Poet and Contemplative
“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
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