A Psalm of Lament, A Brief Lesson, and a Respond

A Psalm

Surely we are proud, O proud and mighty,
    haughty monkeys, barely from the plains!

The brachiated arm that threw the stone
    now pulls the lever, wields the gun aloft;

Opposable the thumb that thrummed the string
    now, upon a trigger, poised to kill;

The mind that opened wide the eye to see
    the rumble of the beast on the savannah,

Now contemplates the atom or the germ,
    a twisted helix now the herald of our doom.

The mystery of life, of death, its sweep
    the interval between barely a breath;

We’ve hardly ceased the lashing of our tails
    scraped the mud from these long wandering feet,

While in our hands we hold the burning reins,
    four eager mighty horsemen made
    of blood and steel and rage.

Pain is the song that burns. 

The struggle of our tale can now continue,
    until our truth be told we cannot rest. 

A Brief Lesson

WE are burdened here beneath the mighty towers we have made, bowed beneath the weight of expectations, the endless search for worth and worthiness. So heavy are the comforts we have heaped upon ourselves, tending them consumes our days and years. The judgments we have made, the absolutes, stone-cold imperatives that trail behind us like a mantle wrapped about; we soon collapse encumbered by our very selves, entangled by the chains of these mad hoards. What treasures we have gathered up and carried from our bondage, freely handed over by the masters who enslaved us! We are truly made of mud and straw. What flames may come and make us into pyres just to burn these needless things, turn our warring weary dreams to fields of rolling wheat.

Respond

What shouts and trumpets soon will ring
    to raze these fair walls surely to the ground?

Step by step we march this quiet desert ‘round;
    To look for truth among the endless sands.
O dreadful silence, here among these ghostly tents,
    Where once we wandered endlessly
‘til none recalled who still had breath.

(c) 2016 Karekin M Yarian, BSG

"Behold, Your Mother"

“Behold, your mother.” With a single phrase, Jesus gives the Church into the care of his most Holy Mother, and calls the Church to care for her…to take her in…in the person of the Beloved Disciple.
 
The Blessed Mother, Mary, is the only singularly human person who never failed to do what God desires. As we follow her from Gabriel’s Annunciation and her assent to God’s plan of salvation, through the years of care devoted to raising a child destined to be the downfall of many, we at last find her by the foot of the Cross. And it is here, in this moment, that Christ urges from the Cross that she take us as her own children with the words “Behold your Mother…woman, behold your son.”
 
If you seek and study the faith of the early Church, it becomes clear that Mary’s role in salvation is deeply graven in the heart of our Christian story, and it is to our detriment that we lose sight of Mary’s central role in the Incarnation. Contrary to what we hear, over and over again, The Blessed Mother is a whole lot more than merely a nice Jewish girl who gave birth to the Messiah. She is truly the Mother of God.
 
While no power in heaven or on earth can separate us from the love of God, Mary can indeed bring us closer. She is Daughter, Mother, Spouse to the one holy God. She is the New Ark of the Covenant. The first Ark contained the tablets of the law, Aaron’s Rod bloomed in to flower, and Manna that had fallen from heaven to feed God’s people. So while that Ark contained the commandments, the staff of the priesthood, and bread from heaven, so likewise did Mary carry within her the Lawgiver who gave us a new commandment to love one another as he had loved us, our great High priest, and the bread from heaven that feeds and satisfies us to eternal life.
 
Mary is the highest reflection of our agency – our human will – in response to God’s call to faithfulness. She didn’t merely consent to God’s Incarnation through her flesh, she gave assent…her “fiat” that it should be done to her according to God’s word. And it was. She is the first Tabernacle, the proto-Church, and it is she who gave her very flesh to God with Us!
 
Now, at the foot of the Cross, can any sorrow be compared to Mary’s watching her Son and the hope of Israel be put to death? Do you imagine that having him taken down from the Cross and anointed for burial, that Mary might have had to endure the cloying scent of cassia and nard and death on her hands for days as a reminder of her grief? “Behold, your Mother.”
 
Do you think that she did not weep that he wore a crown of thorns rather than the crown of the Kingship of Israel or the crown she had plaited and woven for a wedding day that now will never come? “Behold, your Mother.”
 
Do you think for a moment that our own doubts when it comes to the faith we profess aren’t mirrored deeply in the eyes of one who watches her Son thirst in agony on the Cross? Do you think for a moment she may have doubted Gabriel’s word that day that he told her “The Lord is with you, favored One?” “Behold, your Mother.”
 
