Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

Poet and Contemplative

“From the abundance of his spirit [the poet] pours out secrets and mysteries rather than rational explanation” (Prologue, The Spiritual Canticle).

“In contemplation God teaches the soul very quietly and secretly, without its knowing how, without the sound of words” (Chapter 39, The Spiritual Canticle).

In the spirit of St. John of the Cross, this blog reflects on the contemplative experience and the poetic experience, sometimes separately and distinctly, sometimes in common, as mutually enlightening.

I will also post to this blog, from time to time, my own poetry, with a short interpretive note attached.

~ Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD

Holy Thursday

Take this, He said—this tear-swollen ocean.  This skyThe size of a receding star and all the dark around it.This field of dandelions, their countless fists raisedIn imitation of the sun, worshipping its warmth.This whiskey-colored forest floor distilled from tonsOf pinecones.  This poem that St. John of the CrossUsed to called his Eine kleine Nachtmusik—“goodFor fanning
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Two Paschal Poems

        Last year for Holy Week I posted four poems intended to mark the spirit of the Paschal Mystery, of the Easter Triduum.  I wrote those poems some time ago—in fact, quite some time ago—although I'm not sure why that matters.  The following two poems I also wrote some time ago, and they, too, are intended for these special holy days of the Ester Triduum. 
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Poems for Holy Week - 4 of 4

What the Angels SangAnd then he will send out the angels and gather his electfrom the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.    ~Mk 13:27If we were to start to tell their names, so many,One by one, the sky would soon fill with light, the treesAwaken, and the air wrap itself in folds of woolRound the rows of houses standing out in the cold.Soon it would happen .
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Poems for Holy Week - 3 of 4

At the Burial of Jesus You went and the hilltop shuddered, loosed of its burden.The air tastes of salt, here so very far from the sea.It is strange.  The waves are churning, the tide rolls in,The sun sets; very quietly and hastily we finish.Each goes off to his own house.  We do not say Good-bye.  Shall we meet again tomorrow?When we had sealed the tomb, when everyone living at that
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Poems for Holy Week - 2 of 4

At the CrossYour hands and arms are thrown wide, For you are trying to stand very still; there’s not much earthLeft to you, and what is burns like a torch.Smoke curls upward and disappears:We watch the day end.  Night droops like a tent; we tie down the flap.Now we must let our talk expand, let our dreams roam wide,Then return, stepping forth into the light.  We seeThe thought of them
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Poems for Holy Week - 1 of 4

Good Friday    1.The sun sets slowly, an eyeball of wrath, unblinking; Dogs begin to bark.  In a far corner of the worldA watchman ceremoniously lowers a flag and folds itFor the night.  He has done this before;He will do it this last time.  Then the long farewell Will have ended.  He who once was among us will have gone.    2.The wind picks up and
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