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A blog dedicated to the Source of everything good.

Sunday, September 05, 2004


Poetry has had great significance in my faith journey. In rereading certain poems after years have passed, I find that the importations which pierced my heart before still move me. I have a sense of being seasoned by both life and these poems together.

I'd like to share some poems in hopes they may also be of significance to others. Starting off with Thomas Merton is like falling off a log; however, choosing just one of his poems is not so easy. Here is one that seems quite significant now, considering what's happening in the world:


Sweet brother, if I do not sleep
My eyes are flowers for your tomb;
And if I cannot eat my bread,
My fasts shall live like willows where you died.
If in the heat I find no water for my thirst,
My thirst shall turn to springs for you, poor traveller.

Where, in what desolate and smokey country,
Lies your poor body, lost and dead?
And in what landscape of disaster
Has your unhappy spirit lost its road?

Come, in my labor find a resting place
And in my sorrows lay your head,
Or rather take my life and blood
And buy yourself a better bed --
Or take my breath and take my death
And buy yourself a better rest.

When all the men of war are shot
And flags have fallen into dust,
Your cross and mine shall tell men still
Christ died on each, for both of us.

For in the wreckage of your April Christ lies slain,
And Christ weeps in the ruins of my spring;
The money of Whose tears shall fall
Into your weak and friendless hand,
And buy you back to your own land:

The silence of Whose tears shall fall
Like bells upon your alien tomb.
Hear them and come: they call you home.

From Selected Poems of Thomas Merton


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