Friday, August 4, 2017

Continuum

Photo: Brian Federle, Salton Sea, Dec. 2016

My breath rises
to the edge of space
and pauses
at the nexus of perfection,

then falls,
driven by waves of fire, 
by strong hands guided 
through dust and rain, 
through ice, through
the shining
vortex

to my upturned face
where a single drop dies
and fills me with
the storm's desire.

(Posted 2012.  Revision 8/2017)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Light, directly infused


Photo Brian Federle, Sunset at Carlsbad, Jan. 2016


“Faith reaches the intellect not through the senses
 but in a light directly infused by God.” Thomas Merton

Rising from the sea
 death’s veil
overwhelms me.

Brief day fails,
fills the sky
with starry sails

wandering planets,
moonbeams
cold and bright –

holy spirit
of faithful night.

(2012: 2017)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Communion

“And the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept . . . . what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.” 
Asian Journal of Thomas Merton,

I see the world

as it is, as I think
itis, as I want it
to be:

bright mornings,
shimmering lawns, trees glowing
golden as night dissolves
to glaring day.

I hear mourning doves,
raucous crows, roar of lawn-mowers,
distant whisper
of traffic

and believe these prove
that I alone can end a night
of anxious dreams
with quick breath and
eyes wide open.

But one day, stepping
through terminal veils of pain,
startled, pulling back the black curtain,
in the unexpected rush of ecstasy,
I’ll discover the truth:

my never-ending
communion with
You.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Soft July



since you've been gone the days
are silent

except for the rush of wind
in our apple tree.

See how the fruit hangs
heavy, pulling low
the branches;
ready.

so I’ll wait in the shade
of soft July
and think
of you.

(9 July 2014; revised 7/29/2017)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Suisun Creek



Suisun Creek
flows
through
riparian forests.

Hungry trout ,
liquid lightning, flash
as stonefly nymphs dart
past brooding periwinkle,
blackberry groves,

exquisitely
twisting.


(25 July 2011)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Narrow Road



The narrow road
flows down the valley,
past hedge row, vineyard, orchard,

red farmhouses and
white mansions;

their black fences are lines
defining isolation

from the grey shacks decaying
where rough life once rejoiced!

I enter our little cemetery
where you wait
for my simple gifts…..

home-grown flowers,
a prayer,
a tear.

I’ll visit again
tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Enter the Sanctuary


Photo: Apple Tree in Spring, Steven Federle

To find love I must enter into the sanctuary where it is hidden, which is the mystery of God.
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation:

Deep in the tangle of branch and leaf
I move to the core, to the dark shaft
that draws life up from the muddy ground

to blooms sprung to being
by the ascendant sun,
open, imbibing morning light
like new wine, drunk with love.

Here I seek You
in Your green sanctuary,
hiding, gleeful,
anxious to be found.

(14 May 2012)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Pure Hope





“We are not perfectly free until we live in pure hope. For when our hope is pure, it no longer trusts exclusively in human and visible means, nor rests in any visible ends. “ Thomas Merton


Close the the gun’s edge
life is sharply
defined.

Clarity is achieved
when you have nothing left
but hope.

That’s when you realize
that your life stands
without any visible
means of
support;

like  a high-
wire walker,
you are
pure.

That’s why
you have the freedom
to stand between
the red rage

and the children.



(14 Dec 2013)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Alone


Alone
on this 4th of July morning
the sounds of sleep,
peace surrounds me.

Birds call, content
in the gentle, warm wind
of this summer day
dedicated to remembrance.

I can see you now
when I close my eyes.

I took you to the parade!

You were just two then,
clasping my hand
as the big firetrucks rolled by!

Amazed, smiling, happy.

Perhaps later today
I’ll find some flowers
red, and white, and blue
to cover your marker

to make you smile
and take my hand.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Invitation to Dream



Photo: Brian Federle 2017, Night Sky

Pain has an element of blank;   
It cannot recollect   
When it began, or if there were   
A day when it was not.   
 
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain   
Its past, enlightened to perceive   
New periods of pain.
 

Emily Dickinson


**********************************************

When I last  saw you
Your eyes danced with joy
and You filled my life
With hope.

But now you’ve gone
beyond my pale sight.

Oh, feel how
the knife twists in my gut!
Oh, weep with me my stinging tears!

Then come with me
as this darkness descends,

and together,
Let us dream.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Breaking Silence



Photo "Stream" Brian Federle, 2014

It is not speaking that breaks our silence, 
but the anxiety to be heard. Thomas Merton


In chilled twilight swells
the chorus overwhelming
echoing passion,

half of water, half  
of leafy bank, they fill the
night with lusty will,

persistent, straining
these marshland poets converge, 
anxious to be heard.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Because We Are Loved

Photo Brian Federle, San Francisco, 2008

“...we come into being because we are loved and because we are meant to love others.”
Thomas Merton, Honorable Reader: Reflections on My Work


Deep inside
my silent room,
I gaze
at nothing,

as beyond the door
in trees glowing,
green and glistening,
birds sing, spring-
mad, mated,
passion-played!

The sun’s rising,
cradling
Your risen
world,

and so I emerge. 

(2012, 2017)


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Golden Day, Emerald Summer


Mt Hood National Forest, 2014, Brian Federle

Golden day, emerald summer,
buds erupting
to green clusters
of sweet fruit –

so sit with me awhile
in the morning shade
as the sun slides
imperceptibly toward night

and see how small birds alight
on St. Francis as he blesses
all God’s green world with

life rioting, wind-
blown seeds,
weeds wedging into small,
narrow spaces between
slender blades
of tender spring grass;

and though
I cannot see you,
know that I love you
as I know
you love me.

So together
we’ll listen
as the morning
breeze sings
of life never-
ending!

Pentecost



When you left us
I saw how the clouds parted,
rent curtains,
as you cleared earth’s
drossy smear,
and passed into a heaven
bright beyond
our wildest imagining.

Bereft, fearful, we
shut tight the door
against wolves’ howling
and waited for you
to keep your promise.

At first it was a whisper,
the sea-ward wind
prying loose our
weak walls,

but soon the song rose, until
its power overwhelmed us
with chords of faith,
and, afire at last,

we spoke!