GOD'S SCENT 1971

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 15, 2016

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Submitted: January 15, 2016

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The scent of incense on the air
as I entered the church
from the cloister,

amissa anima,

monks gathered into choir stalls
at slow even pace
picked up breviaries
eyes closing,

the old monk walked
with an awkward gait
side to side
like an old ship
on a rough sea,

take me as I am she said
I wait for your entry
like the dawn the sun,

let us take our part
in the psalmody
that mind and voice
accord together Benedict said,

the book was heavy
with Latin and words
and history of prayers
and I held it with both hands,

dawn's light through high windows
the world outside sleeping
like a whore's slumber,

Dieu est le baiser de l'aube
the French monk said
that late afternoon
as we ate and drank
in the garth,

listen to your heart
for God speaks there
Dom Jospeph(dear Bunny)said,

Hugh thin-lipped chanted
the Latin as if it
were icy and cold,

ride me until the cock crows
she said laughing,

bell tower high above trees
always welcomed me
as I walked the drive
from the road,

nothing how little so ever it be
if it is suffered for God's sake
can pass without merit
in the sight of God
Thomas said(a Kempis),

hands cold I rubbed
together skin on skin,

the church bricks
looked yellow in the dawn's light
patches of blacks and grey,

those who lack the courage
will always find a philosophy
to justify it Gareth said
quoting Camus,

page after page Latin words
I read and sang
thinking of breakfast
and bread and black coffee
facing the high windows,

Gott ist das Zentrum
the Austrian monk said
as I picked apples that afternoon
in the abbey orchard,

taste my fruit she said
lick me dry,

the bell rang loud and clear
from the cloister
breakfast called and I was glad,

George sliced thickly his bread
and black tea without milk
as penance.


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