To the Garden

JMJ

MY BELOVED has gone to the garden
singing hymns sadness
in darkness weeping
and he falls
and he cries out
and I run from him
Bleeding sweat
Another kisses him
Taking him away

My beloved has gone to the garden
Seeing him hanging
between the trees
and he gasps
and he cries out
and I dare not go to him
strange fruit
hanging
Another pierces him
and goes away

My beloved has gone to the garden
A stranger with him
sings prayers
And he wraps him
and he kisses him
and I would go to him
if I could
Laying there
the darkness
Comes in light

The Ring

From my poetic imagination in 1988 or so…

Introduction

Just Fourteen Lines, but seven tens is all
I get! How can I speak my mind in there?
My heart of ever-singing joy is full
to overflowing. Why confine it thus?

Doth put within a garden mountains tall?
Within a sieve how can we hold the air?
and if I tried, you’d think my mind were dull.
But once I’ll try it if you say I must.

Give me the words and they with me will fall
to place; and shape my thoughts freeborn to fair
conforming. What meaning can you pull
from words constrain’d in walls by Dante truss’d?

I make my mark as hundred others do
and on these walls declare my love for you.

The First Sonnet

When for a thousand thousand years we’ve set
and watched the lives we lived go by, we will,
I think, see fit to laugh at them. Naive
as we are now I doubt we’d even try.

Step back and look at them. What all we get
for all we do; how we survive the kill
of arrows thrown by gods we won’t believe
who now above – without our faith – do fly.

An still we blunder blindly in their debt
for all the golden drinks we swill
sometimes to raise our hearts or them deceive
to hide them from the pains that make us cry.

And to the gods who give the pains we dare
can I give thanks for all the joys we share?

The Second Sonnet

Can I give thanks for all the joys we share
when I don’t know if they have come to you?
Have they within your heart created home
as they’ve within my soul become endeared?

I wonder if within your heart you care
about these things as deep within I do.
Dost relish snowy streets through which we roam
or do you feel indif’rent? This I’ve feared.

Do I waste my time or do I dare
to think that You, as I, enjoy us two?
Have we, together walking, this far come
to have from our dear futures such things cleared?

You must not toss these things aside. I pray
that you may feel the same as I some day.

The Third Sonnet

That you may feel the same as I some day;
I wouldn’t wish that on my furth’est friends.
Confusion, pain and indigestion, this
is all I feel whenever I see you.

I wonder always what I’ll have to say
that late you’ll stay, not bringing nights to ends.
I wish I’d be so brave, that I could kiss
your soul. But e’en to ask I can not do.

When I’m with you I want to run away
and thusly free me from this pain which sends
me crying. But to see you gives me bliss.
‘Twixt pain and joy I’ve lost all life but you.

God, free me from this wretched earthly frame;
Oh free me from great Eros’ evil game.

The Fourth Sonnet

Oh free me from great Eros’ evil game,
that I no longer seek the arrows gold
nor languish in the overflowing tears
from joy and sorrow, both the gifts of love.

Within th’eternal round of “what’s your name?”
I’m trapped as all are who are not so bold
that they can triumph o’re enduc’d fears
by reaching for the prize which leads above.

And yet, when by the rules I am made lame
(and to commercial culture have been sold)
by this from nothing freed I think tho’ts clear
and what I seek is not what they call Love.

By rules (and friends) I’ll never judge what’s shared
Between us there can grow a love ne’er dared.

The Fifth Sonnet

Between us there can grow a love ne’er dared
by angels nor by men; who with their rules
destroy all that in logic won’t abide
and cause to flee all not to them made clear.

In joinéd hearts, our own communion shared
two lives made one and never used by fools.
United thus, within ourselves we hide
remov’d from them. Thus we can face their fear.

And looking back how each for th’other cared
we’ll laugh at those who turned their loves to tools.
Thus we will leave this life: going side
by side, supernal choirs, or else to here.

But newer birth or rest from strife,
I with you will go from life to life.

The Sixth Sonnet

I with you will go from life to life
until all lives have come to ends and we
ourselves are left to mind the multiverse.
With myriad forms as Gods we’ll play alone.

It was our love that made us such: a knife
that cut us off from all and made us free.
And thus remov’d, lost, still gave us mirth:
Symphonic joy with only our two tones.

Alone, just us, with no sapienic strife
as Gods, we’ll cause – with songs – all worlds to be.
Then in our tune we’ll sing anew the earth:
For we, Divine as lovers need a home.

Thus even then, our love will not uplet
When for a thousand thousand years we’ve set.

Psalm 7×7

JMJ

Sicut Patres Nostri
of Huw, A Lament sitting on the dock of the Bay

AS OUR FATHERS before us
So we sit by the waters
As by Babylon of old
by the waters of the Bay
Do you remember us, Lord?

