His Vision

I never saw the root of the real
In arboreal flare,
Nor witnessed this man walk on water,
Nor that one float in air.
 
I sat beneath the bodhi tree;
I felt my body itch.
Between the true cup and the false
I knew not which was which.
 
My eyes have never blown like fuses
Sparked black upon a wall,
No surge of sight or insight mine,
No whisper, and no call.
 
My thousand suns have been my twins,
My Beatrice, my wife,
My way to immortality
The living of the life—
 
No visage singed into a shroud
Or knotted in a tree.
A newborn in a swaddling-cloth
Was the vision given me:
 
Someday the faces round my sickbed
Will blur and superimpose
Into that single human Face
The visionaries know,
 
My humble human loves collected
And, for the first time, seen
Intensely, like diffraction
Narrowed to a beam.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

In preparation for the gathering in Abu Dhabi, I find myself asking why my conversations with the future Pope Francis so powerfully affected both of us.
Abraham SkorkaJanuary 15, 2019
Photo: iStock
Included on the list is John T. Ryan, S.J., who from 1989 to 1994 was an associate editor for development at America.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 15, 2019
Did you ever wonder why Jesus was baptized? What sins did Jesus have to repent of? Nothing.
James Martin, S.J.January 14, 2019
Tourists stand at Rome's Trevi Fountain Aug. 2, 2017. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)
"No one ever thought about depriving Caritas of these funds," Raggi told L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Jan. 14. "The diocesan agency plays an important role for many needy and for the city of Rome, which wants to continue to be the capital of welcome for the weakest."
Catholic News ServiceJanuary 14, 2019