Second Sunday of Lent (2018)

My Hermitage has
East and South facing windows
I watch the morning light
creep in
the face of the Virgin statue
a book title
grain of table wood
then move on
a primitive sundial
as the morning moves
the Southern window
tracks this
floor shining
crucifix resurrectional
icon gold
warm socked foot
I also have two Northern windows
(hermitage and chapel)
erupting joy
‘it is good to be here’
this tent
constantly surprises

Winter Solstice

Rebecca Parker

Winter Solstice
Perhaps for a moment the typewriters will stop clicking, the wheels stop rolling the computers desist from computing, and a hush will fall over the city.
For an instant, in the stillness, the chiming of the celestial spheres will be heard as earth hangs poised in the crystalline darkness, and then gracefully tilts.
Let there be a season when holiness is heard, and the splendor of living is revealed.
Stunned to stillness by beauty we remember who we are and why we are here.
There are inexplicable mysteries.
We are not alone.
In the universe there moves a Wild One whose gestures alter earth's axis toward love.
In the immense darkness everything spins with joy.
The cosmos enfolds us.
We are caught in a web of stars, cradled in a swaying embrace, rocked by the holy night, babes of the universe.
Let this be the time we wake to life, like spring wakes, in the moment of winter solstice


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Oil lamp
thermaling incense
icon of John the Baptist
balsam evergreen
in early morning


“Advent Poem” 

 By St. John of the Cross

If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the Holy and say, 
“I need shelter for the night. 
Please take me inside your heart, my time is so close.” 
Then, under the roof of your soul, 
you will witness the sublime intimacy, 
the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever, 
as she grasps your hand for help, 
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us. 
Yes, there, under the dome of your being, 
does creation come into existence eternally, 
through your womb, dear pilgrim, 
the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help:
for each of us is His beloved servant never far. 
If you want, the virgin will come walking down the street, 
pregnant with Light, and sing!

Consolation without a cause

What are they
these unbidden moments
appearing even in the midst of angst
flooding a joy sweet
a sure knowing
a quiet startling
the Jesuits call them
"consolation without a cause"
I wonder if they are not
the fog suddenly lifted
blown by an angel
to what is there

Two nights

two nights and days of incessant wind
trees twisting
wind-chimes noise
now evening
absolute quiet
Elijah’s covered bow
such stillness
after yesterday's wind
is presence



John O'Donohue

As light departs to let the earth be one with night,
Silence deepens in the mind, and thoughts grow slow;
The basket of twilight brims over with colors
Gathered from within the sacred meadows of the day
And offered like blessings to the gathering Tenebrae.

After the day's frenzy, may the heart grow still,
Gracious in thought for all the day brought,
Surprises that dawn could never have dreamed:
The blue silence that came to still the mind,
The quiver of mystery at the edge of a glimpse,
The golden echoes of worlds behind voices.

Tense faces unable to hide what gripped the heart,
The abrupt cut of a glance or a word that hurt,
The flame of longing that distance darkened,
Bouquets of memory gathered on the heart's altar,
The thorns of absence in the rose of dream.

And the whole while the unknown underworld
Of the mind, turning slowly, in its secret orbit.
May the blessing of sleep bring refreshment and release
And the Angel of the moon call the rivers of dream
To soften the hardened earth of the outside life,
Disentangle from the trapped nets the hurts and sorrow,
And awaken the young soul for the new tomorrow.



The Slip

Wendell Berry

The river takes the land, and leaves nothing.
Where the great slip gave way in the bank
and an acre disappeared, all human plans
dissolve. An awful clarification occurs
where a place was. Its memory breaks
from what is known now, begins to drift.
Where cattle grazed and trees stood, emptiness
widens the air for birdflight, wind, and rain.
As before the beginning, nothing is there.
Human wrong is in the cause, human
ruins in the effect- but no matter;
all will be lost, no matter the reason.
Nothing, having arrived, will stay.
The earth, even, is like a flower, so soon
passeth it away. And yet this nothing
is the seed of all- the clear eye
of Heaven, where all the worlds appear.
Where the imperfect has departed, the perfect
begins its struggle to return. The good gift
begins again its descent. The maker moves
in the unmade, stirring the water until
it clouds, dark beneath the surface,
stirring and darkening the soul until pain
perceives new possibility. There is nothing
to do but learn and wait, return to work
on what remains. Seed will sprout in the scar.
Though death is in the healing, it will heal.