The Saints have told us
Of your faithfulness, your love
Your power
You came with them to defeat their enemies
You swept before them in victory
That the Gospel might triumph
But we reap a different harvest
As we are despised not for your love
But for our victory
Their statues are toppled
Their names slashed
And your Name then slandered
Do you remember us, Lord?
We retrench and advance
but you do not go with us
And we fail
Do you remember us, Lord?

Our Fathers told us
Of days recently passed
Millions gathered in the park
Rosaries waving, families praying
Cameras filming
Yet now we cannot get permits
To pray without masks
To walk without harassment
To save children
Do you remember us, Lord?

We know naught happens but you allow it
Naught comes to pass but your will
Our semantics quibble over
Permissive or possitive
But it comes from you
Make us to know our sins
Give us contrition
That we may repent
Send us here our purgatory
That we may be purified

Our Fathers have told us that it was by your might
Trusting too much in princes hoping in strength
Did we fail in your name
Failing to offend those who offend you
Because of their power?
Have we forgotten our way?
Our new weakness your ancient Gospel
Our new death the way to renewed resurrection
Do you remember us, Lord?

Our Lord spoke to us saying we would not be loved
We would be rejected and hated for his Truth
Which is only ever Love
The world rejects us because of our sins.
Our pride in our power.
Have we forgotten you, Lord?

Your weakness is our strength
Trusting the might that was ours formerly
We lost our way in Babylon
And here, we mourn by the waters
The Bay laps our feet as we pray

We have sinned against heaven and before you
As our Fathers repented so do we
And as bread is lifted and cup is raised
Again. The work of human hands.
Show us the light of your love
That we may know the way
That we may walk with you
That we may know the way to walk
That the world may see you
As we see you
That the world may know you
As we know you
As you know us

We will praise you
Not for our power but for our weakness
Which is like yours
Weak even to death
Not for our passage of laws
But for our love winning hearts
When you then sweep before us in victory
Your Gospel will triumph
Even to resurrection
And we reap your harvest
From a world craving your love
That men may see our good works
And praise you
And we will know you then as you are
Again as you are always
Amen. Amen.

Danse Macabre 2021

JMJ

ALL HALLOWS EVE enchanted dark
A stroll I took in chill
To see the children on their lark
And thus a pipe to kill

The sunset orange watching pass
And night on coming strong
When deep from Mission hill and grass
I heard a haunted song

Then followed I this tunèd curse
Until I found the source
And deep beneath Dolores firs
I saw a morbid course

And dancing came the doomèd mob
In pairs of flesh and bone
A line was paced to plaintive sob
And cold as chiseled stone

Now though I thought in fright to flee
Before my feet would fly
Their rhythm’d steps came round me
That each might pass me by

And silent were the corpses all
But skeletons well said
Without the breath or fleshy pall
Upon their bony head

They spoke addressing me by name
Well done to find us here
And will you make our chorus fame
In gruesome verse appear?

I nodded silent as I typed
In thumbs upon my screen
unbidden verse my phone had striped
In pixeled eerie sheen

The first pair came in courtly swirl
And round me then to go
The bone man led a regal girl
Whose years made dancing slow

An empress grand she ruled the globe
A century bears her mark
Now unamused in weeds her robe
Death has a Victory stark

The second pair now came aside
In black and white a boy
The bones and he hob’d horses stride
With a candle as a toy

At altar knelt he near the south
And well he served the priest
But now for prayers he has no mouth
We take both great and least

The third pair came a man in suit
With marching hails the chief
and wearing chains of free world’s loot
The leader of their grief

We get them all said clacking jaw
In top hat or in none
No leader yet the world has saw
Who has this dance not done

And next there came in sleeves o’er long
A song book in her hand
The lead soprano with her song
And shin bones for her band

Her voice oft piped on eagles wings
Her hands on guitar strummed
But deeply buried gravèd things
Like songs have her made dumb

Antifa dancèd by my side
With Patriot Prayers in tow
Their axes choppèd each their hide
An eternity of woe

One skeleton prancèd by their side
The two had but one soul
Eternally now matèd they
And in one space they troll

Up next came an boy with bat
A beard and muscles slack
The dodger blue upon his hat
Was fading now to black

In leaving Brooklyn bone man said
The team betray’d their home
And round the world the cursèd dead
as traitors made to roam

A priest came next his back to me
His robes array’d for Mass
In Dance his face I n’er did see
Tho him did thrice me pass

His liturgy was drama trim
The showman ever play’d
And so in death his penance grim
His face away is staid

A cardinal with Capitol
Was turning on the ground
The skeletons would take their tole
As each his body found

