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

Seven Conversation Poems – Part 6


VI.

Recurring Dreams

I am lying still, buried in deep grass, and a herd of buffalo
Flows towards me on the plain, then parts like water
On either side of rock. My peace is so profound
That their own impenetrable gaze and heavy tread

Respect me as a brother, as a god perhaps. And so, like a god,
I sleep. Then, suddenly, I wake; what holds me here
Releases me as well—the world flitting upward like a lark,
And me following after, riding my astral body—
                                      It’s my belief
That dreaming is the one sure hold I have on life; it is what 
Gives my soul its body, like an earthy tangle of roots buried deep
Beneath the blue and white blossoms that nightly spring up.

*

Thus, it’s the love that cradles me here that desires it just so,
My mind still and ready to dream, my body inwardly abuzz
Day returns to me, a clump of throaty clarinets floating above
The slow, funereal pulse of a bass drum, and, detaching themselves,

Violins hurrying off on the gravelly purr of a Pontiac. Suddenly,
A prophet steps forth and begins to proclaim what tomorrow
May bring—a future dressed in its robe of invisibility. If I hesitate,
It is lost.

           No matter. The dream slides in and out of being,
Like deer in hunting season. Tonight when the stars come home,
Twinkling like the cowbells that announce their return—
“It’s late,” they’ll say. “Let the life that holds you here
Release you from its spell; let it flood your brain like lazy rivers

Emptying into the sea”—
                      A scene of knotted streets opens
Miraculously; stern-faced strangers nervously happen by. We
Stumbled upon each other. “He’s not capable of much,”
They think to themselves. “Yet God has given him so much.

See how it falls from between his fingers.” In my defense 
I tell them that it’s always been this way, that, seemingly,
It can be no other—“for thus am I guaranteed a life
Worth living.”
             —I resume my dream’s business; the others
Resume theirs. We’ll join up later, once daylight strikes. 

Written by Fr. Bonaventure, OCD
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