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And In Heaven There Is A Kingdom

22 November 2011

King of Heaven
reigning ever
over brethr’n
Christ’s forever
Love extended,
Love outpouring
Death Thou ended
and our erring.

Thy saints ever
Thee surrounding
Drawn together
Glory sounding;
Sing angel choirs
Strings, harps, and lyres!

King of Heaven
reigning ever
the loaf leaven
one forever
as Thou art one
with God; the throne
is Thine, as Son,
We–thine alone.

In Hell There Is Democracy

21 November 2011

King of Heaven
Come now swiftly
For the leaven
Rise unev’nly
Mixed with sinners
Now the faithful
Pray for brothers
Call’d now hate-fill’d

Sweet the sound is
Hymns rejoicing
Where we found this
Saving blessing;
But the many
Most confounded
Hate now any
Truth propounding

King of Heaven
Come now swiftly
Faithful driven
Hounded, weary
To sad mourning
O’er tarnished grace,
Desire nothing
Except Thy face.

growing things

5 April 2011

warm, good ground for growing things,
rich and black and deep and old
the land remembers when memory forgets
and tie between man and his meals
begins in work, the toil of tilling
and the joy of filling
the farmland soil with the seeds of spring;
and the new-growth of green
in the fields and beds can be seen
where night-dark winter dominated all…
but even the curse of man is his blessing
to live by the sweat of his brow
and the labor of his hands
with wild-eyed wonder at growing things.

To the Mother of God

30 March 2011

Holy Mother, while at thy sweetest image I gaze
The weight of my many sins I feel in my breast;
The crystal meres of my baptism tinted now with darker haze,
And I long again to be led beside the waters of rest.
For now, who beholds me, a man of sorrows
Profound only in their utter banalities;
A life lived, primarily, for the morrow
And set running, hither and thither, in pursuit of vanities?
Only thou, in thy tenderest mercies,
Will look upon me with compassion
(Slave to sin, wretched and thirsty)
In the depths of my despair, and despairing inaction.
O Lady, speedily send me thy love and blessing here
Where all is dark, and the shadows drear.

Thoughts on Pending Comments

28 February 2011

Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam: the comments are canned-ham
Apparently so popular I am
That though they are terrible
Especially for ladies apparel
I shout obscenities rhyming with spam.

The Substance of Prayer

24 February 2011

Inside the walls of Lateran
The Pope kneels at this prayers
And the silent hopes of the Llogrian lord
Are bound and wound with the airs
Of a thousand nights, knightly arrayed
Around a painted table there displayed.

Inside the walls of Camelot
The king’s poets knelt and prayed
Remembering the bells and smells of the East
Where his heart ever wish he’d stayed;
Prayers were offered to and offered for
In the day of the turning, for the sins he bore.

Inside the walls of Byzantium
The Emperor’s daughter prayed in her garden
As the Saviour himself had done long before;
The days had in her eyes been darkened
With the sad tales streaming from the North
Where lost, it seemed, was all once of worth.

Pope, poet, and princess, all praying the same prayer
Where moth devours and death decays
The violence runs in the sultry airs
But the eternal promise was the substance of their prayers.


23 February 2011

The old verities, the old certainties
All bow before Thee, O Master,
And casting down the crowns of their superiority,
Learned, intellectual, rational, worldly-wise,
Are compelled to come before Thy throne in humility
Confessing that Thou alone art, only Thou canst be,
Blessed eternal Trinity, three-in-one and one-in-three,
Eternal mysterion of community.
And our poor mortal tongues cannot voice
The joys of Thy immortal glory;
Thou art Creator, God, and Lord
Father and friend of man.
a diebus autem Iohannis Baptistae usque nunc regnum
caelorum vim patitur et violenti rapiunt illud


18 February 2011

the heart yearns for a home
that is not its own
and the years between
have been hard and mean
and the meanness and the rage
have built the bars of the cage,
have starved the wolf within
provoking his ancient sin
and then…
the heart beats a solemn tune
like the hoof-beats of approaching doom
or the drums of heathen fires
atop the hilltop’s ancient spires
where now only grass
and memories remain.
and there is the eternal stain
smeared across the clear glass.

secret sins

15 February 2011

silent pains, carried within
and all because of the secret sins
which, hiding, we chafe and deny
and live forever the loneliest lies
and the ice-hard frosts describe
the raging denial felt deep inside
when at the end of the day the wheel turns
and at the day of the turn, the yearning burns;
where is the brightness, the lightness
the peace that comes with the promise?
and the light of love to lighten the burden
drawn now forever beyond the curtain
of night-pock’d stars.
with violence and rage to shame Mars
himself, or beauty and bliss the envy of elves,
the intoxication of self blinds self
and selfishness and self-love,
the wolfish lust that burns the blood,
has no other cure than this:
pain beyond all understanding, unhidden sins,
while giving up the serpent’s kiss.

As for transgressions, who will understand them? From my secret sins cleanse me, and from those of others spare Thy servant. If they have not dominion over me, then blameless shall I be, and I shall be cleansed from great sin. And the sayings of my mouth shall be unto Thy good pleasure, and the meditation of my heart shall be before Thee for ever, O Lord, my helper and redeemer. (Psalm 18, LXX)

Taliessin’s dream of the Holy Rood

14 February 2011

Taliessin dreamed of the Holy Rood.
Over the rough Roman water, water and blood
That once poured from the Saviour’s side
Gathered again in the Holy Cup
At the mass; in the last days
of the frigid winter, the king’s poet
once again commanded the king’s horse
riding over the Wall to the North
where the uncouth hordes, untouched
by the civilizing grace of the City
or the Cup, burned and harried. Woe betide,
The king called upon his master of song
to call the tune as he once had done
on Mount Badon; but Taliessin’s thoughts
Were lost east, further even than
the Byzantine glory of the City’s streets,
so far, even the dreams of the Emperor’s daughter
did not reach the object of his imaginings.
The droughts and chances of life at his disarray
and the Holy Rood encompassed all–
planted at the very place where
the first father and first mother had fallen
to Death’s icy pall, and from death to life
all had called; adored with every glory
the Healer’s tree there stood
glorious in its rough humility.
Taliessin stood, and bowed, and accepted the command.
The hand most accustomed to the harp
Picked up spear and sword and shield
And would not yield to the oncoming storm.
Taliessin blew the warrior’s horn
And dreamed still of the Holy Rood.