"My Mind is a monastery, and I am its monk."--John Keats.
Let us give thanks for the day,
Let us greet the matins of May,
not too gay;
Let us hear the creator say,
in its gray eye;
Thanks be to creation's lord,
gray day in God's May.
Consuelo sings a tune of solitude,
While washing away the munchkins' milk
Filled with mulch of chanting padres at four,
No savoring rising pepper fumes,
No favorite silks and almonds of Samarkand,
Suffers fondling hibiscus lady in fecund soap,
Bubbles bursting up on her brownie down.
Alas, from aloft five or so meters high,
Almond-eyed le père abbot seeks inspiration
Celestial in the nightingale's furled vesper sky,
Twattling valence by the father's wafted window,
Seeking solace from profuse perspiration,
Whiffing the solemn, slow nether incense,
Seeking cooling words in chanting holy, holy,
Seeking his creator and samadhi solely.
When lo! Consuelo comes into view
To pitch le père's virtue into the pew.
Instead of his penance on the marble altar,
He beheld her midnight locks as his psalter.
Such a view unparalled since the resurrection,
Lent poor father a fig for human protection,
That there arose such a vision in the serge
No mortal monk and creator can ever merge.
Caught with his shift in forward position,
Father Manfred fled soundly the inquisition
Down to the brook caressing the abbey's wall,
Where Consuelo blossomed, her hair in barbaric fall.
There amid her spidry strands strafing his eyes,
Le père abbot said contrition in absolving sighs,
Praying "Sanctus, Sanctus" as the abbey bell rings,
Perfervid Christus benedictus as Consuelo sings.
Benedictus qui venit...qui venit. Amen.
Le Père Bonn
Blackrobes in tandem read brief Ave's,
Academe's preachers they accomplished,
And amid twilight's celestial beamings
Shrines of sepulchral gone voices shone
In gold casings of tinted glass shieldings.
Written in encrusted bronze on oak
Beneath the gaping gab of le père Bonn,
Eyes envisioned pendant blue in decayed
Amber forlorn a look that dared speak,
But uttered not phrases from this world.
Attenuated from inferior regions and beyond
The words "I bespeak armies" sank into the
Soaked wood where the terms glowed lively
As though uttered by the familiar old face
Who had taught le père abbot tongues
Long dead--laughing, grief and anguish--
le père Bonn whose vacant gab had mastered
Tongues on the fair fields of Aegean Sparta.
Never such a spectacle in Celtic plains of goth
Songs long unspoken by mere mortal youth.
Locks of graceful sunlight sleep darkly,
Pages turn tawny in sweet William's plays,
Dashing tongue of King Richard and roses,
Where love and kingdom reaffirm each
Other in bonds of perilous bi-covered
Night, a play within a play, never played,
Lovers, a plot barely begun, a love touched.
Time's gem never prismatically transmuted
Where light dances white to purple pane.
Two hearts dance in the darkness of English
History, and the indwelling sun of love
Never played on a harp brought to tune,
Never strummed in melody, lilies conceived,
Never borne through winds of consummation,
Into time from dim shades between the king's
Covers, lost for thrice unfolded decades,
King and queen and uncrowned child lost
Amid the annals of Lemuel's love odyssey.
Cry for the lost princess of Locksley shire
Whose beauty turned the oceans to fire,
Cry to her sunlit crown alive but unmoving,
Touch the eternal locks entangled in umbra,
Clamped to his love eternal, lost in shadow,
Whose blue rose burns to its own desire.
Sed Libera Nos A Malo
In nomine Domini a christu qui Krakowe venit.
Time fractions ripple Puccini's "qui son?"
Le père abbot senses the disembodied cries,
Old warrens of Sinai and Diaspora eternal,
Mingled as one in Lithuanian trembled rubble.
No tiara then, no vociferation now,
Descended and decadent, medieval nea,
Dialectically weary of faults unattested.
Paucities count o'er threescore, teeth and ice.
Le père abbot winces in history's meditations.
Lauded in ante-pyre funereal paean, old man
Lost, church without religion, credo aghast,
Without a church, ghost unto an eternal dance,
Dawn doused and granite chiseled sepulchre.
Le père abbot was there in Casablanca time,
Is here in matrix time, scampering from Warsaw,
To audit the digital display of binary mumbled
Mincing, jagged snow climbs and winter's wafers.
Le père abbot gleans the eyeless, inverted rood.
His bowed, tonsured pate bedeviled in prayer,
Hands veined purple in gospel chants alone:
Time enfranchised in a default setting.
Sed libera nos a malo. This could be the beginning.
Et ne nos inducas. Amen. Default. Amen.
