            A Green beetle flying into a gray lizard's jaws.

            Flick goes the vermilion tongue.

            The lizard's red glassy eyes show no contentment.

            The soft eyes of the chimpanzee show thankfulness

            for the banana in its hairy lap.

            Could it be thankfulness after all?

 

            The beautiful thin model sips a rare fine champagne.

            Her blue crisp eyes show no contentment.

            The soft brown eyes of the Mexican bean farmer show thankfulness

            as he crosses himself and praises the Virgin for the wormy apple

            in his hands.

 

            The astute Collage Professor

            dazzles his students with his clear comprehensions

            of ancient myths, mere symbols of the evolving human psyche.

            His flashing, intelligent eyes show no contentment.

            The gentle eyes of Jesus show joy and thankfulness

            for the sinner in God's merciful hands.

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

                    THEN THE DEEP WELL IGNITES WITH LIGHT

 

                          That silent voice

                          from the deep well,

                          (the quivering well

                          of liquid light

                          down in the shadows),

                          that silent voice sounds.

                          Then the deep well ignites with light

                          and over the brim

                          peek

                          laughing children

                          with white wings.

                   

 

 

 

 

 

                      THE BIRD WHICH FAILS TO FLY

 

                      The bird which fails to fly

                      out the cage’s opened door

                      can know a different kind of freedom:

                      that of a comfortable security

                      within the iron walls.

                      There, strong wings are not needed...

                      but singing helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   INNOCENCE FEASTS WITH THE PROPHETS

 

                   Innocence feasts at the table of the Prophets

                   and turns its wondering eyes this way and that,

                   gazing at old bald heads,

                   gray beards

                   and fiery eyes.

                   Innocence is a small naked boy

                   and a little naked girl.

                   Innocence holds hands with itself

                   and laughs

                   at the gruff old granite faces

                   which can't help but crease into smiles,

                   for in the presence of these innocents--

                   old Prophets remember why they had ranted

                   and died.

 

 

 

 

 

                  

 

 

             ON THE TORTUROUS ASSENT TOWARDS SEXUAL HEALING

 

             She stands naked on the top of the high precipitous granite wall,

             her arms outstretched to embrace the warm winds of summer,

             her yellow hair waving wildly like goose feathers in the wind.

             He climbs naked up the hard flint-like face,

             panting, inching closer to her, his lean body sweating.

             The religious legalist stands by and mocks,

             jutting out his chin, furrowing his brow.

             Angels feel otherwise--they sing

             and blow on their golden horns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    THE WELLDIGGER'S SONG

 

                    Digging, digging, digging down

                    sing the song of ages,

                    digging, digging, digging down

                    flip the earthy pages.

                    In the well, or in the book

                    take a long and lingering look,

                    till the water springing up

                    fills the spirit of your cup.

                    Digging, digging, digging down

                    cut the tough root bramble,

                    move the rock and move the mud

                    till you find the hidden flood.

                    Open up the earth to sky,

                    open up the book's supply,

                    read the water from the ground,

                    dance to hear its gurgling sound.         

                    Fill the furrows to the brim,

                    celebrate the book within,

                    let the waters flood the pages,

                    sing the song of countless ages.

                    Digging, digging, digging down,

                    words are picks and shovels;

                    turn the book and world around,

                    till spirit is archival!

 

 

 

 

 

                  IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF WHO OR WHAT IS A POET

 

                         One who sings with words

                         the truth in rhymes or not in rhymes,

                         (no matter),

                         --but there should be singing!--

                         one who sings the truth with words

                         is a poet.

                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    ENTER THROUGH HIS GATES

 

                    Enter into God with a thankful heart:

                    recount all his gifts--they are too numerous!

                    Were we to see how bountiful and good He truly is,

                    in spite of all contradictions, our hearts would shine!

 

 

 

 

 

                    ON INSPIRATION

 

                    Below the corn stalks grows colors incomprehensible,

                    enough to drive an artist mad.

                    Down on your knees beneath the corn stalks

                    the inspiration comes like snow melting;

                    then like a falling star in the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                      THIS IS WHERE MY HEART SHOULD BE

 

                      This is where my heart can live,

                      This is where the Angles give

                      Fruit from off the holy tree.         

