My Name

dad and ada

Singing with Dad

Father,

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)

Or fumes.

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,

One’s words.

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.

Bond, Blest,

From Boethius.

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,

Amen.

Or is the word held too sacred for what eyes will see as experimental?

Chalice, Sequence:

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.

Nichil,

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

Faithful.

“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

Loyalty oaths.

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

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5 comments

  1. PursuePeaceBlog · April 15, 2016

    Great stuff! I wish I could understand and enjoy poetry as much as you seem to. I, even as an English teacher, have always struggled with it.

    • gospelisosceles · April 15, 2016

      Thanks, but I would very loosely call this one poetry. When my husband asked me to marry him I said yes of course, but was disappointed by him not asking for my father’s blessing. He understood this and we hitchhiked a thousand miles a few days later so he could do so. So this contemplation/confession came from that journey and is more about my faith being misunderstood by the world than anything else.

  2. Saturated In Seattle · April 15, 2016

    I got the email notification of this post this morning when I didn’t have time to read it, and all day I have had a restless heart, a yearning to read a part of your heart–you share such deep emotions, struggles, pains, and joys in your writings that I am often left in a place of deep contemplation. I glimpse pieces of my own journey in yours, though yours has taken you further than I could dare to dream, and hitchhiking…you’re far more adventurous that I am too! I feel a portion of what you must feel through your words and I am left completely humbled.

    • gospelisosceles · April 18, 2016

      I know, isn’t it exciting when a blogger you love is sharing a new little part of his/her life? And I wouldn’t undermine your harrowing journey one bit, as from what I’ve read of God’s path for you, you have gone so far and deep as to forgive those who had the potential to ruin your life and faith. That is not something very many of us have done, and I know anyone who reads your honest words or meets your heart is receiving a huge gift from God because you are one of those rare teachers who LIVES the gospel.

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