Veil of the Temple Torn in Two


New seed, a new

Sown in the emptiness of every night
Spent alone,
Past and future;

Culled and cultivated out of the abysses in me;

And then finally brought forth to bloom
By the tender hands
Of the One who loves me…

Oh, where are you now old man? Where have you gone?


Like the blowing of dry leaves in autumn;
Like the obsolescent crumbling of pagan marble
In twilight halls of forget…


Ave Maris Stella

You there, just now rising
Above the farthest reaches
Of all the wide-world’s longing:
Quicken the Moment of this night!
Fan the crickets (eventide minstrels) and
Candle flies (twilight danseurs) into
Life! Summon forth
Hidden springs
– long buried, almost forgotten –
Of deepening desire!

Blissful soles of mine, moon-white upon
Star-spark leaf-down and dew
Grasses – They hasten
Toward the verge of
Earth’s compass, that I might
Stretch out
And touch
You – kiss you,

Oh! To feel the radiant and pearly swell
Of pure innocence!

To burn in the silvery music
Of this moonlight!

Heart starts

               Heart sputters

                                Heart rises up…

And, suspended by your gaze,
Is slain on the altar of your beauty

A child
Once more…

Untitled #1


I am most at home
Where the air is filled
With the sound of bells

Where the Sun of Eternity
Spills out the
Open door
Of all things

Where the Nameless
Draws near in a dark wood
And suffuses lonliness
With the chaste flame of starlight

Born, we are sundered from Paradise,
Left to fumble – confusedly, mindlessly –
Through the shambles
That make up our inheritance

But I feel in this moment
– this precious, brief moment –
That the Angel has stepped aside,
Sheathed his sword of flame,
And granted admittance
Into the springtime meadows
Of our Origin:

A Grace, costing nothing
– Nothing, save what it took
To learn that it was free:

The pain of a thousand deaths
And a thousand risings



Before the steady four wheels
Of cradlebound infancy
Could become in him adolescence’s
Fledgeling, jump-start
Two, sorrow made him to know,
In the secret dwellings of his heart,
The “inconsolable origin of all tears.”

In other children, youth flourished and
Grew strong, like young cedar,
And out of their propitious lips
A summer song would issue, limpid and flowing;
And with palms thrust radiantly upwards towards the sky
(as if to offer up to God innocence’s abundant first-fruits),
They would drink copiously of the sunny breezes
(as if to, in turn, partake of the chalice
of His glory and happily, guilelessly, say, “Amen”)…

– And meanwhile, he would shudder in his room at night,
Alone, enfolded
In the yawning weft
Of Sorrow’s shadowy mantle.


Lord, you made me to be without a home
Where all the others seemed to find one;
Turned my blossoming lea into a barren landscape
Riddled, as after a fire, with the smoldering,
Broken bramble of heart-scraps,
Upon which ashes would fall, and still fall
Softly, silently, cold – the fallout of dreams…

All those long, twilight hours at Father’s,
Where with door closed Waiting
Would stretch wide and thin
– Like the growing shadows –
And the Abyss would seem to open up,
Press in upon me, and
Brush up against my face, lightly…

What were they, then? Lord,

Are you listening?

I will answer: Training days,
Training days of longing and lack,
Where longing grew strong, and lack,
To the full stature of manhood

And now a man I am become indeed.
In place of a warm hearth somewhere,
I make my home upon the stillborn plane
And wander beneath the silent firmament.
And the weight of a thousand, thousand years
Flickers dimly, like ancient stars,
Out these obsidian eyes

Upon Spying a Phainopepla


Night-herald, there you sit,
Poised atop a winnowing tree branch
Pendulating plaintively
In the gloaming breezes

…The color of deepest night,
And drawing all solitude to yourself,
Like the growing shadows
Of this darkening landscape

Ebon polestar of every lonely creature
This night, your sable garments
Conceal the menacing flame in you, flashing

– like spurts of blood –

Out those eyes
And into this heart

Ficus Carica

“Abyssus ad abyssum invocat”

      That time of year
when the fragrance of orange
    blossoms will alight
upon the gloaming
air, and like
primeval threnody,
remind you
of what you once had
and will thenceforward always         yearn for –
Will remind you
of that need
             uncoiling,  as out of the
spool in you,
into the tangled
and bewildering
weft of

Currently 8 o’clock in the evening 
Once more the fig tree    and     I 
regard each other once more – silent
                               companions absorbed in each other’s solitude beneath April moon’s
unearthly pallor
Perhaps     we are    the only two things on the wide Earth
ripening now,
each the mute witness to the other’s slow unfolding 
Tempting to think the somber breeze
Flowing through its callow
Leaves (big as hands) flows
Through       me,

too, setting

                   into motion…

Listening for it…

A mounting shudder:
First gentle, demure,
Like the rustling
Of promenade dresses –
Now suddenly
A madness, a craze, something hateful
And demented.

Something like the hoarse clangor
Of Hell’s deepest

Oh, even here,
In this moment,
Where inside is the
Radiance of hearth’s soft glow,
Of aurulent smiles,
Warming my flank
Like happy fire – even here,
I can’t escape it, this
Horror that lurks in shadows
And prowls in empty spaces.

To Do One Thing


To do one thing:

To find the courage
To wake up in the morning,
Climb out of bed
And make coffee;
To brush one’s teeth because it is necessary;
To go about what one does,
Turning the compost over,
Pulling weeds from the garden,
And planting for next season’s harvest…
– All this,
And to be able to abide
In the thin space between peace
And terror,
Where there is no one,
No one but you and your Creator
Over the widening chasm
That is your life