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Issue Date:  August 27, 2004


Apparition ’04

News item: Mary makes a comeback. New book predicts return of the Mother of God (NCR, April 30)

Mary, you are too commercial:
A brand name of miracles that outdoes
Duz in wishing machines on peasant
hills, where crutches are the dull grey
of human sheets attesting to the chemistry
of your Madison Avenue ways.

Too cosmopolitan, too, Mary:
Knock, Knock. Who’s there?
The Lady of Fatima Lourdes Guadalupe;
Howja ever miss a cantata
on the road to Mandalay?
And all those kids you scared the hell outta
Doesn’t smack of maternal love.

What’s with you, Mary?
Is it tough keeping body and soul
together in a place that is no place
but a fluxless state of mind?
Frost says he wanted to go
toward heaven (italics his) not into
it, because earth is best for love.

Maybe he scaled your problem:
Maybe you keep climbing back to earth
to get the feel of solid ground
underneath your feet and
feel the heat of human love.
Maybe you need us (italics mine);
We need you? Hmmm (meaning no

Your fragile barks smack of lambent
hard sell, in an age when
the tempestuous seeds
of the juiciest tomato
need the Sun -- like we do.
You are Mother Dearest Mother Fairest
precisely because of the Sunseed:
We respect honor admire love

You, for the Sunshine of your style;
But -- meanwhile --
Don’t call us.
We’ll call you.

-- Thomas F. Mader
Walnut Creek, Calif.

A Feral Faith

a feral faith is best

dank, damp and odiferous
as a monk’s sack

heavy in the hand
as grain-laden manure

sacerdotal, scatological, thorn-sore

-- Michael F. Carroll
Buda, Texas

National Catholic Reporter, August 27, 2004

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