Poems 6

           Holiday Cottages

holiday cottages 
sub let to a clean man
    cut with shining shoes
    and a teacher voice
perhaps a special case
    could be made hear
that I cannot walk but
    sit in dirt with drink 
    in hand dragging about
    saying that age needs 
    someone to keep out the rif
maybe a tear could mend the
    couch and paint could
    cover the stench of two
     years since even a soul
     was here
quietly the lake looks on
    knowing all the while
    that the drawn face and
    and withered limbs smile a 
    last goodbye

               Cross Studies

Cross studies
(obscure theological dance steps)
soothe a guilty heart
for not being
we say
we are
empty hard bound copies
which no man can count
pages of blank 
verses of more
Cross references
to a silent wheel chair ballet
to lines in the staging of mute plays
to notes never heard or written
to vacant heart canvasses (all)
waiting for the Michaelangelic
touch of life on the face of Adam


wrapped in swaddling
clothes and clothes 
lying lying 
we everywhere
find only mirror
    Only find images of images
Christ making God a God making Christ
    repetition of the Of (repetition)
    series of images
    of series
as known

Monastic Daze

Then knock three times
"Let us Bless the Lord"   

Breakfast is a solemn occasion of listening
    to corn flakes get soggy in a bed 
    of milk and sugar
is there hope for change?
is there another way to answer the call?
(and for this we take from others)

At Chapter we look out the frosted prison
    windows (cold feet)
listening again to the guardian list our
    faults (we all have our appointed 
    tasks) as we wish to be on the Interstate
    fighting other normal people for a place
    in the world

After Chapter making my bed
I find tears on the sheet wishing that
    once just one would call or drop a line 
    to say that it works
        My son is off drugs
        My daughter is cured
        We have found the joy of belief
Just once it would feel good to get a check
    of our worth
    a receipt for our goods delivered

Later there is joy - so they told us
    in cleaning the dirt off the windows
if you are doing it for God

At noon the sickening smell of peanut butter 
    soup mixes with candle smoke from the chapel 
    as we gather to offer more prayers for 
    the people still looking for a parking
    place in the city
Holy Mary Mother of God mixes her rhythm
    with the noonday psalms
we pray again for people we haven't seen
    to a God we haven't heard for a 
    good long while

More silence (the lesser) and a nap provides
    escape from the rhythm of nothing
walk brother, walk to the harbor down
    to speak in silence

As the sun moves to the other side of the sky
    it is difficult to write thank you
    cards to the hundreds of faithful who
    sent a portion of their retirement checks
    so that we can have a place and a time to
    write them thank you cards
assure them that it is all right and good and
    holy to give to the 
    Order of quiet motion

How much longer now to Vespers
and dinner over small talk
and the evening news
    (it is good to hear how the world is doing
    at least once a day)

A clearing
some time between the news and the old rigor
    an all pervading peace eases in like the
    morning fog spreading a soft blanket on
    my bed of nails
for some special few moments I am full 
    of the quiet peace of believing
now it really doesn't matter
    the dirty laundry
    the soggy corn flakes
    the windows that need cleaning
    or even the multitude who didn't write
knowing comes without fanfare
believing comes without a song

We gather in slow motion for Compline 
    to put our souls gently to rest
Be sober, be watchful, your adversary the
    devil prowls around like a roaring lion
    seeking someone to devour

Back bedside the old cold feeling of disbelief
    mixes with the warmth of pulling
    up the covers alone

Hail Mary full of grace
Sleep give rest to the weary
Soothe the suffering

Then knock three times
"Let us Bless the Lord"     

               Day Rise

Seven hundred and twenty thousand times
    the trumpet has sounded the song
    of the second coming
Day after day the dead have been raised
    incorruptible, world without end
And foolish-virgin-mankind still in
    darkness waits for yet the second


Thomas Luter


Christian cease your feasting, come to terms with sin
Sit alone in sorrow, let the light shine in
Fasting, thinking, praying, forty days are yours
Drop the clown face painting, your soul at risk endures