The World is a Sacred Vessel

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“The world is a sacred vessel . . .” Thomas Merton

blue vessel
in black vacuum

miracle world
encircling
thrall of this perfect star

sacred vessel,
His living cup
to beloved proffered,

wedding gift
beyond measure.

(3 May 2012)

He Does Not Need Your Sacrifice

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“He does not need our sacrifices,
He asks for our selves.”
Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island

Your sacrifice is like
the breath
of the sparrow
in the roiling storm.

It is not needed
but pleasing in its
simplicity.

When you peel away
your small, feathered
soul, when
you stretch your thin
lungs to sing
your hymn of self-
immolation,

remember that
it is not necessary,
no, not at all,

but still pleasing is
the purity of
your song.

(25 Feb 2012)

Transfiguration

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From this holy height,
I gaze into
my Father’s eyes.

His fire scorches
my trembling flesh,
and fills my soul
with sacred breath.

In joyful flames
I suddenly see
I never was
what I appeared to be.

(25 Feb. 2013)

Immanence

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I know you stroll
beyond Andromeda,
gaze on the Magellanic Clouds,
but I cannot see that far.
I am stardust,
to Earth fallen,

but I seek you in the autumn rain,
hear you sing in the evening wind.
Your breath my empty lungs increase,
your smile shines forth
from my darkened eyes,
and my heart overflows
with your sacred blood,

love spilling,
Earth fulfilling.

 (11 June 2011)

Chemin de Jerusalem

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“Openness is not something to be acquired, but a radical gift that has been lost and must be recovered.’  Thomas Merton

I walk

slowly

seemingly without

aim or

direction

gaze down

to flowering tiles

waver

feel lost, yet

see the way

leads always

to the

center.

 (22 June 2012)

Royal Presidio Chapel

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Pelicans fly at dawn,

Heavy, unsure of the wind,
Their hungry cries piercing the sky
Fiercely searching receding waves.

 

Ancient sorrow lingers here,
The stunned saints with fading stigmata
Painted dimly into ever-falling shadow.

Our Lady of Sorrows wears a black mantilla. Her
cold, glimmering hands clench
The lace handkerchief Maria Antonia brought.

Our Lady of Solitude pierces my soul,
Her face shining forth from layers of death,
Her astounding eyes glittering with living anguish.


(15 March 1979)

The Gate of Heaven is Everywhere (Eclipse)

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“The gate of heaven is everywhere.” Thomas Merton

I can hear your soft breath,
gentle strains of music

the easy breeze
nudges the curtains

peace flows
across my skin
like cool water.

But soon impatient dusk
will overtake bright day

when the sun dims
in the dark grip
of eclipse, and ancient
terror thrills even
the most
comprehending mind;

for this is when
metaphore
overtakes fact,

and unknown stars glint
in the afternoon sky.

We never knew
they were hanging so low,

diamonds in deep
caverns,

new light!

(27 Nov 2012)