While searching for a poem to pair with a presentation I recently gave, I came across this moving selection titled "Prayer," from Dana Gioia's outstanding collection The Gods of Winter (1991). It's a very Catholic poem that, in its honesty and authenticity, carries the intensity of a Psalm. This is a faith that is wrestling, searching, and not giving up.
Echo of the clocktower, footstep
in the alleyway, sweep
of the wind sifting the leaves.
Jeweller of the spiderweb, connoisseur
of autumn's opulence, blade of lightning
harvesting the sky.
Keeper of the small gate, choreographer
of entrances and exits, midnight
whisper travelling the wires.
Seducer, healer, deity, or thief,
I will see you soon enough--
in the shadow of the rainfall,
in the brief violet darkening a sunset --
but until then I pray watch over him
as a mountain guards its covert ore
and the harsh falcon its flightless young.
I also discovered that the great composer Morten Lauridsen set this poem to music. Enjoy:
“I found it sad that the pope has to defend himself,” Gerard O’Connell said this week on Inside the Vatican. “EWTN is based in the United States. Can not the [U.S.] Catholic bishops’ conference defend the pope on this?”
Maybe in this time of uncertainty, fear and doubt, it would be worth recruiting some young people like BTS, Greta Thunberg or Malala Yousafzai to officially join the pope in his fight for the future of our planet.