"My mind is a monastery, and I am its monk." --John Keats.
The Dalai Lama to take part in 78th birthday celebrations in
H.H.D.L. at prayer through shadows
figured out eons ago
That a manger in Israel would be cool,
That there was this sin gig to be rigged.
A similar face invoked a deity from afar
To clothe up in dress like some avatar
To smooth out this sorrowful sin gig.
And so we jiggled out the Roman Saturnalia,
Mixed up the pagan with the divine,
Had the cat turn water into wine at Canaan,
His Oedipal complex to serve mom scarlet.
With two sticks this Hebrew prophet served,
As on it mom, a harlot, a dude awestruck mirved.
So lest the stix fella get too heavy in soul,
We celebrate the little town in a snow hole.
Good thing. We
need a break from desert balms,
Black gold yucking up our tanks. So we give thanks
To the newbie in the stall, though nothing at all;
We remember the ass and the oxen lowing bye,
We thank whatever god isn't into some icon recent,
Regaling old books, sand, and cauldrons of greed
Into dude, mom, and Joe dad the dubious seed.
So let's just sit and wonder about the whole blessed
Gig and waft more sweet rolls and nuts mix mashed.
Pass the vino and celebrate some unctious godfather,
And lick the wafers of bond wakened into pure matter.
Beware the tubé freaks, merchants in karma clatter,
Handle the mess higher lest plastic purses shatter.
Adoramus te...benedicamus te. Cool. Amen.
Ouvrez La Porte
Fire breaks a warm
noon June in March, false summer
In a seedless springtime of nettles and ripping briars;
Curls like fermented cheese, a red empath blends matters,
And le père abbot parts the rusted hinge of frozen ave's.
Spring dances like a charming girl in midday homage;
Summer, like a hesitant concubine, stands back to sing
Locus tempore in hoc signo, seeking the timely angel.
What centers glow from hot basalt to soothe frozen fingers?
And how goes the
priory door as winter regains the mount?
The good father drops the chalice and spills the wine;
The latch that clinked yesterday is refrozen in misty gales,
As Orion reenters the monastic gate for one more awful time.
Honestly frigid Avril enters like a Brooklyn meat packer,
Greasy hands fingering the rusted gate's taunting latch.
Lenten purple robes, threads so drear in cherry draws,
Orchid vintage white, waxen lines, youth in black gowns.
The monastery's oak
door breaks the rink of tempest glass,
Le père abbot tempts hard crusts at spring's matin mass.
Time is limp;
Choirs are bare;
Too empty and silent,
The cardinals of April
Sing to the waxwings of May.
Give way, give way,
Old formulae strung unfurled
On stricken landscapes;
Boned Ezechiel etches her soft
Visage in malingering sands.
Tempus fugit, vestal virgin,
Gloriam tuam I have etched...
Have seen the shower,
Father Anselm, the tower,
The maiden on God's altar
Her abundant fruits drawn.
Vesper rose reddened grows neath
The mount of three staves paramount;
Rutted roots grace old clay bastions
Festered and embedded in David's porch.
Vesper rose shoots to cathedral
Lining altair wings of medieval doves;
Brother Nopate rings the surplus clean
Choir songsters chant polyphonic strains.
Enchanted plain notes in square Gregorian
Pegs of owled eyes seeking God's garden;
Wizened brothers of serge rub elbows
Absolving ego sum into nos sumus all.
Vesper rose runs down walled
Blazed in a son's crimson bastioned visage;
Unorthodox creeps run staves into the rose
Orthodox harms fracture blooming tendrils.
The golden chalice stands
Altar bells sound thrice this celestial host;
Et cum spiritu le père abbot in mitered step
Vesper rose summits a millennium crevice.
Again, soft May day
Sorties anvil night away
Into cadmium dawn's
Frontispiece in sweet
Spring's golden hedges.
Hail, this May day
Sweet gloriae rise,
Greeting the temple's
Soft vale, Jerusalem;
Light suffuses gray
Dawn's angry incense.
Hear my tears rise
As joy climbs latticed
Steps to a better,
This new May morn,
Newest in this opus dei.
Scent of lilacs blinks
Down the clover lane;
Grosbeaks and berries,
Vesper sparrows' throated
Songs test the lilac dawn.
Oh, nature, sing thy
From temple's ancient gates;
Enter my cloister with light,
Daring May day, God's might!
