Thursday, April 4, 2013

Laid bare

I look at the mirror
and I look back at me
and the glass seems,
not so much to reflect,
as to uncover--
it lays bare
the faults of my soul in faultless detail:
eyes glint with gluttonous greed
brows furrow with ferocious ambition
nostrils flare with enduring fury
lips purse in perpetual irritation
teeth brace with built-up embitterment
skin as blemished as the soul--
who could call me beautiful?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

There is freedom in silence

The idle strings begin to rust--
go out of tune as knobs unwind--
while dust collects on carvèd wood
and horsehairs break from base of bow.

No pattern does the eye seek out,
nor theme the ear desires to trace--
the body casts off every form
that chained the soul from listening.

Their nimble touch the fingers lose,
and mind forgets the ordered notes;
the feet a meter cease to keep,
but heart comes loose of music's weight.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Memory is such a tease,
bringing to mind possibilities
turned into things-that-can't-ever-be,
clinging to times treasured, but lost
(like the child who holds to his mother's knees,
 scared to look at something new
 as a potential source of happiness),
contented with the once-felt joys, but
disdainful of experiencing further sorrows.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Sonata (or, what I learned from Irenaeus)

Creation sings the Father's theme;
the Word brings all things into being;
each ear the melody discerns
and echoes "Good" to what it hears.

The light and darkness, sea and sky,
land and plants, celestial lights,
birds and fish and every beast
begin the hymn of time-bound things.

The Word who was and who was with
with his image mankind furnished--
a creature that his God would know--
a cadence in the soul composed.

But man, within the Garden placed,
by turning from Good ultimate,
his own will warped and knowledge lost
and changed to groans the cosmos' song.

The dissonances crashed and clanged
as man advanced towards non-being--
the death of what's created good
reflects poorly on Creator God.

"Can he not help?" "Does he not care?"
would be assumed by all nature,
except that God, who foreknows all,
knew how he would the whole resolve.

The tension ushered in by sin,
since due to choice of prideful man,
by man alone the debt was owed,
but was with power unendowed.

So only God possessed the might
to rid man of discordant guilt,
yet justice could not man absolve
of payment for his own self-love.

In God's self-love and love of world,
by making flesh creative Word,
he, to clamorous soul, supplied
a Mediator for its need.

By taking on the creature's clothes,
he took up the first theme composed;
he fulfilled what man should have been
by living without taint of sin.

Even in obedience
to death, for mankind's recompense,
he demonstrated that salvation
was a recapitulation.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Telephone book

Thumbing thin yellow pages,
checking corners for the heading marked "HEALING,"
dialing digits and
striking ineffectual items.
Ostensibly, only one option open:
the fingers fiddle over the final number
the heart hastens--
but the stomach sinks
when advised to acquire assistance
from the exact entity
held in my apprehensive arms.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Drawer

She kept a drawer specifically
for everything she learned:
new garments, adorned with tags
(not in order to return them,
 but to remember
 where they came from
 how much they cost)
gently pressed and folded,
then stowed away until
an occasion merited their use.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Perhaps the leaves are really
domesticated birds,
content and still
(with only a rustle here and there),
until the wind reminds them
they were not meant
to be tied with twigs to a wooden post -
no better than a leashèd hound -
so they flutter their wings implacably
until the daemon passes on.