Poetry Five 2011

Continuing with my previous posts this year this is the fifth in a series of selected poems that have caught my eye as the year unfolds.

If you put Poetry One 2011, Poetry Two 2011 and so on into the "Search this Blog" box on the sidebar you can get the others.

I won't be posting for a while after this week so some of the themes of this one are a bit ahead of the liturgical cycle.

If you want money more than anything,
you will be bought and sold.

If you have a greed for food,
you will become a loaf of bread.

This is a subtle truth.
Whatever you love, you are.

Always check your inner state
with the lord of your heart.

Copper does not know it's copper,
until it is changing into gold.

Your loving does not know its majesty,
until it knows its helplessness.

Dissolver of sugar, dissolve me,
If this is the time.
Do it gently with a touch of a hand, or a look.
Every morning I wait at dawn.  That’s when
It’s happened before.  Or do it suddenly
Like an execution.  How else
Can I get ready for death?
You breathe without a body like a spark.
You grieve, and I begin to feel lighter.
You keep me away with your arm,
But the keeping away is pulling me in.
Pale sunlight,
Pale the wall.
Love moves away.
The light changes.
I need more grace
Than I thought.


 The Eucharist

Something has happened
To the bread
And the wine.
They have been blessed.
What now?
The body leans forward
To receive the gift
From the priest’s hand,
Then the chalice.
They are something else now
From what they were
Before this began.
I want
To see Jesus,
Maybe in the clouds
Or on the shore,
Just walking,
Beautiful man
And clearly
Someone else
On the hard days
I ask myself
If I ever will.
Also there are times
My body whispers to me
That I have.

 Mary Oliver

The Poet Thinks About The Donkey
On the outskirts of Jerusalem
the donkey waited.
Not especially brave, or filled with understanding,
he stood and waited.
How horses, turned out into the meadow,
leap with delight!
How doves, released from their cages,
clatter away, splashed with sunlight.

But the donkey, tied to a tree as usual, waited.
Then he let himself be led away.
Then he let the stranger mount.

Never had he seen such crowds!
And I wonder if he at all imagined what was to happen.
Still, he was what he had always been: small, dark, obedient.

I hope, finally, he felt brave.
I hope, finally, he loved the man who rode so lightly upon him,
as he lifted one dusty hoof and stepped, as he had to, forward.

Mary Oliver

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