Lamb of God
It was the leg of lamb
The Great Blue Heron at Tabor Retreat
hanging in an Arab shop
the Via Dolorosa
that brought me back to Jesus.
Then the walls of
ahead and behind
gave way and he walked
next to me,
the spices, rubbing shoulders
with shawled mothers,
accepting the mockery
of dark quick
It was for these too, he said,
the ones here
-- Justine Buisson
At the edge of the cypress swamp, I spot
a large shape
too big to be a turtle
but large enough to be the head of an
resting, waiting to spring.
I wait with it. Perhaps its a dead
It does not move, yet I know that it lives.
Then at last I see a
flicker. A snake?
But no. The entire oval shape stands up,
bird stretching its long neck.
On long legs, it stands, fixed in the
A pelican I guess, until I see
the long, slender, delicate golden
The great bird stretches and begins to move.
It hunches its
back up like a camel.
Then it casts the thin, brontosaural neck
living branch among the tree trunks.
The gray trees are stained black at
evidence of the heavy rains this week.
Tiny seed pearl
capsules wait on a bush
which next week will break into sunlit fire.
squirrel quivers some branches. A bird coos.
Everything else is still
except the wind.
From time to time, the heron makes a move.
infinitely patient, a monk
in contemplation of what lies beneath
motionless surface of the water.
It is in reality stalking prey,
moves with such slow grace it seems stone.
I yearn to see it take flight
but it stands still, waiting, perfectly still.
-- Leo Luke
Lake Charles, La.
Song for April
If you listen, if you listen, to the song that April
You can hear the muted murmur of a million growing things:
angels lilting laughter float through
sun-drenched April skies,
the low splash of a teardrop from an angels
tear-bright eyes --
Like a drumming in the darkness of the earths
You can hear the grasses push on their way to meet
If you listen, in the treetops, you can hear a whir of wings,
robin builds his castle; to the topmost branch it clings.
Oh, April is
an orchestra -- a symphony of sound,
The herald of lifes burgeoning,
above and underground.
There is music for the hearing the sound of growing
There is melody aplenty in the song that April sings --
-- Sr. Rose Lea Wirth
Give me a heart of flesh.
Every day I pray thus,
recalling the biblical phrase.
Stone is biblical, too:
altar of stone.
A father does not give stone for bread.
So much of
what I love is stone:
naked mountain, boulders angled
on a ledge, ancient
Flesh on flesh I love, as well;
and certain verses from the Song of Songs,
talk of eyes and neck,
of breasts and parted lips.
But this is not a
heart of flesh.
Can a heart be neither stone
nor flesh? Can it be
cold thing, distantly in love?
I saw a stone, once, not
not a boulder, but not a pebble, either,
split open just a
by a small woodland plant,
its tiny azure clusters breaking
to sun, its unstoppable roots
crumbling, millimeter by
the heart of stone.
-- Sr. Patricia Chaffee,
A hand on my back reaching into my blouse
As I squeeze
onto the Metro in Moscow.
A young Russkaya tucks my facing in.
in Oaxaca, the telephone useless without pesos.
La policia drive by,
automatic weapons propped on their hips.
Oaxaquenas motion me to take their
turn at the telephone.
Nose rings and tattoos in the bathroom
Bela Fleck concert in Dayton, Ohio.
Would you maybe have a tampon I could
A river of blood flowing,
releasing, binding us
To all that matters
To all that threatens to
swallow us whole
To all that makes us stretch out our arms and
-- Susan M. Johnston
His hour had come.
The dinner with friends restless in
his stomach he heads to the hills, terrified.
A construction in his brain
arrests him in the garden.
The air squeezed from his lungs by fear, droplets
of blood on his forehead,
driven to his knees by a crushing distress.
his right the way to Bethany, a safe haven, and beyond, the desert.
left the way into Jerusalem, where all the prophets died.
Take this away.
A memory comes of what the old rabbis
The entire world is a narrow bridge, but the essential of life is
not to fear.
His before-the-ages-faith ratchets his
Awakening he rouses the sleeping disciples, Get up, lets
go. The hour has come.
-- Frank R. Desiderio
National Catholic Reporter, April 16,