                      Christ be with me till I see

                      All the truth that one man should

                      And devote my soul to good:

                      Not for riches or for fame,

                      But to love the purest name

                      Of he who called me but to be

                      One poet in the company

                      Of those who throughout history's time

                      Wrote God's truth in rune and rhyme--

                      Not for men of critical mind

                      But for hearts of light to find.

                      This is where my heart must be--

                      amongst God’s secret company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

          AS MAD MODERN MAN FACES HIS ULTIMATE

          AND INESCAPABLE DESTINY

 

 

                      Falling man upon the stones,

                      brains gashed out and broken bones;

                      falling stone upon the man

                      grinds to flour finer than

                      dust that floats upon the air--

                      dustman dust the house with care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    A BACHELOR POET-BOY'S LAMENT

 

                    I have wanted too much,

                    not content with small dry seedy things

                    or grave responsibilities:

                    raising children,

                    loving someone you don't like.

                    These things bind the troubling wings.

                    The squab must exercise its wings

                    in the squalor of its pigeon-cote

                    while the eagle rises

                    unpunishable in the skies.

                    These things the stunned

                    heart might think

                    while scrapping squab bones

                    down the sink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                  A DRY SONG IN A SOMETIMES WEARY LAND

 

                  We dream of rivers in the south,

                  waters from the mountains:

                  but the water channels are dry,

                  the mountains barren brass.

                  There is dust blowing on the thin ribbed hills;

                  even the coyotes are panting

                  for the rivers of the south.

                  The ground squirrel lays

                  in his clay cave

                  staring blankly out into the bald sky.

                  The hot wind crackles through the stiff brush.

                  A scruffy rabbit slowly ambles through wiry sticks of sage.

                  The hollow throat of the hot wind

                  is melancholy.

                  But the dull sand-colored lizard is awakened

                  under his dry rock by dreams

                  and hears in his tiny brain

                  the tinkling sounds

                  of rivers in the south,

                  waters from the mountains.

 

                 

 

 

 

                    THE HOBBLEDEHOY DRESSED IN HODDEN

 

                    The hobbledehoy dressed in hodden

                    hobbles on his hobbyhorse.

                    The grey goose scrumbles across the slick

                    pond's surface.

                    Clang goes the dinner bell,

                    the whole sky is opening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

          WHEN DOLPHINS LIVE LIKE HAPPY THOUGHT

 

          It has been my joy to have most earnestly sought

          to bring to children and their children Christly thought

          radiant with beauty's splendor and those secret majesties

          which shine down upon us like sunshine on the sea.

          We are that tumultuous sea, so filled with life not our own,

          restless, while the quiet light of heaven has ever shone

          upon our pitching waves to make them luminous

          with greens and blues

          until the sleek shadows of dolphins come dancing through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                WHILE TOTTERING ON THE LIP OF THE ULTIMATE BRINK

 

                Let all the earth open up lips of clay

                with daystar shinning in the heart,

                to be a part of life, to be the sacred weaving,

                ever leaving death and hell behind.

                Let all the earth find peace

                at a slow, yet divine pace

                running the race of creative love,

                becoming in He who is becoming - Life!

 

                Let all the earth spurn this last great evil:

                the charismatic man of sin

                who in the place of power stands,

                with hands outstretched to heal the world

                now hurled before his parading feet,

                converging to greet him with a disciple's kiss

                for the bliss he brings by ending strife.

 

                Our modern life has set the scene

                we, caught between hell and this false savior

                must choose neither, but wait, looking up

                to the cup of God which all must drink

                while tottering on the lip of the ultimate brink.

 

 

 

 

 

                  TO THE MASTER OF THE HEALING HANDS

 

                  Master of the healing hands,

                  eyes of brightness dancing,

                  lips which shatter dim despair,

                  tongue which makes the mountains sing;

                  hands which bless both flower and thorn,

                  eyes which see the hidden prince,

                  lips unlocking iron bands,

                  tongue of honey and of bread.

 

                  Master of the healing hands

                  with eyes like stars who enters gardens

                  to tend the woman's hidden dreams:

                  blessing flowers and the thorn

                  with tongue of honey and of bread,

                  lips unlocking iron bands

                  shattering the dim despair

                  until the hidden prince is freed

                  and all the mountains sing.