A tech bro came: lyft, scooter, vape
And options like the dew
the ghosts of startups round him drape
and dreams are all askew

A data science preacher stood
behind her keyboard dark
with graphs and charts both mighty good
Predicting earnings dark

But prophets cannot profits tell
An ivory dancer said
And Mammon leaves one strait to, well…
It’s just enough she’s dead

An Abbot tall with croizer’d hand
was further down the queue
As bones did by him stand
like all the others too

A Jesuit came down the pike
Accompanying his charge
No heresy he didn’t like
His tent was mighty large

A politician found her mark
and made a Arabesque
So firm her planks her promise, hark!
To voters now address’d

A crowd came next in mournful band
Unmaskèd in the park
Unwilling now they hold death’s hand
Weeping in the dark

Another crowd then by me danced
their arms withal unshot
at common good they looked askance
and now in death are hot

And sovereign citizens arose
to proudly strut their stuff
no rights will their death oppose
the demons call their bluff

And then a greater crowd there came
Not was mask’d or led
but of their own will they came
to fall among the dead

Then Death herself the reaper grim
astride the path did stand
and all around her rais’d a hymn
this morbid bony band

We get them all We slay them all
And none can say us nay
We wake them all we take them all
as night ore-takes the day

And last alone some lonely bone
said to a novice sent
Tis I, I said and dropped this phone
and dancing off we went

Sonnet XVI: Harrow

JMJ

Alone by Abraham he watching stands
And turns to John the Cousin as they smile
Isaiah grins at Moses laughing while
Judith and Esther wait in garland bands

Now righteous pagans rise to hear the trial
Lao tzu has joined him and Gautama too
The final stanzas of hells songs are through
And yawning gapes the maw of death most vile

As light breaks open hades darkened rue
And angels chaining demons part the throng
Comes Jesus here to one for whom he’s long
Been grieving. Joseph, Daddy, chaste and true

And riven hell releases hist’ry’s clans
As Son and Abba weep ore claspéd hands

I’ve got thy love

JMJ

Temptations tempting and the wind is blowing
But I can weather the storm
What do I care how much it may storm
I’ve got Thy love to keep me warm

I cannot remember a worst confession
Just list the mortal sins out
but I know I can list the mortal sins out!
I’ve got thy love to keep me warm

Off with my overcoat off with my gloves
Who needs an overcoat I’m burning with love
My heart’s on fire and the flame grows higher
So we will weather the storm
What do I care how much it may storm
I’ve got thy love to keep me warm

I thank you for setting my heart on fire
The flame it just leaps higher
So we will weather the storm

Why do I care how much it storms
I’ve got thy love
To keep me warm
I’ve got thy love to keep me warm

The Danse Macabre (2020)

All hallows eve enchanted dark
A stroll I took in chill
To see the children on their lark
And thus a pipe to kill

The sunset orange watching pass
And night on coming strong
When deep from Mission hill and grass
I heard a haunted song

Then followed I this tunèd curse
Until i found the source
And deep beneath Dolores firs
I saw a morbid course

And dancing came the doomèd mob
In pairs of flesh and bone
A line was paced to plaintive sob
And cold as chiseled stone

Now though I thought in fright to flee
Before my feet would fly
Their rhythm’d steps came round me
That each might pass me by

And silent were the corpses all
But skeletons well said
Without the breath or fleshy pall
Upon their bony head

They spoke addressing me by name
Well done to find us here
And will you make our chorus fame
In gruesome verse appear?

I nodded silent as I typed
In thumbs upon my screen
unbidden verse my phone had striped
In pixeled eerie sheen

The first pair came in courtly swirl
And round me then to go
The bone man led a regal girl
Whose years made dancing slow

An empress grand she ruled the globe
A century bears her mark
Now unamused in weeds her robe
Death has a Victory stark

The second pair now came aside
In black and white a boy
The bones and he hob’d horses stride
With a candle as a toy

At altar knelt he near the south
And well he served the priest
But now for prayers he has no mouth
We take both great and least

The third pair came a man in suit
With marching hails the chief
and wearing chains of free world’s loot
The leader of their grief

We get them all said clacking jaw
In top hat or in none
No leader yet the world has saw
Who has this dance not done

And next there came in sleeves ore long
A song book in her hand
The lead soprano with her song
And shin bones for her band

Her voice ere piped on eagles wings
Her hands on guitar strummed
But deeply buried graved things
Like songs have her made dumb

Antifa dancèd by my side
With Patriot Prayers in tow
Their axes choppèd each their hide
An eternity of woe

One skeleton prancèd by their side
The two had but one soul
Eternally now they are mates
And in one space they troll

