Morning (Good Friday)

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/5829098353/in/photolist-4Kx16z-ecPUED-ebBifu-8i3JQZ-9hVoH9-e5LpLV-btyAdw-6XzVqF-qYzHeE-cdxRC-dSTda4-9iJAV2-9T6DRK-ezu419-bTTTMX-6cVcVw-8CBwoQ-6cPDQ2-8zpm83-9Jvqks-8xMURf-7SWjys-f5eev-noweMv-66GtBJ-8C31Ss-4UUMa5-4zDwwk-ehuk1A-687mU2-9MuBKP-7BCRfM-HaT11-nmMbae-9icGzx-bEETYh-84uTRc-6o6dz1-7Toidh-bRuWiz-4R91qJ-bMfgzX-9B3PR8-7Mp8xG-9CoiFa-f3pjh-buw3Kj-7QoJzu-6o7KvG-nDmpF8/

Therefore let me know trust in the feelings of my heart.
My hope is in what the hand of man has never touched.
Do not let me trust what I can grasp between my fingers.
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude.

Young grass
high and thick

drenched
filled to brim,

by morning sun released,
a fury of green, trees

believing that golden day
will stay.

Persist, oh life,
in the cold of winter,

and beat, oh heart!
With tender heat

as a while yet
I breathe!

(6 April 2012
rev April 2019)

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In the Territory of the Gerasenes

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Image: Solomon Raj

From deep inside
I heard them,
howling hatred
lashing me with my own hands
gashing the rocky tombs
with my own bloody feet.

Late at night
they cursed and fought
deep inside
my aching skull.

I was their prisoner,
and they were many…

But then I saw Him by the lake
and my soul leapt
even as Legion arose
as with my ragged voice they raged,
“what will you do to us?”

but my soul cried louder,
“Save me!”

Hearing us both,
He drove the dark spirits
from my unclean breast
and into the beasts….poor swine.
Madness cast them
into death’s deep pit….

but I could hear only
silence.

Peace
filled me.

My hand moved
only when I commanded,
and what my eyes saw
I clearly viewed.

The people of the village
fearing a man who could
compel demons,
begged Him to leave.

Blind fools!
If only they could see Him
as I do.

As he was going, I begged to go too
and stay forever in the light
of his face.

But this grace
was not
for me alone…

He told me to go
and proclaim without fear
how His love saved me
from my soul’s dark night,
and led me here,
into paradise.

(18 Feb 2013)

Father’s Lament

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DSCF8957.JPG

Photo Brian Federle, Hawaii, 2016

Spring fills this dry land
With life, yet

I cannot see your face
or embrace you with a father’s love
as I did when last you filled our lives
with your easy laughter
and beautiful eyes.

Shall I speak to you, tell how
small birds gather
in the budding apple tree
hungry no more,
filled with joy?

I cry out to you
and the startled birds
fall into silence,

Let me tell you, then,
Of my new life without you.

Deep in my side I feel endless pain
where my heart once beat;
now I merely breathe
emptiness.

My son, oh, where have you gone?
Call to me from the brilliant heights,

for deep in darkness I lie
crying to see you just
one more
time.

(for Brian Federle, 3/4/86 – 3/25/17)

Evening Prayer

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Wind stirs in expectation; it
softly strokes my face.

The March sun reassures me,
warms pale flesh
through layers of thick sweater
and winter coat.

Under indigo hills
new grass flows,
yellow and green,

as past distant ranges,
to the sky-bright, rounded sea
he flees and sends us
a gift of clouds,
aflame
in glory.

Peace be with the grass of the fields!
Peace
to dark hills and drifting clouds,
and to the sacrificial sun
peace!

Immanence

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I know you stroll
beyond Andromeda
gazing on Magellanic Clouds,
but I cannot see that far.

I am stardust
to Earth-fallen.

Yet I seek you in the autumn rain,
hear you singing in the evening wind.

Your breath fills my empty lungs,
your smile lights
my darkened eyes,
and my heart overflows
with your sacred blood —

love spilling,
Earth-fulfilling.

We Sing

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“The rain ceases, and a bird’s clear song suddenly announces the difference between Heaven and hell.” Thomas Merton

Over bright fields
we fly.

Thin slips
of consciousness,
bounded by darkness,

we rise
on our song’s
golden glow,

not knowing
how descends
the growing edge
of nothing.

 

(7 July 2012)

Magnificat

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The poor still wait
for bolted doors to open
hunger to be filled
and concern to replace
the deep scorn

of the rich, who believe
God is on their side,
who offer golden chalices
and cathedrals of crystal
to purchase
eternal life

with God, who remembers
the poor
will fill their every
need
but send away the rich
with nothing

no things to carry
in their powerful, sleek cars
to their empty houses
silent houses
stony, soulless
mansions,
nothing
but their names
on fine marble
engraved,

yet the poor watch
and still wait.