Today is St. Patrick's Day,
I have no ritual, no essay.
What was his story again?
Something green, about snakes
and the Christ. The only interest
this holy day holds for me
now is the Breastplate, the invocation.
I arise todayMy stories are dissolving, fading out,
Through the strength of Heaven
like the last scene of a movie
when the landscape goes
out of focus until all is golden light
filling the screen.
Light of the SunMy stories are riding into the sunset,
they are getting married, and I am
giving them away,
they are dying in their sleep
of old age.
Radiance of MoonI am turning
Splendor of FireThe question has been posed:
Your desert island book?
For me, a very large anthology
of sacred poetry spanning
all times and places.
Speed of LightningMy back is to St. Francis and my stories
go down with the sun behind him.
I am facing Sister Clare, and even she
has nothing to tell
Swiftness of WindAll the stories are a trick of mirrors
and light. Forget the mirror -
who needs it, when you have the source?
Depth of SeaI have told the story of why
I joined the church,
of the horrors of self-made religion,
wrong-headedness and failure, the need
for cleansing. Yes.
But this is only the part
that happens in front
of the audience, there is
also the backstage,
the fear of glimpses
of utter reality, absolute freedom
and emptiness, which sitting
in a church soothed for a while.
Four walls, a safe structure,
a place to lick wounds,
a well-lit path at the edge
of a forest that can never stop
Stability of EarthNow
I see the forest and the trees
as I stand among them
with no exposition,
no tale of bread crumbs, bears, or witches
to frighten, console, or instruct,
with in fact nothing
but an endless poem
that both does and does not
need me to get itself heard.
Firmness of Rock