Discalced Carmelite Friars

Semi Province of St. Therese

Poet and Contemplative

“From the abundance of his spirit [the poet] pours out secrets and mysteries rather than rational explanation” (Prologue, The Spiritual Canticle).

“In contemplation God teaches the soul very quietly and secretly, without its knowing how, without the sound of words” (Chapter 39, The Spiritual Canticle).

In the spirit of St. John of the Cross, this blog reflects on the contemplative experience and the poetic experience, sometimes separately and distinctly, sometimes in common, as mutually enlightening.

I will also post to this blog, from time to time, my own poetry, with a short interpretive note attached.

~ Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD

The Lands of Sunrise and Sunset: Thirteen Found Poems - 3 of 13


3.

The Heart Stumbles, Gets Up

 

My heart is a pair of shoes

Knotted and tossed

Over a telephone wire;

It glows white and helpless

As purple-gilled fish

Caught and strung together.

                                                Often as not

The heart is a loveless love-song—

“In the end it pleased her,

But bowed him more with care.

Her rose-smile showed so plainly,

Her soul-smile was not there.”

Indeed, although love for another gives ease,

And builds a heaven in hell’s despair—

Yet these are the words of a little clod of clay,

Trodden under by the cattle’s feet.

 

                                                This property that,

A timeless value, has just changed hands:

You could have had a new automobile,

Ping pong set, or garage, but you asked, instead,

For me, a rusted, worn out thing.  “Here I am,

In the long perspective traced by my begetters,

Dwindling backward each past each,

All with a kindred look”—

                                                Who are these coming

To the sacrifice?  To what green altar, along

What line of mendicants, lead they that heifer

Lowing at the skies?  “They are me,” I answer.

 

My own lineage has only just survived

Through the ages, inching

Towards that nondescript moment

When at last history will be made:

From a bare patch

Of that poor soil, solitary,

Sprang the flower, face upturned,

Looking completely, openly,

Into my eyes.

Delight filled me as if I, not the flower,

Were the flower, brimful with rain—

And then there was endlessness.

 

Written by Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD

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