Come Away, Quietly

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

  It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

  It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil


From “God’s Grandeur” By Gerard Manley Hopkins


I am at an age to be at odds.

The lines in my books look dense,

The pitch of the typeface, small.

The tome tower of unread wisdom is getting tall.

When did the cadence of my speech

Become so repetitious?

Suddenly, my vocal melody

Sounds like a gramophone skipping.

Bored, my Soulfulness

Has doffed his toga, donned a fedora

And leaped to a train, fleeing town.


He has yet to post me a poem from abroad.

Coming into view, I doubt that you,

My passing crowd, expecting a recital,

Will gather near to hear me…Gasp!

Sad. No?


No asylum.  Please.

Let me find a sheltering tree, then lie in rest awhile.

Not here.  This retreat is teeming.

God crooks His crozier,

And all the vibrant vitae squirms,

Incessantly curling, as if to bait His hook.

The sedge grasses lilt to a humming,

Their golden threads tipping with purple.

I go still in my tracks.  The friars escape

By way of a meander they mow through the marsh.

Methinks, I’ll soon be out.

As I crunch the clover underfoot again (despite the bees),

Butterflies are wavering in all directions, making me dizzy.

The zig and zag of dragonflies invites a further vertigo,

But then I reach the lake.  Imposingly tall,

His back to me, another has reached it first.

Too late, I am not the beloved human here.


I hold my breath.

A cloud billow is poking along overhead.

Finally, I gasp!  If this other hears and turns,

He will snare me with awareness,

Seeming me for what I am:

Just another hurting heart, like thee.


Franciscan Retreat Center, Prior Lake, Minnesota

August 8-9 2015  Revision 8-19, 8-21, 9-1, 2015

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