 

 

 

 

 

                 CASTING CARES UPWARD

 

                 Releasing the blackbirds they fly up

                 and settle down

                 in peace upon God's fingers,

                 there to sing of all that

                 they now see.

                 With sunlight in their throats

                 they sing

                 and their black feathers are turned as white

                 as angels.

 

 

 

 

                    IT'S SANITY WHICH TAKES THE CUP

                    (For Saint Francis)

 

                    It's sanity which takes the cup,

                    though all are dying round,

                    and offers God a blessing up

                    while kneeling on the ground,

                    and stretches arms around a tree

                    and sings there like a bird,

                    finding human dignity

                    in words the wind has heard.

 

 

 

              

                    AS FEAR IS NOT IN PERFECT LOVE

 

                    Fear blinds by shattering the mirror Love holds up

                    to the peeping, peering heart

                    to show the soul its own face

                    in the pure light of love.

                    Fear shatters the mirror Love holds up.

 

                    Love holds up its mirror

                    into the light

                    and beams its starry love

                    into Fear's eyes.

                    The big terror becomes a small terror;

                    the horrific rage whimpers and shrinks away

                    when Love holds up its mirror

                    into the light,

                    and flashes it into Fear's eyes.

                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    CALL IT MEDITATION

 

                    To keep the mind burning with a steady, clear flame

                    until there shall come pure illumination.

                    Call it meditation,

                    for that is what it comes to,

                    this thinking through

                    until the very essence

                    of the movement or the matter

                    is distilled

                    and the clear mind is filled

                    brim full

                    with the true that is thereby known.

                    I care not what the dinosaur

                    of modern man may say,

                    only in meditation and prayer

                    can the full heart play,

                    leaping down to the doors

                    of time's inevitable consummation;

                    and knocking find there a glimpse

                    --beyond those dense and dreadful doors--

                    of Him who did raise,

                    so that henceforth

                    joy comes through all in jeweled stores

                    of the commonplace again Alive!

                    Then, henceforth,

                    for all the remaining journey,

                    in imagination

                    the illuminated spirit

                    shall have its creative play

                    within the play of living Word!

 

 

 

 

     

                       HOLY RIVER FLOWING DEEP

 

                       Holy River flowing deep

                       within the city's light,

                       Holy fountain your secret keep,

                       laughing through the night.

                       Flashing like a mirror clear

                       under a star-strewn sky,

                       running like a carousel

                       - I've seen the horses fly! -

                       flashing with a liquid fire

                       that burns the river clear

                       to mark those stars upon the depths,

                       gleaming like a mirror.

 

                      

 

 

 

 

 

                    WHEN THE WORDS BECOME WORD

 

                    The seed within the words - Light! -

                    explodes open and outward into the glory.

                    What wonder!

                    Black ink on white pages,

                    cryptographic symbols

                    connected to Living Light;

                    deciphered by children.

 

                    The quick, computer-like mind

                    finds in its precise rational

                    the paradox -

                    truth is as slippery as a wet silver fish

                    fresh out of water -

                    gasping and ungraspable.

 

                    Then there is the man with the mind

                    of a cow—

                    slow munching, dreaming.

 

                    The deep sleeper awakens in his dreaming

                    to the unchanging, unchangeable rock

                    and clamoring up upon it finds

                    his paradox: he sees into the clear stone:

                    where water falls in torrents into still, luminous pools;

                    wind breathes and a fire falls in the wind

                    to ignite dim altered halls.

                    The golden walls shimmer with fire.

                    Birds fly through hot flashing walls singing.

                    A dove alights fluttering upon those opening veils

                    - the Face appears!

                    Marble ceilings melt;

                    the temple is thrown open to the cool stars!

                    Somewhere, high overhead,

                    white light is singing...

 

                    The words have again become Word!

 

 

 

 

 

                        SHE DANCED JUST LIKE A FALLING LEAF

 

                        She danced just like a falling leaf,

                        she was a wounded deer, 

                        and every time I think of her

                        I dance within a tear.