All of our journey as faithful Christ-followers is to be found in the life and works of Mary, his Blessed Mother, and now ours. For if Christ is our brother, then how can Mary not also be our Mother? Given to us and we to her by Christ from the Cross, let us recall a lowly handmaiden who has been exalted by God for faithfully saying yes, until and beyond an ignoble end on the Cross that is itself, even yet, a beginning which we are at this moment incapable of fathoming.
 
Like at the beginning of our Christian story, I imagine Gabriel standing behind Mary as she watches her Son’s life pour out in pain. Here’s how I imagine what is in her heart:

She is the mother, reaches for a vessel;
Pours out wine upon the ground and prays
For water pure to wash away the foulness
Of death, to wring a river from a linen shroud.


Even Gabriel beside her weeps,
Cannot tell her not to be afraid, he chokes
Upon the tide of pain that washes up,
A flood of gall that rises in his throat.


What difference between swaddling and a shroud
When a mother’s hand has wound them both
And stained them both with tears of joy or pain? Or
That by a carpenter’s skilled hand the frame was built, 


Both the manger and the cross made to receive him
Unforeseen? There’s no small irony.
Her face she lowers to the ground, and prays
For a swift hail of stones to end her pain.


Here these two in sorrow stand, old friends
Whose memories swirl around the air like ash
Or dust shaken from the scrolls where prophets’
Shadows wait, smile knowingly and sing. 


Wait, O Lady, patiently, to bear him.
For he shall bear you also to the throne.
And in these final hours while your grief flows free
Take sweet Gabriel’s hand and weep for me.
 
My Sisters and Brothers – Behold, your Mother.
— Br. Karekin

Benedictus (on Good Friday)

BLESSED be the folds of flesh which part
    in invitation to the tent of meeting; 
and blessed be this rain of suns descending
    down which lays us bare. There are no words
    to speak of this anticipated moment, 
when terror and our hope become like one; 
    and the spirit humble moans, cries out, 
    or wails a wordless song, recalling. 
That this inhuman light should salve, 
    should clothe, should heal us is un-nameable; 
or that our mighty falling-down should be
    undone by hope, destroyed by love; 
unspeakable, the weight of it, its truth, 
    borne by one whose light is from
    a new pierced side poured out. Feed us
your raging heavens until everything within
    is turned into a hurricane of ash. 
Restore this hopeless city of un-knowing, 
    upon whom light has risen fair enough
to soothe the dead and free our merely living
    from this prison dark. Until all is new illuminated.

(c) 2016, Karekin M Yarian, BSG

Apophasis

People sometimes tell me they think I'm a good person. That's nice. Thank you. But I'm not sure really what that means?

I am no better or worse than any other person. Sometimes I do good things, and sometimes I don’t – regardless of my impulses. It's a good thing none of us gets what we deserve...sometimes. 

I am a person of deep belief in God, even though I act sometimes as though God isn’t there. 

I am not one who gives in to anger, believing as I do that it is of secondary importance to what I’m really feeling just behind it. And yet, sometimes I get angry.

I am someone who lives for family, even though I don’t always know how to act towards them.

I am surrounded by friends and occasionally feel lonely. I'm a pesky introvert.

I am a Virgo and yet only sometimes act like one – and I don’t even believe in horoscopes.

I am an Enneagram six, even though yesterday I thought I was a nine and tomorrow may be something different. Because I am not the same person I was yesterday, either literally or metaphorically. 

I am true to myself, even though I often act differently depending upon who I am with and where I am standing. Yet, I am not a chameleon. I am not merely an impulse. Maybe it’s just the moment that changes.

I am neither a nihilist, nor am I a fatalist. And yet I hold firm to the belief that we are not rewarded simply for good behavior as religionists believe. And I believe that prayer is often answered with a resounding “No.”

I do not believe that God saves us from calamity just because we ask, because there are many who pray and are not saved, and I cannot believe that my prayers are better than theirs.

I have learned over long years of my life about what I want for myself. This is largely due, through trial and error, to learning about what I do not want.

I have made many mistakes and have somewhat fewer regrets and, yet, I believe that none of them were in error if they have led me to where I am today. 

This way of thinking about myself and the “who am I?” is in part due to the way I have learned to think about God and all of the other mysteries of life of which I am but one and with which I am entirely One.

I have learned that the moment we speak about what God “is” then we must be required to write that definition on a list of those things which God is not. Because we are simply incapable of knowing and naming that which is beyond our ability to comprehend.

