Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The stone pillow

The stone pillow                                                                                       

The stone pillow of Saint Francis,
the sting of snow under his feet,

his empty belly, the tender stigmata –  
all he took to be blessings

because they kept him
from going back to sleep.

I have not been a lover of God
but a lover of comfort and conformity.

A stone pillow is so discomfiting!
It will not bend to the contours of my dreams.

Yet there is a certain attractiveness to it,
(within the dark cave of my solitude)

a silent, loyal simplicity and immutability
I must learn to lie down with

until my shape conforms, my dreams cease
and I awaken like Francis to the truth of myself.

O child of God, when you rise from that pillow,
the Mystics say, you will never go back to sleep.

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