POETRY: Early Mass, by Thomas Merton

Early Mass, by Thomas Merton

(Saint Joseph Infirmary — Louisville)

There is a Bread which You and I propose.
It is Your truth. And more: it is ourselves.
There is a wickedness whose end is blessing.
Come, people, to the Cross and Wedding!

His are the mysteries which I expound
And mine the children whom His stars befriend.
Our Christ has cleanly built His sacred town.

What do the windows of His city say?
His innocence is written on your sky!
Because we think His Latin we are part of one another,
Together when I am away.

Come to the ark and stone
Come to the Holies where His work is done,
Dear hasty doves, transparent in His sun!

Gather us God in honeycombs,
My Israel, in the Ohio valley!
For brightness falls upon our dark.

Death owns a wasted kingdom.
Bless and restore the blind, straighten the broken limb.
These mended stones shall build Jerusalem.

Come to the golden fence with folded hands
And see your Bird, kneel to your white Beloved.
Here is your Father at my finger’s end!

The clouds are torn. Summon the winds of fall.
On street and water, track and river, shine, November!
Open the doors and own the avenue
For see: we are the makers of a risen world, the brothers of a new
Brown universe whose liturgy
Sweetly consumes my bones.

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