                        I dance within a tear of glass

                        to see her mournful face,

                        remembering sweet and bitterly

                        that sight of dying grace.

                        That sight of dying grace and love,

                        that fading of her rose,

                        that twilight of a darkening day

                        into the night she chose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

              ON HUMAN SEXUALITY, A MORAL FREEDOM AND RESURRECTION

 

                    There is something of daylight

                    that rests in the clear winds of God,

                    that is as good as a clean kitchen,

                    as wholesome as homemade bread.

                    It still is God's invention

                    and His gift

                    to open a half to a half

                    and make an ecstatic whole.

 

                    The Divine and ancient personal order is sanity

                    and protection for the tender young.

                    Moral motivation can be of the daylight,

                    born of joyful vision

                    nurtured in comprehension,

                    performed in peace;

                    or it can be of the night,

                    guilt given to restrain by guilt.

                    Sickness breeds in the shadows;

                    guilt is a twisted chain.

                    Only joy is health!

 

                    The adult body is as pure

                    as a soft newborn's pink flesh.

                    Only shadows testify otherwise!

                    The adult body is the fruit

                    of that tender seed,

                    bald and beloved,

                    that made mud pies and laughed in the sun.

                    Innocence is still undefiled

                    in its holy ligaments.

 

                    Misuse breeds garbage;

                    bug breeding.

                    Thus is that sane order

                    for our greater health

                    and to be upheld in happiness

                    for the peace of earth:

                    lover seeking that lifelong lover;

                    parent woven to parent,

                    covering the child.

 

                    Look! Can you see the open window

                    of a good soul?

                    Shadows have fled away

                    and radiant beauty is flung

                    sublimely into sensitive eyes.

 

                    And here is mere meat

                    surrounding shadows.

                    Garbage is bug breeding.

                    Bugs skit, leeches live

                    in the sick-warm shallows

                    of murky water.

                    Can you see shadows

                    in the eyes?

                    Closed windows.

                    No breath of clean wind blowing.

                    No radiance from the depths.

                    Blind tools in the master

                    merchandiser's cunning hands.

 

                    How the merchants abhor

                    the freed soul.

                    Truth has no need of excess,

                    wastes not.

                    The mind loosed from the loops

                    of merchandising minds

                    sails into light-filled heights

                    and through radiant depths

                    where that sane beauty,

                    older than starlight,

                    breathes out words that are seen.

                    And a glimpse makes the deep heart wise

                    and the spirit on wings eats joy

                    in God's well ordered peace.

                    And the whole earth shall be in peace

                    when countless windows are opened

                    by a Kingly voice in choirs of clouds

                    and that high riding innocence coming

                    makes pink and beautiful

                    the lanterns of rising bodies

                    with gushed love.

 

 

 

 

 

                     SONGS OF A PASSIONATE PRIEST

 

                             I.

 

                     A WOMAN

 

                     The shade drawn back,

                     the light bursts slow

                     and a golden glow

                     is seen in the eyes.

                     She is mother and lover,

                     friend and brother,

                     a constant surprise.

                     He touches her body

                     and is amazed

                     that such a dream can be and not be.

                     She is herself: bare, frail, with dark tousled hair;

                     a woman: barefooted, earth bound, shadowy.

                     And she is numinous,

                     almost a goddess

                     so utterly divine

                     and illusive as wind.

                     When the shade is drawn back

                     and the light bursts slow,

                     a golden glow is seen

                     for a magical moment

                     in the eyes.

 

                              II.

 

                     She holds the horse's mane    

                     and turns him where she will,

                     those beating hoofs upon the turf

                     go splashing through a rill;

                     then up upon a desolate ridge

                     to burst through a widening stream,

                     she plunges down to a darkening sea,

                     and bounds through a watery dream.

                     She knows the wind upon her face,

                     hot flanks between her thighs,

                     she knows the heat and dust of earth

                     and cool, pure wind of skies.

                     She is a maiden of the moon

                     who rides a colt of the sun,

                     I've heard her hoof beats in the night

                     when through my dreams she's run.

                     I've felt her hoof beats in a heart

                     of mystery that I've known

                     when I'm together with a child

                     though evermore alone.

                     I've seen that horse's golden mane

                     blow wild in women's eyes

                     who glanced across ten thousand years

                     when my soul was on the rise.

