HERMITS OF BETHLEHEM
Chester, New Jersey
Beyond the threshold is silence.
Stillness suffuses like light.
The world outside is spinning.
Summer flames at its height.
Solitude is a boon companion.
Self-knowledge climbs like a sloth.
The bed is spare, a thin beard.
The rocking chair is a moth.
Dig in a cave in darkness.
Toss out handfuls of soil.
Bake bread in your heart, an oven.
Bring steaming thirst to a boil.
Listen for the least word of power.
Pierce yourself with a sword.
Afternoon deepens day shadows.
The sun is a violent lord.
Dusk emanates blood-red rays.
All trials in an instant will pass.
Gaze upon woods colored jade.
Dream dreams of emerald grass.
Originally published in The Penmen Review (July 29, 2015)