Whether my desire for your blessing derived from goodness or from sin,
It was never to be compromised.
In my passion for the human heart did I sacrifice my own?
In the spaces of all the years of lonely writing I might solve the unrelenting mystery:
I am the one who fears to commit
Not to just anyone or anything, but to my very own existence, creator, and purpose.
I do not know how I grew this way, but I have been fearful of
Flamboyant splashes in puddles,
Especially wary of
One tiny drop
Rippling disturbance in the pond at peace.
But today sweeping dust and powder
Crumbling asbestos ceiling tiles
Itchy eyes and drying skin
Radon and foundation sealant in the crawl space
Workplace español I lie saying I don’t care what they’re saying
Paint to cover up mold
Paint to cover up what little I have
Head games by the family (or my head)
In the holy waters again I declare no need
Dirtying myself with the fat, unhousebroken veins
Of the world’s wishes.
I declare that I, as many brethren,
Sought to end poverty,
And I, as many, have done it.
When one makes himself poor, poverty becomes myth
To be prey to Roman gods
Remembered as we romanticize pagan festivals of yesteryear.
One of the world’s infinitesimal wishes.
We can make ourselves a culture of worthy children if we
Loved our mothers and families and holy family more than
High-profiled personalities, extreme dare-devils, successful tycoons, war heroes, the rest of the world’s entourage
And found them actively more interesting.
The language of parody
Arises from bane lack of responsibility in,
Much less care of,
Say whatever, as long as they buy it.
I don’t buy your stringy distortions
Ripped viscera and remnants of a mostly bargained-for heart.
Who is the subject? The object?
Who is taxing whom?
Have you put your hand over your ribs and felt,
Marveled in the beat of priceless blood?
A beat which is the children born and the risen bread?
A heart which is the cause of why we walk and
Why we walk on water?
Father Berrigan notes of the Nicaraguan Jesuits that there’s a sense that they chose, at some time,
To live in a clear and truthful way—as though the gospel were serious,
As though they could also be serious about their faith, and its consequences.
I try to summon a word
To be the post-reformation mystical body of the Church
Edified by the integrity of her plenteous churches
Polychromed as stained-glass.
I search 16th century Christian poetry,
Luis de Leon, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila,
In the Spanish language,
In the writings of the early church.
A new light doth shine.
Where is my heaven, my word?
“How might we learn to walk in step?
To let sleeping dogs lie?
To stop making waves?
We are close to unteachable, rejoicing in our plight,
Taking perverse pleasure in it.”
Berrigan face to face with Latin America was searching for it too.
“Theologically this is a dangerous state; juridically, it places us beyond rehabilitation.”
Springtide, Zither, Sum, Plumb,
From Dante Alighieri’s The Glory Of Him Who Moves All Things Rays Forth.
And St. Clare of Assisi’s When You Have Loved, You Shall Be Chaste
Embodies the very paradox of the love of God.
Dionysius the Areopagite and The Doctrine Of Infinite Growth,
Or is the word held too sacred for what eyes will see as experimental?
A straight line, splitting but the lines mirror one another in curves
(Which could only be divinely traced)
At their furthest distance simultaneously realize the shape,
Making circles toward the center line
Once they meet become bold.
From Jacopone da Todi’s Self-Annihilation And Charity Lead The Soul
What we are changing with this new word-shape:
Archbishop of Managua summons the people,
In face of government attacks on the church,
To a renewed loyalty.
The phrase secular to the core,
One may well be loyal to Caesar,
To the church, one had best strive to be
“The rub is that loyalty books no criticism,” says Berrigan,
“Allows no second thoughts before this or that edict.
And deprived of such,
The church inevitably becomes
Secular as hell.”
A church resembling a state,
One that inspires and demands only
A fascist church-state of lockstepping members.
Symeon the New Theologian knows,
As a pavilion on a steep, rocky mountain-side
Ascending into and then above the clouds,
Of the fire arising in me,
Leaving me open-mouthed and
Urging me to summon words from my silence.
A lifetime of searching
If I had my little treasure
I would be understood
And God would be loved by all.
But that’s for Him to give me,
My name in heaven.
© 2013, Amaya Engleking