As much as God may be said to be revealed, God must also be said to be hidden behind the veil. 

I have made much in my spiritual life these days of the sense that God is in the void waiting to be found. And that the void requires us to leap – leap into the great abyss that is the human heart.

For the greatest distance for us to fall, is the distance between our head and our heart. Into that great waiting space that steps outside of what we think and what we know and what we think we know.

It is there that God may be found, and once we do, we shall never be able to put words to what we find. We shall simply have to be content with silence.

God may be One. And God may be Three. And God may be the three hundred and thirty million of the Hindus. And maybe, God is even Zero. I think God doesn’t get mathematics.

God is order and chaos and stillness and the roaring of a ravening lion. God is…

If I cannot, after 51 years of life, figure out who I am… how then shall I have the audacity to claim to know what God is.

My religious tradition may provide me with a vocabulary, and just as often as they give me comfort and a way of visualizing the One, Holy, and Living God – they also fall silent when my experiential glimpses of the Divine Life scream out “No! This is not enough. This is not what God is!”

So, let me be clear.

I am deeply happy and grateful for my life, even though I often complain.

I am deeply happy with my faith, even though at times my doubt weighs heavily upon me. Not that I doubt God (even though I often do) but that I doubt my faith.

But I would rather spend my life living in the tension between recognizing what I am not before being prideful about who I am. I had nothing to do with it.

And I would rather spend my life uncovering the richness of what God may be, by rejecting those things I say that God is the very minute the words leave my mouth. And, even still, I will go on talking about God because that is my nature and my duty, and my vocation. And so, my list will get longer and longer and longer.

And one day, after this negation runs its course, I hope to stand in complete awe and wonder at the recognition that both God and I are so much more than I would allow myself to believe in my short sightedness. 

That we are here at all is miraculous, or maybe, simply, a happy coincidence.

But as a good friend used to say, “a coincidence is nothing more than a miracle where God chooses to remain anonymous.” 

I don’t believe a word of it.

 

Palm Sunday

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behold, this passage
through a joyful land,
where the sun-song sweeps

across the downy fields,
and, although still unseen
but for the blue of sky

the stars rain praises
soft upon the ground
in honor of the daylight’s sway.

and all the many leggéd beasts
gather at the roadside whispering
in triumph and anticipation,

while all the spinning colors
of a vibrant day
conspire to weave kisses in the air,

one for every hope and every wonder,
and one for every memory of
an autumn reign, into a noble crown.

here shall the glory pass by softly.
here shall the glory pass by swiftly,
on his way up to the gates of promise.

behold, this passage
through a joyful land,
on this roadway

where the beasts of burden shuffle.
here, where a thousand longing
pilgrims have gone down before,

the laborers of the
field stand
breathless, waiting,

to catch a glimpse of fire
in the face of something new
and unexpected, and bid welcome

in anticipating wonder
to that which lay
long hid, behind the veil.

“hosanna!”

behold, this passage
where the sun comes singing
down a narrow way,

and the stones weep
kissed by dawning, and the branches bow
in the hands of a long-suffering people

in rhythm to the sound of footfalls.
here shall the glory pass by softly.
here shall the glory pass.

“hosanna!”

(c) 1998, Karekin Yarian, BSG

A Psalm of Grief

For the children of Syria

Homs, Syria

Homs, Syria

What maddened wagging of our tongues is now,
so soon, to an unlikely bellows turned; The battered houses of this city, razed, by some dross burning fire, until none.

Whose eyes will gently gaze upon our fault,
our barren, grievous mischief now consider?
We burn in riots what we think we're not;
what remains undone, or done ill-heeded,

And still this battle in between our truth
and who we want to be, the aspiration;
'Til all is ash, and unattended blows
now meaningless into the hungry sky,

Where redemption whispers silently,
pleads for us to change our wayward course. 
Will you remake us in these broken days,
or even care that we should be knit back,

Should be refashioned with the world
this broken thing that we have wrought?
This barren river bed, I taste her dust;
I sing her croaking song from this dry mouth.

Unintended as we are, we still remain
fenced off from the world that turns about,
While your roaring wind, which scours, parts;
heaps our dust into divided landscapes.

