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

The City and Beyond ~ Four Poems – Part 4

At Home
~central Illinois

I've reentered the land of cornfields.
No pioneer trail preceded me here, only
A magic carpet of golden corn husks
And the wind-swept linen of a clear blue sky.

There is just one way for me to return
To a life lived among shattered sidewalks
Where the city's tangled paths twist and turn,
And that way is forever closed to me.

I lounge, rather, in the shade of an oak tree
Hoarding the last ember of the dark flame
I carried here with me.  Anymore
It's nothing but a sooty smudge

Inscribed on the palm of my hand.  Its meaning
Is clear, though.  It assures me safe passage,
Like the mark of Cain, only stronger,
Wiser, more interior.  Sleepiness

Whistles round my ears while, inside
The house, dust motes waken in a sunbeam
Dancing to the music of my brooding heart.
"Look, don't you see them glittering magically,

Caught in the web of early sunlight?"
Yes, but I can't help being the person
I'm supposed to be.  "Yet why here?
And not there?  Why now?  And not later?"

Because I've chosen to make my home
Here among these endless rows of corn standing
Stiffly at attention, in the tightest formation possible.
And because over time I've measured out my life

As a hike among these rows, headed towards
Peaceableness along a path stretching clear to
The horizon.  "I believe that's true," October says
Surrounding me with its warm glow.

Written by Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD
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