Followers

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010 IN PRAISE OF THE EARTH


Let us bless
The imagination of the Earth,
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.

And how light knew to nurse
The growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color.

When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And hold our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed's self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.

The kindness of the Earth,
Opening to receive
Our worn forms
Into the final stillness.

Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
For our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.

Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,
The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.

That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.
~John O'Donohue

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Love That Dares To Speak Its Name

By James Kirkup
23 April 1918 – 10 May 2009

As they took him from the cross

I, the centurion, took him in my arms-

the tough lean body

of a man no longer young,

beardless, breathless,

but well hung.

He was still warm.

While they prepared the tomb

I kept guard over him.

His mother and the Magdalen

had gone to fetch clean linen

to shroud his nakedness.

I was alone with him.

For the last time

I kissed his mouth. My tongue

found his, bitter with death.

I licked his wound-

the blood was harsh

For the last time

I laid my lips around the tip

of that great cock, the instrument

of our salvation, our eternal joy.

The shaft, still throbbed, anointed

with death's final ejaculation

I knew he'd had it off with other men-

with Herod's guards, with Pontius Pilate,

With John the Baptist, with Paul of Tarsus

with foxy Judas, a great kisser, with

the rest of the Twelve, together and apart.

He loved all men, body, soul and spirit. - even me.

So now I took off my uniform, and, naked,

lay together with him in his desolation,

caressing every shadow of his cooling flesh,

hugging him and trying to warm him back to life.

Slowly the fire in his thighs went out,

while I grew hotter with unearthly love.

It was the only way I knew to speak our love's proud name,

to tell him of my long devotion, my desire, my dread-

something we had never talked about. My spear, wet with blood,

his dear, broken body all open wounds,

and in each wound his side, his back,

his mouth - I came and came and came

as if each coming was my last.

And then the miracle possessed us.

I felt him enter into me, and fiercely spend

his spirit's finbal seed within my hole, my soul,

pulse upon pulse, unto the ends of the earth-

he crucified me with him into kingdom come.

-This is the passionate and blissful crucifixion

same-sex lovers suffer, patiently and gladly.

They inflict these loving injuries of joy and grace

one upon the other, till they dies of lust and pain

within the horny paradise of one another's limbs,

with one voice cry to heaven in a last divine release.

Then lie long together, peacefully entwined, with hope

of resurrection, as we did, on that green hill far away.

But before we rose again, they came and took him from me.

They knew not what we had done, but felt

no shame or anger. Rather they were glad for us,

and blessed us, as would he, who loved all men.

And after three long, lonely days, like years,

in which I roamed the gardens of my grief

seeking for him, my one friend who had gone from me,

he rose from sleep, at dawn, and showed himself to me before

all others. And took me to him with

the love that now forever dares to speak its name.

Seven Stanzas at Easter












Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

Telephone Poles and Other Poems © 1961
by John Updike. Reprinted by permission of
Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Inc

On Easter and Updike
by David E. Anderson