Fashion, from these bones, a new thing
or, better yet, restrain my ceaseless clattering.
What of the grave, the stone,
or of what use the wailing song;

The unremarkable last gasp,
or the utter silence of our leaving?
I know I must begin again or merely end;
view the varied paths relived

In the terror of that long and darkly moment
when my eyes shift closed in restless death.
Regret I will remember, or the joys of love;
as I try to find the balance of the scale,

To seek the tally of these finite, ordinary days,
their pitiful and soon forgotten sum.
Beneath our veiled lives, a deep unspoken thing,
our efforts spent remembering, forgetting.

What light suffuses us in these last labored breaths
that confounds our lonely, ever-present, sun;
Whose contemplation of our fault is surely less essential
than some unruly love that waits reply.

(c) 2017 Karekin M Yarian, BSG

Compline - A Song for the Dying

 

 

 

The following is the Compline Prayer from a full length piece I've been working on since 2014. The full piece is called "Breviary: A Poem of Some Reverence." The Compline Office is a reflection of what a peaceful death might look like, and is structured along the lines of the traditional Monastic Office. It is one of my favorite segments, that contains the fullness of faith, doubt, and hope of a life one hopes was lived fully. - Br. K

 

 

Compline - A Song for the Dying

Opening Verse
Night, sweet rest, abide with us,
as these eyes close against the longest dark,
      let peace blessedly remain.

And so, at last we come to the inevitable tale:

A Brief Lesson
AMBLE through these gates, we’ll wash our hands of transient things. There is a singularity that echoes here against the ground that gently heaves beneath us, while the emptiness above is undisturbed, untroubled by the time that passes swiftly by. The breath-rattle of the turning clock-hand, the keening of the drying river bed; each step toward the future is a moment soon reduced to just one limitless yet barest of essentials. Our winter stretches yawning wide against us, while these unequalled hearts unbind from all the knowing they once thought they knew. Death is no beginning nor an end, when all that was comes back to us again.

What will help us face the death of light now faded
      whose dancing day, rejoicing, sooner ends.
And so, we say our prayers, proclaim our fate:

Our Father in heaven…
REVEALED, you forging light, refiner
      of the rawness of our being, purge and claim.
Within these perfect flames of love,
      you fire-song, you dancing tongues
of majesty, consume me.
You descender of the depths, you setting star,
      you gliding all-illuminator here beneath,
our hope in dark, or chariot seat of endless
      and unnumbered days; what farewell suffices
to attend the one who bears away
      our sorrow, burned to embers that these
hearts now swiftly dance with death.

I speak the truth aloud so you may know me!

Confession
I AM a wandering soul
      from the beginning of the world,
untamed spirit here beneath my
      tattered clothes, and this fraught skin.
Wild and unruly thing and wayward
      among the countless and unnumbered
choices I have made, yet am I
      now unknown, unknowable?
How shall I confess that I have now
      only discovered what I am, my truth,
      as these eyes now grow dim in death?
While this heart remembers — deeply
      reckons — that I am merely ground
on which your playful spirit dances,
      let our feet entangle out upon
this fertile plain, among the untamed
      ghosts of my own mothers and
my fathers— from whose unforgotten
      dust now springs the swaying grass.

That these bonds be truly broken,
      tethered as we are to this unbounded earth,
this fleeting momentary story we inhabit;
      and so be free to drink the cup of mercy
now poured out before us.

Upon these lips, the murmur of a truth, unspeakable,
      which will be heard before
            the homing flight of hearts.

Glory not our own but dimly inward, upon the face of one borne homeward, eager. Glory in this quiet fire, calling. As it was upon the Sun’s face. As it is. Ever glorious circling round again.

The Psalms
ANT: Language, our silence wants enough.

That these waiting graves may speak,
      give us a final word, a comforter,
Even as we ready to descend
      into the welcome of their dreadful walls.

The final song we cannot sing
      but is sung on our behalf by wailing
      women and the weeping earth.
Yet, you are there in that chill end;
      in the song, impermanent, which runs

Into the mouth of this ground sooner filled,
      by the river that, eternal, runs beneath.
It is enough, then, to be finished?
      Our glorious end is so like our
      beginning but more hushed.
It is enough, then, to be so received,
      whose ordinary faith is now remembered
      no more remarkably than whom had none.

Let us continue with a psalm of rest:

Gentle guardian, in this endless deep
      no bitterness or need within me find.
Green fields call where flesh is truly eased,
      a reverie, a quiet river, resting.

Whose spirit quickens, and the path of life
      before me opens true and right.
Death waits, a patient specter, in the shadow
      while quietly I leave behind
      the evil that we do, that I have done.

