Gethsemane (Deibide Baise Fri Toin)

No hiding
But blood-sweat praying, biding
His time, per the Father’s will––
Still.

He upholds
The world and guards His sheepfold,
For enemies near and far
War

To destroy,
To corrupt by evil ploy
The ones for whom He will bleed:
Sheep.

8-19-2019

What is a Deibide Baise Fri Toin?

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Receive Tribute (Rondelet)

Receive tribute!
Command praise from your devotees.
Receive tribute!
If you hear it, bless them, O mute.
Lift them with your wooden hands; see
With your carved eyes their loyalty.
Receive tribute!

Receive tribute!
From those from death You have redeemed.
Receive tribute!
Life that lasts eternity through
We will gladly give You glory
We will trust You, our help and shield.
Receive tribute!

8-15-2019

What is a Rondelet?

Threadbare (Roundel)

Your years are for all generations.
Of old You founded the earth,
and the heavens––Your handiwork.
They will perish and You will yet stand.
They will all wear away like a garment.
Like clothing You change them, and they pass away.
But You––Your years never end.

Psalm 102:25c-28, Robert Alter

Heaven and time, earth and eternity:
Leaving its sheets of dryer lint behind.
Fraying hems and collars, holes in the knees:
Heaven and time.

Of old You wove them, each thread in line,
Broken in like a favorite pair of jeans––
Threadbare and holey, to its fate consigned:

You simply change them whenever You please,
Disposing of them when they’re long past prime.
But You remain, unchanged by the tearing seams of
Heaven and time.

8-2-2019

What is a Roundel?

Beneath His Wings He Shelters Me (Psalm 91)

Common Meter

Beneath His wings He shelters me
And there I will be safe.
He is my God; I trust in Him.
I will call on His name.

I will not fear the hunter’s trap,
Nor deadly sickness’ spread.
No nightmare dark nor arrow bright
Nor enemy I’ll dread.

A thousand fall beneath the plague;
Ten thousand more my war:
It will not reach as far as me
When my God says, “No more!”

His angels charged to guard my way,
To keep me in their grasp.
My feet won’t break on stony ground
But trample lion and asp.

7-29-2019

Darkness Is My Only Friend (Virelai)

Over me Your rage has passed,
Your horrors destroy me.
They surround me like water all day long,
they encircle me completely.
You distanced lover and neighbor from me.
My friends––utter darkness.

Psalm 88:17-19, Robert Alter

A warm, firm handshake
loneliness will take:
quiet.
No tiny spark breaks
darkness, for God’s sake,
silence!
I can barely make
out my hand and face.
Darkness!

Did You just forget?
Decide that You’d set
this ache
in my heart and let
me, full of regret,
fall away?
If I die, who’ll get
stabbed by bayonets’
heartbreak?

7-24-2019

What is a Virelai?