Up came an athlete with a bat
A beard and muscles slack
The dodger blue upon his hat
Was fading now to black

In leaving Brooklyn bone man said
The team betray’d their home
And round the world the cursèd dead
as traitors made to roam

A priest came next his back to me
His robes array’d for Mass
In Dance his face I n’er did see
Tho him did thrice me pass

His liturgy was drama trim
The showman ever play’d
And so in death his penance grim
His face away is staid

A cardinal with Capitol
Was turning on the ground
The skeletons would take their tole
As each his body found

A tech bro came: lyft, scooter, vape
And options like the dew
the ghosts of startups round him drape
and dreams are all askew

A data science preacher stood
behind his keyboard dark
with graphs and charts both mighty good
Predicting earnings dark

But prophets cannot profits tell
An ivory dancer said
And Mammon leaves one strait to, well…
It’s just enough he’s dead

An Abbot tall with croizer’d hand
was further down the queue
A skeleton did by him stand
as with all the others too

A Jesuit came down the pike
Accompanying his charge
No heresy he didn’t like
His tent was mighty large

A politician found her mark
and made a Arabesque
So firm her planks her promise, hark!
To voters now address’d

A crowd came next in mournful band
Full maskèd in the park
Unwilling now they hold death’s hand
Weeping in the dark

And then a greater crowd there came
Not was mask’d or led
but of their own will they came
to fall among the dead

Then Death herself the reaper grim
astride the path did stand
and all around her rais’d a hymn
this morbid bony band

We get them all We slay them all
And none can say us nay
We wake them all we take them all
as night ore-takes the day

And last alone some lonely bone
said to a novice sent
Tis I, I said and dropped this phone
and dancing off we went

The Shortest Day

by Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,

And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!

All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.

And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

Welcome Yule!!

Do You Even Colitas, Bro?

This is way better than Eagle’s Wings…

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of ascesis, rising up with the prayer
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My heart grew lighter and my sight grew clear
I had to join in the fight.

There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
‘This could be heaven if we but could do well’
Mary lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were angels up the central nave,
I thought I heard them say

Welcome to Ecclesia Catholica
Such a lovely place
Such heaven’ly grace
Plenty of room in Ecclesia Catholica
Any time of year you can find it here

Her mind is differently-ordered, she got the crusader bands
She got a lot of pretty, pretty cups and golden patens
How they dance in the boxes, filoque
Some dance in contrition, some dance liturjay

So I called up the pastor,
‘Please bring me my wine’
He said, ‘we’ve got spirit here: Vatican two? Fine.’
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Adoration in the middle of the night
You can hear them say:

Welcome to Ecclesia catholica
Such a lovely place
Such a heaven’ly grace
We’re livin it up in Ecclesia Catholica
There’s more life here it’s abundant here

Frescos on the ceiling,
The pink vestments are nice
And she said, ‘we are all still prisoners with addictions to vice’
Yet in the master’s wisdom,
we gather for the feast
Michael stabs hard with his sword,
Look he just now killed the beast!

Last thing I remember, I was
searchin all the floor
I had to find the water’y font just beside the door
‘Relax’ said the deacon,
‘We are ready to receive.
We’ll confirm you any time you like,
To Christ you’ll always cleave!’

Welcome to Ecclesia Catholica
Such a lofty place
Filled with heaven’ly grace
Plenty of room in Ecclesia Catholica
Any time of year you can find it here

A Daily Process. A Life.

+JMJ+

I have a sin I’ve oft confess’d
That drop’d I claim again
and in that sin I’ve lost the best
of life’s abundant store
Can yet this I re-repent
You so often re-forgive
tho like the waves I can’t relent
this gouging on the shore
This sin I cast into the flame
but cannot say I’ve done
For I arise but the same
I’ll struggle on some more

I have a sin which calls to me
and seems divinely sent
What it seems it cannot be
If I to love would grow
And many arrows fail the grade
When Cupid stalks his prey
As many broken hearts are play’d
yet fail one whole to show
This sin I cast into the flame
but cannot say I’ve done
For I arise but the same
How it ends I cannot know

I have a sin I darn’t name
it feigns my very self
e’en still I know I am but lame
my heart’s not this it’s true
Yet this sin I’ve waved on high
Drumming others to my cause
When in the dark go slinking I
seeking others pitching woo
This sin I cast into the flame
but cannot say I’ve done
For I arise but the same
God pierce my heart right through

Still, say dear Lord you hear me here
see your child in pain
so I will proffer you in fear
a wayward cup to fill
Even though I cannot play
in light just here and now
You are the light the truth the way
that can this darkness kill
This last I cast into the flame
And then will say you’ve done
For you arise my life to claim
And save me in thy will.

See: John Donne’s  Hymn to God the Father