Tag Archives: poetry

Acedia

Acedia:  spiritual or mental sloth; apathy

Monks in their cells in the Middle Ages
rose before dawn to pray.
Instead, they walked that narrow room,
     back and forth, back and forth, all day.
Some called this a sin,
     this rocking in their stiff chairs,
     the unwillingness to kneel, to pray.

The days of cloistering went on eternally, it seemed.

We've been sheltering for months,
the agitated monk inside us growing, growling,
longing to be free again.
Still he paces, frantic and passive.
Call it a sin.
Call it malaise, a fever.
Acedia has risen from the ashes
to mark this time.

Mary Elyn Bahlert
10/2020

for his birth-day

IMG_1036

Nothing like a bargain to make this guy happy:

two for the price of one!

His eyes shining, he snaps up extra boxes of cereal and jars of pickle relish   –                         how many will fit in the cart?

Hauls them home, proudly.

He’s like that with life, too –

can’t get enough of it,

as if it all came for free –

like me!

meb/07142017

Holy Moment

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We sat, together on the edge of your single bed,  in that narrow room.

There, you would die, within the year.

I told you that your little brother was dead:  “Uncle Pete died.”

Your green eyes filled with tears – I had seldom seen you cry –

a small sob escaped.

You were remembering, I guess,

those complicated years of disenchantment, and love.

 

In a moment your face cleared –  you smiled,

and laughed.

Gone.

 

 

Autumn, yellow

img_0905End of summer – now,
an early autumn.
Every morning, more yellow leaves
on the birch I watch to
mark the seasons.

Do you feel it, too? I ask, silent,
the silent branches.

With my senses I note passages:
another wrinkle,
calendar pages, turning quickly,
a certain fragrance – summer gone, fall here.

I watch the wind in your branches, longing:
Do you know it, too?

My companion:
together, we are moving quickly,
through time.

—meb 09/2016