Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

More poems

Death of a Pope - Stephanie Waldmann

If my father had been pope, crowds would have filled
the hospice yard with tears and prayer. Bells would have rung.
Someone would have lowered flags at Marshfield City Hall.
I might have been his chamberlain,
touching a silver hammer to the creases in his forehead,
calling three times the name Grandmother gave him, declaring him dead.
Once home, we would have sealed his office, closet,
top drawer in the old oak dresser, locked the front door,
hung the heavy interregnum chain across the garden gate.
His wedding ring, broken to pieces. All address labels
with his name, destroyed. There would have been no pilgrimage
to Goodwill with unpolished shoes and fraying neckties in two paper bags.
Mother and I wouldn’t have argued in the kitchen
about the destination of his soul, about burning flesh and grinding
bones versus entombment in an ancient vault.
If Father had been pope, we would have gathered after eighteen days,
sequestered ourselves in the pine-paneled dining room,
and voted to elect another father.


For a Coming Extinction - W.S. Merwin

Gray whale
Now that we are sending you to The End
That great god
Tell him
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing

I write as though you could understand
And I could say it
One must always pretend something
Among the dying
When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks
Empty of you
Tell him that we were made
On another day

The bewilderment will diminish like an echo
Winding along your inner mountains
Unheard by us
And find its way out
Leaving behind it the future
Dead
And ours

When you will not see again
The whale calves trying the light
Consider what you will find in the black garden
And its court
The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas
The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless
And foreordaining as stars
Our sacrifices

Join your word to theirs
Tell him
That it is we who are important


The Seed - Hal Summers

I am the small million.
I am the locked fountain.
Late, late in summer’s dotage
When they stand gaunt and blasted,
The hollyhock tower and the cottage
Of clover, and age has wasted
The sun - then, then at last
I jump, I glide, a waif
Victoriously lost,
Tempestuously safe.

I go as weak as sea-water.
I lie as quiet as radium.

In the dust-high caravan, in
The cabin of a bird’s claw,
Or sheepback I travel, I have been
In the whale, his prophesying maw;
I have occupied both town
And parish, an airborne spirit, a
Soldier in thistledown,
A meek inheritor.

I am dry but I shall slake you.
I am hard but I shall satisfy you.

The apple contains me and I
Contain the apple, I balance
A field on a stalk and tie
A century’s voices in silence;
And all the hopes of the happy
And all the sighs of the sorry
Rest in my power to copy
And copying vary.

I am the first omega.
I am the last alpha.

And remember, I lie beneath
All soils of time, fears’ frost;
Remember, I stir in my death,
Most missed I am least lost;
Remember, in the gaunt garden
In the kingdom of a broken tree
You will find after Armageddon,
After the deluge, me.


4 Comments:

Blogger Jana said...

Hi Crystal,
Wonderful poems - thank you for posting them.
Jana

7:26 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks, Jana :)

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Thousand Oaks Hospice said...

Thanks good going keep it up .Thanks for posting this, was what I was looking for. Good blog for me ,I like it, so give me more details about this poems.

10:49 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks for the comment. Sorry, I don't have any details about the poems. I just browse for poems online at a few places like here and here

1:30 AM  

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