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

Poetry - 3rd in a Series


Nightfall

    1.

The moon is full, wedged in at the top of the hill.
Its floodgates open, and the golden
Landscape of day recedes
Receiving a river of innocence and awe.

A silver age follows,
An age of journeys into the night.

Tall trees sway and wave us on, stirred by the wakeful dead.
There is something miraculous
In the way we do not doubt
These moments are truthful and good.


    2.

One cannot go far enough to reach the center.
Again it slips away, over the horizon;
Again the world stands still.

It is what it is, and what it is and I
Turn from the sun. 

Stories speak of what will come next, of who
We shall be; bathed in moonlight,
They shine like water from within.  Their pace glides and glides,
A lake unseen at night.

Interpretive note:

       Those of you accustomed to reading poetry will find this poem rather straightforward.  It tries to capture the feel—the interior, spiritual texture—of the moment in which night falls, displacing day—that is, the moment, magical in its own way, of twilight, when darkness slowly displaces light. 
       It is a quiet moment that has a certain grace about it.  Of course, it foreshadows death.  But it also betokens the promise of God, present in creation, that there will be for us, and for all things, an existence ultimately victorious over death and decay. 
       The day’s activities, its preoccupations and concerns, slip from view.  There arises within us, in their place, an awareness of the Spirit, of he who is the Breath of the Transcendent, Holy, Mysterious God, Creator of all—he who is like night to us, yet is with us in all things, always.  Thus, we can go forward knowing the future lies in God’s keeping.


Written by Fr. Bonaventure, OCD
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