                     And then that horse the maiden wheeled

                     around and thundered down

                     to beat my soul and spirit's wings

                     into the sodden ground.

                     And as the pounding golden hoofs

                     mixed blood into the earth

                     I caught a glimpse of a silvery maid

                     whose seamless face showed mirth.

                     She laughed and spurred her ranting steed

                     once more into the sea

                     and left me loving her the more

                     for having bloodied me.

                     And then she rode as silent as

                     a child's milk-fragrant breath

                     to hand to me her pearl-like moon

                     which grew to swallow death.

                     And on she rides that maiden wild

                     who is evil, then is good:

                     and I shall mount her golden horse

                     when I've known her as I should.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                     GOD'S LOVE WAS BORN

 

                     God's love was born

                     on Christmas morn

                     amidst brambles in the hay,

                     the ass and cow

                     there did bow

                     and mice stopped their play;

                     for all around, on sea and ground,

                     creation sensed his birth,

                     as on all, to bless,

                     came tenderness

                     and peace upon the earth.

 

 

 

 

 

                      THE ESCAPE OF THE HARE

                      (Comments upon the contemplative life)

 

                      The clamoring pack was coming quick,

                      the rabbit froze in fear,

                      until I thought to scurry it up

                      because the pack was near;

                      and so the rabbit lopped away

                      into the Waters clear!

 

                      The pack of dogs was after it

                      but they couldn't enter in;

                      --those waters stand so silently

                      they massacre a din--

                      So now I know I'm of rabbit blood

                      and I'm not of dogs a kin.

 

 

 

              

 

 

 

 

                       HEAVEN'S WASHROOMS

 

                In the full in-shinning of the golden sun,

                death reaps gladly the world weary.

                Astonished, in the golden washrooms of Heaven,

                earth accustomed eyes open

                into showers of gold.

                Above the washroom exit is fixed this sign:

                No Darkness May Enter Here.

                In a golden rush of edible light

                wounds are washed,

                hard scars soften.

                The penitent soul savors the pain,

                of unwillingly resisting its own life,

                for the soul is secure in the purposes

                of God's warm, watery brilliance.

                Living darkness screams out in dolomite death.

                It softens, creases, cracks and crumbles out of soul crevasses.

                Inky black voices are drowned down dark drains.

                The penitential soul looks up, longing for more gold

                and eats the liquidity of light.

                A white garment shines out through naked skin.

                Then, a woman, with bell-like laughter in her eyes,

                shouts and throws exit doors open wide.

                A soft, creamy light floods everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           ON ENTROPY

 

                        In the beginning was God!

                        Thus the music began

                        and the first words of the song

                        took form and burst forth.

                        This was Creation.

                        Then came human singing

                        but the light dimmed

                        and poets were born

                        to remember the singing.

                        Then came the death of song

                        as philosophers emerged.

                        Thus prose filled the void of song.

                        Then came the dead and their dead words

                        were sold all over the dead world.

 

 

 

 

 

                    

                       HOW BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS

 

                       Prayer and readings

                       before the battle begins

                       makes blood enemies

                       into intimate friends.

                       The words of mercy

                       and the breath of grace

                       brings those alienated

                       face to face.

                       A heart felt apology

                       can powerfully bequeath

                       the joyful relief

                       of a lasting peace.

                       When millions of people

                       unto God thus come

                       so shall this world

                       be Christ's Kingdom.

 

       

 

 

            

 

                          ONE MAY SERVE GOD FROM THE PULPIT

 

                          One may serve God from the pulpit,

                          another by making a book,

                          another by shoveling horse dung,

                          another by being a cook.

                          Some people love God in letters,

                          others may love him in paint,

                          one is practical workman,

                          another a mystical saint.

                          So is the breadth of the Kingdom

                          where all kinds are needed by all,

                          and he who kneels in the garden

                          can sing with the birds on the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                     WHY MUST WE ARTICULATE OUR LOVES?

 

                     Why must we articulate our loves?

                     The wispy flame curls up

                     as breath moves upon it -

                     The lively curl of flame sings

                     in the breathing.

                     Words enter the flame

                     and release the Word.