Archive for April 23rd, 2006

St. George’s Day

St George, patron saint of England, gets buried under bigger beasts today, overshadowed by the Resurrection, Thomas’ affirmation of faith, and the forgiving breath of God.

I thought the least I could do was uncover a 7 year old homily for St. George, though in truth I think it’s more in praise of dragons … and Ursula LeGuin.

1 comment April 23rd, 2006

Poems for the Easter Octave VII

A Letter from Brooklyn

An old lady writes me in a spidery style,
Each character trembling, and I see a veined hand
Pellucid as paper, travelling on a skein
Of such frail thoughts its thread is often broken;
Or else the filament from which a phrase is hung
Dims to my sense, but caught, it shines like steel,
As touch a line and the whole web will feel.
She describes my father, yet I forget her face
More easily than my father’s yearly dying;
Of her I remember small, buttoned boots and the place
She kept in our wooden church on those Sundays
Whenever her strength allowed;
Grey-haired, thin-voiced, perpetually bowed.

“I am Mable Rawlins,” she writes, “and know both your parents”;
He is dead, Miss Rawlins, but God bless your tense:
“Your father was a dutiful, honest,
Faithful, and useful person.”
For such plain praise what fame is recompense?
“A horn-painter, he painted delicately on horn,
He used to sit around the table and paint pictures.”
The peace of God needs nothing to adorn
It, nor glory nor ambition.
“He is twenty-eight years buried,” she writes, “he was called home,
And is, I am sure, doing greater work.”

(more…)

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