Saturday, July 14, 2007

Broadmoor Sacrarium

In the primordial soup of midsummer,
in the thick green shade

the old and new transact their final deals.

Midair, indifferent ghosts wait for them,
pure patience, perfect as butlers.
Underfoot, the boardwalk groans with time.

I am a pilgrim, avid for the light
that some call blue illusion or even corposant,
but in this time of plague and gunpowder
my misbuilt ark lists starward under the triple weight
and the captain says we must jettison everything,
even ourselves, especially ourselves,

but how ?

Climb out of the hold
onto the deck

where what you scream into the wind
storms back into your face like ice.
Close your eyes, your last
earthly treasure,

and the water, bled of green,
intincts, indents.

Remember the sunny meadow
where we once prayed together, saying

lady bug, Queen Anne's lace and

O clemens, o pia, o dulcis -- ?

It drains
straight into the earth.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bo Peep

Sun, high wind; the midweek patriotic holiday ushers in high summer. All week the intermittant report of backyard firecrackers has shattered the evening peace. Already, barely noon, the smell of grilling meat wafts into the window reminding me how, this morning, DK had scrawled "vegan !" across a newspaper story about "brainless" jellyfish. I suspect that, even if jellyfish were palatable or even edible, they have a distributed bodily sentience that technically excludes them from a vegan diet. Anyhow, jellyfish don't tempt me, thank you. I'll stick to Trappist strawberry jam on whole wheat. Some days even biting into a berry seems like an act of violence.

Last Sunday the lector, during the prayers for the people, as she listed the war-torn nations of the world, began to weep. I'm sure that I was not the only one who, along with her, struggled to remain composed. The Church, the body of Christ, has a broken as well as a sacred heart. The small snap of one broken wafer echoes through the church like the sound of a million cracking bones. Little wonder then that, all week, the fraction anthem has been running through my head: Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Yes, it's a bright, warm day. Thin, white clouds have begun to veil the blue sky. Thunderstorms and fireworks have been promised for evening. We've planned a trek into Cambridge to watch the big show. It's a small hiatus from work, a day of rest, a secular Sabbath. I'm not complaining. I am, however, scooping out litter boxes, doing loads of laundry, reviewing lab reports on my brand-new take-home laptop electronic medical record, fretting about the upcoming last two work days of the week, work days that, of late, have stretched far into the evening.

From outside, on the rising wind, comes the sound of coughing and churchbells, engines and birdsong. Some days it seems as if one should speak only in the softest of whispers, hoping, by example, to calm the bellowing, hellbent world.

I've been to the big show -- the Boston esplanade fireworks -- a few times in my life. They are quite spectacular. DK's more willing to brave roiling throngs of cars and people than I am. All day my inner misanthrope has been sulking. It will be fun, to be sure. There's nothing quite like fireworks to pull one out of one's thoughts and into the ecstasy of a skyful of light and noise. But still. Still.

So what are we celebrating today ? The death of the dream of democracy ? The reign of perpetual war ? The counter-reign of perpetual terror ? Empire ? Oppression ? Profit ? Greed ? Degradation ? Idolatry ? Indifference ? The ascendency of the trivial ? Hopelessness ? Alienation ? Despair ?

It is good that both morning and evening prayer include confession. ...we have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created...we repent of the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf...

And it is also good that they both include thanksgiving ...for our creation, preservation and all the blessing of this life.

Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. And grant us peace. Amen.