Friday, May 8, 2015



If a jar of wine is left in place a long time, the wine in it becomes clear, settled, and fragrant. …So you, too, should stay in the same place and you will find how greatly this benefits you.—Evagrius Ponticus, Philokalia

Solitude has come to roost on the window sill.
Flapping his wings, he alights,
Tilts his head slightly, left, right,
Looking inward, studying the past,
Investigating experience,
Peering at conscience,
Surveying the world.

Peripatetic, he asks the eternal questions.
Thoughts stream in as shafts of light between
Trees standing among truths freckled by shadows.
Answers, always partial
Always come,
Sparkling in a box of stars
Or glowing like the moon.

He attains a brook, freshly, soundlessly flowing
Uphill, roundly wholesome, utterly speckless,
Nestled atop high inaccessible
Mountain reaches. Glassfuls of water
Bring not forgetting but understanding,
Memories revolving slowly,
Uncanny clarity of a magical goblet,
Bestowing peace, oil poured into wounds.

Originally published in Thought Notebook (April 9, 2015)

He attains a brook, freshly, soundlessly flowing uphill…


  1. The poem alludes to the river of life-giving water in Revelation 22:1-2 and to the river Lethe in Dante's Purgatorio.


  2. There are...people who are called to live in hermitages, either short term, or long term because they know that only God can heal their soul.



  3. Photo courtesy of Van D. Clothier, Stream Dynamics, Inc.