Your gentle lead, is purposeful,
      unfolds in light, a truer peace proclaimed.
Fix these tired eyes on the abundant earth,
      among the fretful raging and the fearful.

Anoint this head with soothing rain upon me,
      your waves of presence, gentle, fill me full.
While what I am, and what I still remain
quietly departs these fragile bones,
      I trust the long resounding echoes speaking:

Of mercy, truth, the life, the good that beckons
      as my heart finds anchorage in blazing light.

And so a final psalm at last to praise you:

You are not these stars,
      this deep and unassailable dark;
Nor the ground that waits beneath
      the soles of these long-traveled feet.

You are not this frail flesh;
      these brittle bones that rest.
You are not this ceaseless round
      that spins and spins and turns;

Nor the light that’s finally departed,
      not heaven’s mighty waters deep above,
      nor these waters here below.
Beyond these realms of life, of death,
      these varied things, these words;

Beyond this kin, this violent strain
      or this life-given flesh that dissipates;
Receive this breath as I did once.
      receive it in your mouth with
      one last kiss. Goodnight.

Glory not our own but dimly inward, upon the face of one borne homeward, eager. Glory in this quiet fire, calling. As it was upon the Sun’s face. As it is. Ever glorious circling round again.

ANT: Language...our silence.

What song shall I now long to leave behind?

A Hymn
FORGIVE that I’ve been ill equipped to love.
A ceaseless gong, a clanging, selfish thing.
But in these days, the ways that I have learned
I’ve tried to love as near as I’ve been found.

I’ve bathed in beauty, washed my senses clean,
Sought nothing but the joy that life can spare.
Was it enough? Who knows what hope has fixed?
Yet, here, all fails when I confront your name.

Upon this bank, beneath these trees, I sing.
In this still stranger land your song I find,
Even as these waters rise to claim me,
Remembering your word is love returned.

What worthy tale do we now leave to those who wait?

A Brief Lesson
YOU redeeming flood, wash over me; until I am submerged and I am drowned. Until I am consumed. I am in the belly of a fish. I am in the belly of a man. I am in the green stalk of the ground. In these grazing pastures. Beside the shepherd’s tent. In the belly of a woman whose left hand beneath her head now rests. Until some part of me is soon reborn in these low hills. In this village that we gather in. In this place where flocks and herds, grazing, are not harried. Over and again may I rise up. Until the hungry poor are satisfied and I am scattered by the wind.

Still our reaching hands below the arc of this mad sky.

Among the swaying lanterns
      in the orchard we now dance,
gathering spent arrowheads in baskets
      from the softened ground.
Beneath the wings of these red flickering tents,
      these rueful spirits into hands are offered,
as the scent of apples gently kisses
            these our singing lips.

Nunc Dimittis

ANT: That I may softly sing away
      the last of these, our dying;
even as the light departs
      from my once watchful eyes.

TO WHOM do we now quietly belong?
      Whose hearts, whose song, or eyes
around which the curtains now are drawn?
      We are not…I am not truly mine.

This heritage of stars, this salted earth,
      our en-fleshed dignity - a mere mote that dances
      in the shaft of one entrancing Sun; whose then?

You radiant light come down,
      you whispered word in this abyss,
a beating breathless welcome in the breach;
      what use, when all is yours, to then surrender.

As these veils from these eyes now are lifted,
      we depart together this vast island;
let us raise in peace these last white flags
      that you may find us as we are, victorious—
      in joyful sweet defeat.

ANT: O, that I may softly sing away
      the last of these, our dying;
even as the light departs
      from my once watchful eyes.

Suffrages
What mercy may be found is truly found.
      What has not was never really ours.
Close these eyes, that we may see
      that light revealed alone in darkness.
There is no sorrow-song
      along this winding path.
Well done, you faithful one,
      whose eternity now swiftly comes.
The ghosts of every one outcast receive
      the coming home of this our wayward son.

A Collect
O HUSH that blankets us before the stream; ease us gently down into these waters, that we, who drink from these last restful moments, may be refreshed by one who passes swiftly by the shore of this eternal hour, who bears us through the gentle hills until the golden city comes to pass.

Be with me, you dazzling light, a comfort
      to guide these homebound hands that reach.

And so we ask for blessing:
Beneath the dome of endless night; bless.
Beneath the stone, this heavy rumbling earth,
      within the womb of death, of life; bless.
Blessed. Be. One. Waiting.

