Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Oh, dear. What have I wrought ?


...love and work... S. Freud
...ora et labora... St Benedict

The Trappists want to feed us. Cheese wheels, jam,
fruitcakes infused with bourbon, bourbon fudge,
and even beer. “Eat, drink !” their brochures bid.
We see ourselves reflected in their eyes,
cartoons of appetite. They want to lead
us to temptation, certain that we’ll find
our way there anyway: why not cash in ?

But when the Trappists eat it’s by the Rule
of frugal Benedictine rations -- two
cooked dishes at the sixth and ninth hour, one
scant pound of bread per monk per day, no flesh
of quadrupeds except in illness, wine,
a half glass tops, it raises HDL
and abstinence, though noble -- well, you know.

They live for decades. Then, eternally,
impeccable from years of work and prayer.
We love and work our way to early graves,
while hoping for forgiveness, unction, grace,
or, if not those, at least a premium
black walnut deep-lid casket, Trappist-made,
ordered pre-need. The cross is optional.

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