St. Thomas

Once,
The wind
Was a burning
Ember.
And it was in His eyes.
And He turned to us
And in His turning we became
A cell of Him,
That which contained Him
And made a sacrifice
Of our ignorance,
The dull brutish density
That we struggled with
As we were only men
And He was love
And He turned to us,and knew
What was to come
And how we would fail.

*
There were times when looking into His face
Was like looking into death.
I had not guessed, none of us had guessed
That death could be so utterly calm, so full of love,
As it called for us to give up ourselves
And turn
Inside the fire of our resistance
That was the fire of His consumption.

*
Love is the hardest thing there is.
The candle flickered.
The bees wax burned.I saw Him in my sleep.
I became awake during sleep.
And He was there.
Arms in the air
And burning.
Though when I looked closer I could see
That what I thought were flames
Was
Wave after wave
Of undulant bees
And He was the honeycomb
Of their ruminant silence

*
There is more death in life
Than there is life.
There is more life in death
Than life can know.
Emptiness.
It is emptiness that is the palimpsest
That He has held
For us to write on.
And in my dream I saw
What has to be done:
That we must be able to live
Inside our own erasures . . .
To find
Within the absence
The zero untouched.
And inside the perfect zero
The golden mean--
Divine proportion
Of the golden presence.

*
Love is the hardest thing there is.
As I put my fingers into the wound
I did not know how to believe,
But I died
As I touched
The ragged, torn flesh
Of the man who had appeared to us
Us inside the locked room.
Where the walls were white
And the light assumed
The contours of the
Silent room.
That was when I had no doubt,
I had seen Him.
That he was both man and God.
That his body was both body
And the form of
the Ghost:
A shape of our love
And the trials
To come.

 

 

 

 

MARK

 

With Trajan killing us for refusing to pour
wine,
. . . .I despaired of understanding the
New dispensation.
Saw myself for the dust I was, and
Gave myself wholly to the silence of the Word
When suddenly, unexpectedly, the entire
Scene was there:
Bright dove descending. . .
The five thousand. . . .
A hill of skulls . . .
Suspended in an image-cloud Of the events of a hundred years ago
I saw
The agony of the Rose
The arid landscape of Galilee.


And His face was there
And it was beautiful
A shape of the Word
And a shape of the silence
Within the Word.


So life comes to life through
Illumination
Fnding its place among the windy traces
And the dry hard earth
Were love is wrung
From intimidation and threat--
The cruelest instincts,
Of a cunning government,
Choosing power over honesty
Slight of hand above disclosure
To worship eagles and the gods
In dreams
As ignorant of their origin
As are the syllables of the air