Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Poem for The Last Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today we celebrate the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, the time after Pentecost.  What a long stretch it has been!

In my childhood years, this season was called the Trinity season, or as I thought of it, the long, green, boring season.  No interesting holidays.  Boring hymns.  Nothing to break up the monotony.

Now that I am older, I admit to often feeling the same way.  But I am also grateful for long seasons of time unpunctuated by drama.  It's an interesting contradiction.

Next week we have Christ the King Sunday and then it's on to Advent; I am ready for a season that reminds me of the importance of keeping watch.  After that, Christmas and Epiphany--in these dark times, it will be good to have a season of light.

These thoughts put me in mind of a poem that I wrote years ago, but I still think it holds up well.

Desert Dreams

We face midlife with Prufrock.
Midlife, that endless wait for Godot,
who might show up early or not at all.
Existentialism succors only the young.

And so, we, too, come to realize
what Eliot knew. At the last,
liturgy offers a consolation,
Compline a kind of comfort,
with its contrast to the sudden violence
of sunset. We remember the verses learned
by rote, repeat them to calm
our quaking, media-addled nerves.

Prophetic whispers surface from the sediment
of our days, a muddy
bit from Isaiah or the Psalms,
instructing us to comfort, comfort ye my people.
A voice crying in the wilderness
of our arid hearts, our desert dreams.  

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