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Posts Tagged ‘monastic’

The long rain, grey,
Has dissolved a fragile distance.
With the wind, it comes and goes.
A silent room, a flutter of words.
A curl of incense, a bitter tea, warms and dries.
Perched above joy and sorrow
A ribbon road turns endless,
With only two steps,
Left and right.

A monk dips his quill.
He has become half-uncial.
A steady curve delights,
One syllable at a time.
A river of knowing
And forgetting.

Though the skin he writes upon
Is his own,
A compassed scratch,
A foliate curl,
Heroditas, Avicenna, Merlin.
A history of mirrors,
A rotated wheel.
A willowed sigh,
This river ink.

—-

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4
(Nones)

Swallows dancing
At the eaves:
An architecture
Of song.

Round worlds:
Nests take
The form of heaven
The form of earth.
Lined soft,
Down heartbeat,
Safe and sound.

6
(Compline)

A perfect moon
In a perfect sky:
Perfect hymn,
Perfect prayer.

All night
In dew-wet fields
Lambs call to their mothers,
Mothers to their lambs.

On shrouded paths:
Solomon’s seal,
Lily of the valley.
Simple grace.


The original Hours of Prayer were seven, but over time some combined together, like Matins and Lauds at sunrise, and some seem to have been dropped, or abbreviated, like the Vigils throughout the night. We are poorer for some freedoms. The rhythms and tides of quiet attention lock us into a humbler being within the world.

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