September rains rush from
Awash to waken the curled leaves of summer
As le père abbot walks a Monet garden wet
In blue and green synaptic coalescences.
The frozen Janus land, the dead
Given up hopes of autumnal leaves
And scattered doe in lusterless seasons;
Old bear long scattered beneath granite.
Monastery rain, tropical
Insulting temple faces grim besmirches;
Ancient tides redraw skeins of particles;
Ancient Vishnu, renew thy grim soil.
There is the tide that binds,
Water, great equalizer to sandy mounds,
Richness of plentitude, paucity of too little,
Soothe the ring of fire, its rise and fall.
Benedicite, mutters le père
Je vous absolve, lost gatherers.
Oh how wet and dry, in extremis,
February Morning from the Cloister
Rera in Mundo
things, ill begotten, ungodly items
disposable world is humankind
inbred trash collector of the galaxy...
miserere mei tua confabula rerum;
In the beginning God created
called it life and set arunning like a sooty rock
for old Sisyphus to roll through eternity...
god save us from the itemness it created.
I hold my breviary, the chalice,
but they are not mine, are they?
We are the possessors who are the possessed,
thingized into numb instruments of God's might.
Fall and Fallen
Brother John And I
braved the winds and fallen leaves,
taunting the mole cache of desultory bipeds to scratch
their butts less often than usual to achieve common sense,
like the scattering, frightened red maple leaves
of confused notions that drift like oak twigs bobbing
about in Irish bogs in an ancient besotted millennium...
Let us gather the
spattered reds and golden yellows of dawn
as the twilight train meanders along the clattering rails seeking meaning;
Love urchins duck into soggy alleys from sirens and bubble gum yells
that threaten autumn's arrangement of funereal, cold dews,
dripping from crows' beaks and gossamer spider threads,
weaving streets, alleys, and stunted blades of grass into fall's tapestry...
Such beauty in a
tree's limbs dripping down in melancholy's eyes
Clarity impossible but in the rain twirled hands and arbored fingers
of my aging hands and shriveled skin of five and sixty birches,
Eyes of earthen brown like fragments of a broken potter's wheel;
John and I whispered "Te Deum" in the evening of our twilight serge,
Dominus vobiscum, our eyes envisioned the ends of our beginnings.
They say five
of a kind is yahtzee;
my four-legged friend is gone away,
this day forever from my hands
to wherever god's creatures go.
I could only speak
to her fading body
this sad day for she would eat no more
the green pellets of joy and lettuce
so busy was she chewing and shitting
through my life for thirteen years of
scratching love, twitchy-tailed hype
and flat-footed ,almond-brown eyes,
more than feeble bipeds dare share
with their hearts ever tucked inside
their frail hides like smothered pouches;
Sweet frail eyes
sought mine every day,
and in the dark evenings as I stumbled
through the ancient, dingy room where the
soft brown and white Holland Lop sought
hello's and approvals and a nose rub now and then,
she made the gray days lovely with that erotic
pink nose in perpetual motion, assuring me
she was there for me, for the grandkids,
for dark eyes, a fuzzy brown smile and
an effervescent leap forward of "here I am."
Waggle that nose at
the almighty, sweet herbivore!
Hop over the back yard in the gray snow...assure me
somehow your paws will be wet and clean tomorrow,
your earthen lopped ears keeping us sniffing, wagging.
Clean your paws
while you are gone,
you cute little wench....I bought you
(I still do not know why when asked)...
think well of us who loved your joy
wherever you may wander in green fields;
Empty is my heart, tears fallen down
this frozen night in February oh ate....
my little hussy, I have lived too long
to see thee gone away...empty my house,
saddened my eye, my heart looking at
your empty cage where you brought us
that spring of foot, a life warmer for your
palpitating heart now stopped in February's
cold shanty, in my yard to bear sweet flowers.
Yahtzee is not just
five of a kind, a dicey,
motley-colored brown and white coat
of furry dice gambol quiver (that made me
sneeze in later years)...she was ONE of a kind
and we loved her...still do...alas...dies tossed;
I miss her gray, twitchy nose and peat eyes,
not the hollow, meshed dwelling where she lay
and turned cold to my awkward touch...
we never learn to deal with death...
the horror of the absence of her life,
and that shit it left me one last time!
Yahtzee, I cried!