Saturday, January 28, 2012


John Berryman
This is from a much longer poem titled
 "Eleven Addresses to the Lord"
....this is "Address" Number 1.
Master of beauty, craftsman of the snowflake,
inimitable contriver,
endower of Earth so gorgeous & different from the boring Moon,
thank you for such as it is my gift.
I have made up a morning prayer to you
containing with precision everything that
 most matters.
'According to Thy will' the thing begins.
It took me off & on two days.  It does not
aim at eloquence.
You have come to my rescue again & again
in my impassable, sometimes despairing years.
You have allowed my brilliant friends to destroy themselves
and I am still here, severely damaged,
but functioning.
Unknowable, as I am unknown to my
 guinea pigs: how can I 'love' you?
I only as far as gratitude & awe
confidently & absolutely go.
I have no idea whether we live again.
It doesn't seem likely
from either the scientific or the philosophical
point of view
but certainly all things are possible to you.
and I believe as fixedly in the Resurrection
appearances to Peter
and to Paul
as I believe I sit in this blue chair.
Only that may have been a special case
to establish their initiatory faith.
Whatever your end may be, accept my amazement.
May I stand until death forever at attention
for any your least instruction or enlightenment.
I even feel sure you will assist me again,
Master of insight & beauty.
Denise Levertov
Flickering Mind
Lord, not you
it is I who am absent
At first
belief was a joy I kept in secret,
stealing alone
into sacred places:
a quick glance, and away - and back,
I have long since uttered your name
but now
I elude your presence.
I stop
to think about you, and my mind
at once
like a minnow darts away,
into the shadows, into gleams that fret
unceasing over
the river's purling and passing.
Not for one second
will my self hold still, but wanders
everywhere it can turn.  Not you,
it is I am absent.
You are the stream, the fish, the light,
the pulsing shadow,
you the unchanging presence, in whom all
moves and changes.
How can I focus my flickering, perceive
at the fountain's heart
the sapphire I know is there.
Allen Ginsburg
Psalm III
To God: to illuminate all men.
Beginning with Skid Road.
Let Occidental and Washington be transformed into a
 higher place,
 the plaza of eternity.
Illuminate the welders in shipyards with
the brilliance of their torches.
Let the crane operator lift up his arm for joy.
Let elevators creak and speak,
ascending and descending in awe.
Let the mercy of the flower's direction
beckon in the eye.
Let the straight flower bespeak its purpose
in straightness - to seek the light.
Let the crooked flower bespeak its purpose
in crookedness - to seek the light.
Let the crookedness and the straightness
bespeak the light.
Let Puget Sound be a blast of light.
I feed on your Name like a cockroach on
a crumb - this cockroach is holy.
                                     Seattle, June, 1956
Joseph Awad
For Jude's Lebanon
It is said he was a relative of Jesus,
That his apostolate
Was to the land we know as Lebanon,
That he gave his blood for Christ.
What wonders did he perform
To win the Barnum & Bailey blurb,
"Patron saint of the impossible."
I'm beginning a novena to St. Jude.
His lone epistle opens lovingly:
"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ
And brother of James, to be called
Who have been loved in God the Father
And preserved for Christ Jesus,
Mercy and peace and love
Be yours in abundance."
I'm beginning a novena to St. Jude.
He had a poet's way with words.
Evil, sensual men he called
"Wild wave of the sea,
Foaming up their shame,
Wandering stars for whom
The storm of darkness
Has been reserved forever."
I'm beginning a novena to St. Jude.
In Lebanon there is loud lamentation.
Beirut, once beautiful Beirut,
Bloodied by Christian, Jew and Druze,
Weeps like a wound just under the
world's heart.
Pontius Pilates in world capitals
Wash their hands, pronouncing solemnly,
"The situation is impossible."
I'm beginning a novena to St. Jude.

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