Fall settles on old leaves in the foggy five string dew;
Monkey balls bounce off the opus dei of St. John Nopate,
As father abbot seeks gloria, the weltzeit's quinoline dawn.
Et deus dixit, et pater ludens watches the ambling doe
Dance with dappled feet onto the oak leaves, no scent,
No prints for men to follow, all silent in the cloister of morning.
Et dies incipit russet tails swirl a scampering madness
In limbs of scabbard hickory bark, lone ferrets' eyes.
Dawn overstepped fabrics of coal scenting amber frets.
Adoramus te in spectu gloriae trains of supple toes
Forage apple sweets and dainty tendrils amid god's greens.
Notes of droplets strum the oak veins in falling picks;
Bluebirds task the ferrule for water honed in bluegrass.
Le père abbot asks what is the moment, the nexus,
Between a dying September and a nascent October?
The juncture is the ferrule around my shepherd's crook,
Strung between the exhalation and the inhalation...Om,
Vesper sparrow, sing incipit dies, the baptism of cold dawn,
Self conceive in the nexus, decalcify fossils eternal;
Rejuvenate matter in the warp fields of antimatter,
Moi unto nonmoi, I perceive no shadow in the doe's eyes.
The term of the night meets the nettle mist of incipient day;
Acorns drop strumming lucent oils, thinning strands in time.
I wonder, my father, if love for all hearts be thine or mine;
I ask the robin's blessing, opus dei, Monday coming down.
Karma blooms afresh, lonely street of angels,
Baked brown in languid layers of magnified air;
Early upstreams to Thebes and four-nickles Melrose;
I recall red bookshelves, the left cedar Bodhi tree,
Welcoming souls to leathered temple mount springs.
Trees and gods at its base, incarnations, two pilgrims,
Souls whisked by time's feathers, a dusty niche.
Carving with intrepid mantras cowhide taj mahals,
Pain and joy in spiritu dei two rosewood sentinels,
Forms we carriage in strength our weaknesses.
Now and for a thousand kindred moments,
Potter's wheels mold into Leonid shaman clay,
Urns we breathe, our souls fashioned Bodhi banter,
Created dual engendered, one by disparate branches.
Sunset to Palisades we drove by Leander's straits;
Potter's urns of eternity, parted never touching,
Together, ever separated, smoke-wreathed circles.
Sitting, the yogi smiles, our duality one being.
La Cienega parts Bodhi leaves; the night air is dense.
Melrose's berry, the Hollywood temple, ananda.
Javaji bathi, our lungs full, brown smile on carpet walls;
Ananda, the two streams meet in Melrose moments.
Centuries passed, pines arose, lone actuary of gem nadir,
A via brevis begotten by a long wanderlust--here.
The magus returns silver; the priestess returns gold;
Ashes Mahatma, thy embrace, thy life endures--one mind.
Still brown eyes pace for that dreamy Melrose Nazareth;
Haunting gray eyes are rain, tears of the Bodhi root.
Le père abbot remembers: the Rood and the Bodhi are one.
I am who I am then; I am who I was now, forever on Rigel.
Siva first sensed toujours l'étranger--was, is, to be--at dawn;
Krishna zithered Jai Ma on tilted chairs along the Ganges;
Le père abbot sang Pax et Caritas in the Benedictine mass.
Tous nos ésprits chantant miserere nobis down monastery walls.
Je suis le père abbot: tu-elle, je-il, nous-lui.
Gautama rides again. The eighth day.
The pipal tree...her suffering is my ignorance.
Eternal face among the shelves, Hero bears the cup.
Om. Benedicite. Om.
Salve. Amen. Shantih.
When I hear rain falling
Against the ashen window
Thru my cell of prayer in din,
I think of sand burned to
Mirrors into my century's
Serge; an inverted masque
Imprints the face's being,
Paradox of dry grains on
Saturated tears as creation's
Masque vacates into eternity.
Father Abbot, Fiddler on the Cloister
Pater Differentia Rerum
On my prayer floor
Is a void in bubble.
I see its nothingness
Apparently jutting more,
As thought would speak,
To this fiddle antique,
Some antedeluvian song
In ancient Latinic strain,
Once refrained, not well,
In ancient Chartres' bellfry.
Enhancing, it envelopes
The room and my prayers.
I am inside the void bubble,
Now, and I am lost in time.
Old friends are lost;
Old myths are yet untold.
My vespers ring softly,
Unknown churches ring out
Muffled, seamless songs.
Nameless priors pass
Before my mirror in instants.
The void shrinks until
I am the void
Outside the bubble.
God is my very form;
I become the creator's senses.
The maistro plays the bow;
I am god's unholy instrument.
Mea culpa. Miserere nobis.