Flightlight

 

• • •

 

a white window of sky
—two feet by ten—
at the top of the wall of windows
that show just buildings

a stark tree
with only a few
December leaves
left on the branches

eight Canadian geese
soar diagonally
across the gray-white canvas
up, up,
and are gone

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
November, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
If

 

• • •

 

If
I
don’t
see
God
in
the
hummingbird
why
should
I
see
Him
in
the
Big
Bang
?

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
October, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
The Democracy of Grace

 

• • •

 

God’s Spirit
in each of us
binds us
together
in a hostility
to evil

and gives
us
a deep union
and
a new calm

radiant in laughter

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
September, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
Unquenchable Love

 

• • •

 

If I could only see you, Lord,
as you are
a wild Lover
intent on loving
absolutely
each beloved —
unless prevented
by the wild horses of an untamed
savage will —
I would know the desire
in your heart
and would beg
on my knees
each day
the grace
to tame
my savagery
and so
unbar the door
and let my Beloved
enter
the quiet stable of a bridled heart.

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
August, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
In the Midst

 

• • •

 

in the midst
of the smallest
of actions

You can reveal
yourself
TOTALLY
to us

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
July, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
We Always Hope

 

• • •

 

we
always
hope
that
yesterday’s
cross
will
be
our
last

but
Jesus
said
‘Each day...’

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
June, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
Pensée

If
God
could
have
frightened
us
into
being
holy
He’d
have
done
it
long
ago.

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
May, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
Have You Ever Wondered

 

• • •

 

Have you ever wondered
what our world
and universe
would be like if God
had no sense of humor?

Hilarious!

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
April, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
Mishap

 

• • •

 

a rock
from the mower
hit
one of our windows
in the passageway
joining the church
to the monastery

it spread out
into a star
crackling like a rose
but staying firm

the insurance
is still haggling
about who’s to pay
so we still
enjoy the new beauty

how typical of You
to make so small
a culpa
flower into radiance

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
March, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
February Snowfall

 

• • •

 

the last flash
of winter
dropped on us
last night
with all the delicacy
of powdered wool

it hung lightly
even on the willow branches
— those lithe tendrils
that hang in February vertically down
like Magdalen’s hair
ready for wiping tears

there is a poise
a stagecraft here
a gratuitous use
of the Artist’s brush
catching in the stillness
such brief and casual glory

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
February, 2006

DAVID ILLIG
Vita Humana

 

• • •

 

A student of mine
the other day
when asked in a test
how valuable
was human life
wrote

“Well if God in Jesus
chose to die
for each one of us
you can’t get
more valuable
than that.”

My adult mind
stopped there
scalded—
it was a thought
only a child
could handle.

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
October, 2004

DAVID ILLIG
The Hands of Christ

 

• • •

 

God gives a priest
the hands of Christ
to hold the staff
that leads and guides
His people.

God gives a priest
the hands of Christ
to break the bread
of Life to be
His body for His people.

God gives a priest
the hands of Christ
to know the nails of agony
fastened in loneliness to wood
by and for His people.

God gives a priest
the hands of Christ
raised within the shuttered room
to calm to strengthen and to bless
giving what they do not possess
God’s peace for all His people.

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
September, 2004

DAVID ILLIG
For Those

 

• • •

 

for those
who have been promised
at least
crucifixion
daily
ways are limited
for commuting
the pain

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
June, 2004

DAVID ILLIG
As I Have Loved You

 

• • •

 

to lay down your life
for each other
each day
in every need

to serve each other
each day
on your knees
— even when they bleed

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
April, 2004

DAVID ILLIG
Mary

 

• • •

 

the young girl gazes
at the dark still waters
of Siloe
her smile reflects the ecstasy
of her surprise —
surprise at her young self,
surprise at God,
at children, priests, camel-sellers,
camel-dung checkers, donkeys
and all the Temple turmoil
of being NOW and being alive —
she feels the calm of that full-shading love
that wraps her round
and in the shadow of this deep content
she knows what God's own power could do in her
at the appointed hour

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
March, 2004

DAVID ILLIG
The Mystery of Your Love

 

• • •

 

You guard the mystery of your love with darkness.
You fence it with the barbed wire of our doubt.
Our joy is always under threat from sadness
and sprawling minefields seem to say KEEP OUT.

For if you wooed our fickle hearts with sweetness
and vintaged all our harvests to persuade,
we would not know the gulf that must divide us —
the lovers— from the things the Lover made.

And so you share with us the tears, the blindness,
the mockery, the cries of pain, the nails.
Lest deep delight should prostitute your kindness
and our own love forego the leap it craves.

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
February, 2004

DAVID ILLIG
Among the Gentiles

 

• • •

 

but with you
it must not be so
for it is not so
with Me

Bethlehem
Nazareth
Gethsemane
where
as people minded their sheep
the galaxy
was repoured

and St. Louis
where
this noon
as you came in
out of the cold
a Star of David snowflake
on your sleeve
before it melted
perfectly
told all

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
January, 2004

DAVID ILLIG
Incarnation

 

• • •

 

Incarnation means that the
start of the world
was not just the slow
burst of a star
cooling through aeons
into the night
but rather a barely
conceivable moment
wombed on the darkened
rim of eternity
and costing God
— in giving birth —
His life.

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
December, 2003

DAVID ILLIG
Hoc Est Enim Corpus Meum

 

• • •

 

Take, all of you
and eat.
This is my Body.

Father, forgive them
they know not
what they do.

John,
this is your mother.

Father,
into your hands
I commend my spirit.

It is accomplished.

Mary!
Rabbuni!

Peace be with you!

one long
sentence of redemption
uttered
drop by drop
stalagmited
in time
etched
into the rock
of history

then
retemporized
at each mass

for the Savior’s intimacy
with each beloved

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
November, 2003

DAVID ILLIG
I Like the Still Days

 

• • •

 

I like the still days
in autumn
when the wind has died

and leaves drop
one by one
simply because they have to

their clinging power
of yesterday is gone
and in the sunlight
they go all the way

like late arrivals
singly
down to join
the concert-goers in the foyer

waiting for the buzzer
to call them
to take their seats
for the silent symphony
of winter
to begin

 

© Ralph Wright, O.S.B.
October, 2003

DAVID ILLIG