The One Thing

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“Happiness consists in finding out precisely what the ‘one thing necessary’ may be, in our lives, and in gladly relinquishing all the rest. For then, by a divine paradox, we find that everything else is given us together with the one thing we needed.” Thomas Merton

rain
falling
tenderly
on spring grass, on leaves
bending as two mourning doves moan,
beat wide their wings and brush back the sky, falling low to
dark earth, gladly would I give it
all for a moment
in the glow
of your
eyes!

(9 April 2013)

Wisdom

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I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while,playing on the surface of his earth;
and I found delight in the human race” Proverbs 8:22-31

dark mountains rise
to meet the sun,
as night drops
to the western sea

skyward
lifting joy to heaven

as dark waves clash
washing clean the past —
all pain fulfilled.

The Humble Man Prays

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Sunlight through Dirty Window

“A man who is truly humble cannot despair, because in the humble manthere is no longer any such thing as self-pity.” Thomas Merton

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I am like this window
streaked with rain,
obscured by
blowing dust,
neglected
yet holding firm
against the wind.

I know
that some fine, clear day
you’ll open
the door,
wipe my sins away
and clean at last
I’ll dissolve
into your face.

(10 Nov 2012)

after blue day

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night rises
from dark soil
slowly filling
the space between
slender blades
spreading its
ink over windows,
eaves, still trees
until the earth
becomes one
with the
stars.

Ordination

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“What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” Thomas Merton

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deep in the cathedral
love resounds

through the bright air
of paradise
love rebounds
playful, full of
prayer.

Oh, hear the organ’s
profundo ring
laughter
as love pierces
your living heart

as, prostrate,
love breaks open
your breathless soul.

(18 November 2013 on the ordination of my brother)

May Rain

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Rain-on-the-pavement

“Let the one who thirsts come forward.” Rev, 22.

gentle rain
glistens on gray concrete
and makes pools
of shimmering silver,
clean and new.

the rose reaches
to the grey sky
asking only for drops
of life.

the green earth asks
and receives.

(7 May 2016)

At Caritas

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I gaze
through the undergrowth
into deeper woods.

Redwoods rise,
limbs link tree
to brother tree,
climbing high
to the bright
coastal fog.

Walking out
I see the three,
still as lawn ornaments,
frozen in motion,
stunned
by my sudden form.

They stand and gaze
and reassured
by my stasis,

at last with lazy gait
back they move
into the nodding
trees.

(3 May 2016)