MOTHER, in whose arms we rest, whose cords of life entangle in the soft loam of this ground; free us as we tumble toward those blazing suns.

So, now end our prayers
      ending, as we must, from where we once began:

Our Father in heaven…
REVEALED, beholder of our depths,
      in-breaker of these hearts— receive
this life-torn body in the grave. Drink
      our story deeply, eat the bitter tale of us,
alone and not alone, among these
      beautiful and weary bones now feast.
You banquet table in the ground
      of souls, you offering of flesh
or wine-spring pouring out from
      the above; what of your
truth which dares to brush
      the lips like bread; the truth which
hums, recalling, you whose gentle
      mercy is discovered re-creating
in the low-laid earth; speak your
      word into these open mouths.

Hail Mary, full of grace…

MY LOVE is in between these words, is
      in the pause, the silence of an empty
house, a story — left behind for those
      who in these haunted waters wade.
Behold, you pleasingly beloved.
      The skies will soon burst open.

What do I believe?
      To what will I lay claim in this last hour?

A Creed
I BELIEVE that love is just the end of self,
That there’s always one more threshold,
That resting in you feels like ending, and it is.
That no matter where I am, I am,
      that you are also there.
That death is just as good a myth
      as I think I’ve ever heard,
That I will never have the final word.

That surrender is a love’s truest companion,
That the void is never empty, but is filled
      with particles of sweet unending grace.
That we always re-create those things
      we think we’ve tossed away.
That there is always one more thing
      that we’ve forgotten to consider.
That the light always abides with us
      in the dark - somewhere.
That to change one’s mind is all it takes,
      the heart will follow swiftly.
That this life is enough. It is enough.

That love and justice will outlive us all,
That we are wrong more often than we’re not.
That an apology is a such small thing to be owed.
That the arc of justice bends toward now,
      and that truth doesn’t belong only to us.
That you are a doorframe in the dark.
That you are a book, a page, a word.
That you are a bell jar.
That you are a spoken thing.
That you are an endless gasp.
That you are a round face, laughing.
That you are all this foolishness and more.
That you have found me.
In this dark.
In this light.
Finally.

(c) 2016, Karekin M Yarian, BSG

Hail Mary

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MY DEATH is on the page, is in the book,
is on the shelf, is in the house, a tale –
ribbon marked in red by father’s calloused hands
freshly from the plow, a virgin field,
in the hour when enough was never quite.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace…
 
MY LIFE is wrapped in rags and straw
in the grain in the mud in an old pine box;
the bray of beasts, a mournful tune whose price
has now come due, and fearfully is whispered
as a mother’s grieving voice within
an upper room now locked and bare illuminated;
where death's sore song is gravely now intoned.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace…the LORD is with thee…
 
MY HOPE is in the spear of light, the
thunder-roar, the whispering that,
over and again, softly in an open mouth, says,
“be not afraid,” the sword-pierced
heart that trembles, quickened as a deer
that flees the arrows; the sweet and tender
sorrow of our mad and ranting prophets
who foresaw another glory altogether.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace…
 
MY NAME is in the hammered stone,
the broken bread, the wounded flesh,
the jug of wine poured out upon the ground;
oblation for the saints who hover waiting
while bells recall a low-born handmaid, weeping,
begging in the gutter for a crust of bread to eat.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace…the LORD is with thee. Blessed art thou…
 
MY SUFFERING is in the bread, the fragrant oil,
the salt that sows upon this toiling ground;
a mouth parting gently to receive
a hungry kiss with worthless silver bought; while
there beneath a concrete bridge she sits and weaves
a crown for a forgotten wedding day.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace…
 
MY GLORY wears a mantle of blood-roses
twined with thorns, or yet a shroud
of linen finely woven and perfumed;
whose barbs so prick the thumb, or threads
do bind the root of this tongue sweetly.
Be it done. To me. According to your word.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace…the LORD is with thee. Blessed art thou among women…
 
MY PEACE is freedom bought, our price
the patient gaze, an old man’s eyes that
loving rest on beauty’s perfect face,
the darkening words of prophets in
a mother’s ear depart;
whose sleep will these long valleys fill,
and these low mountains blanket
with soft flowers, tender blooming.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace…
 
MY LOVE is in between these words, is
in the pause, the silence of an empty
house, a story — left behind for those
who in these haunted waters wade.
Behold, you pleasingly beloved.
The skies will soon burst open.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace…blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
 
(C) 2016 Brother Karekin Yarian