Sunday, November 13, 2016

Harvey S. Mozolak

dark hued clothing
of the poor or chosen poverty
wrapped close
compact cocoon
hands hidden
undoubtably faithfully laced
neck bowed
face bent to the floor
eyes closed
cinctured by silent lashes
though one cannot tell that
but if they see
it is stone and earth and dust
knees together
bent like a crushed locust
whose spring must be souled
for its feet are flatted
arches overturned
the motionless body
an inverted chancel
belly and back
as low as can go
to creep begging eleison
kyrie before the altar
icon-ed in golden glow
illuminated by sand-buried tapers
among a score of tourists
snapping memories saved
on cell phones
like prayers during takeoff
for safe trips home
to lesser heavens

saint’s repose
Harvey S. Mozolak

he is to the side
of the altar where The Presence
is lifted in holiness
to be spooned to waiting lips
whispering Amens
many most go first
to the sepulchered side
where the bones of the saint reside
someone a cleric who saved the city
or some such thing
and there they light candles
and kiss the box that bears
his sacred remains
a woman enters with a priest
after making an offering
is one disparaging thought
but perhaps a parish member
who frequents this hour of prayer
where the Father unlocks the case for her
beneath are trays of medals
tiny icons
small sacred gifts
and tangles of piled prayer beads
awaiting answers
in repeated petitions
for less than a city-full of need
he then unfolds layers of brocade cloth
to reveal a place where the woman
can kiss and then several other places
for her lips as the coffin is closed
locked and then the line is freed
to again enter and see the darkened
alcove of death awaiting eternity
to the side
of the one who empowers
lesser hopes
and kisses us with bread’s given body
and the sweet wine of his blood shed
in the darkness of our need
the only flame that burns
beyond repose

Harvey S. Mozolak

kings are in charge
and the charges were
that he was no monarch
and in fact it was claimed
a usurper to the king
an undoer of the royalty of state
threat to the loyalty of priestly heights
attained by repeated sacrifice
and so he was given
a purple robe of forced guffaws
diademed with dripping bloodied barbs
driven to a throne that commanded
his breath to slowly cease
his trunk and limbs to limp and slump
become a stump of God
of thirty-three yet one eternal ring
there sceptered
with a spear axed to his heart
thus heaven charged
deep into all earth’s rebellions
the whole seditious lot
dying with him
to be free
and crowned sons and daughters
of the sole sovereign whose love
can never be drained
of its charge
and saving pole

Christ the King
Luke 23. 33-43

Dominum regnum
Harvey S. Mozolak

the skull
the chamber of the king
earth's throbbing thought beneath
God too shall not last

crucified with
advisers left and right
fellow accused of crimes
his, forgiveness
theirs, not knowing heaven
in what they do

lots to divide
the kingdom covering
or the rule of chance
the unclothed choice
at the shivering hill

scoffing and sour wine
God decantered acrid
king of bitter chosenness
label now eternity
at a peculiar place
for particular people
in this strange time of acerbic salvation

save yourself
to name aright and not to know
is to hold the cure
and flush it down the drain
with spittle

recall me
we wear alike the condemnation
his, an unjust sentence
ours, the deserving of our deeds
recall me King before you
this, my conviction:
censure me with your innocence

this day
with certainty
we will walk together bidden

to be unhidden in the Garden
my shame cloaking
your nakedness
thrown today over the throne
of holiness

Christ the King

unwounding is forgiveness
Harvey S. Mozolak

cross-stained with compassion
he is
for those who press pain like thorns
hammer hatred
and spear fear
into flesh

Lectionary 33
Luke 21.5-19

not a hair of your head
Harvey S. Mozolak

a tripping field
we walk across
rocks left like checkers
stumbling without the squares
and king-me row
chess figures disfigured
crown here
black miter fallen there
slotted parapet and white horse ear
stones and shattered stocks
plundered pillars
of a game which has no rules
no safe castling
en passant or resignation
except one
touch the ground
and you must move
the hand above
allows the play
soul without perishing

Lectionary 33
Luke 21. 5-19

the mighty loss and gain
Harvey S. Mozolak

a widowhood thrown over
the veil
a great city sadness
stepping stones stumbling
across the acropolis
of war-mounted
rocks strewn like abandoned play toys
in the fit of an angry child
or goods fallen from a cart
overturned in the marketplace
crushed by a charging chariot
into puddles of laundry
bath and toilet sewage
the smell
the stench
the only holding of them together

rich and royal
rectangular levels askew
a consideration askance
to eyes leveled by tears
and throats clutched by bubbles
of grief and fear
and hunger for table and Temple

one stone not upon another stone
memory caught like clothing
ripped on a nail…
unsealing death’s destruction
and setting the cornerstone
of a holy and civic vision
of the grave unstopped
peace unearthed
the resurrection army of angels
un-mortar mortality
and clay begins to live
and society with God
embodied in new mounted praise

Christ the King
Luke 23.33-43

Christ the crowned
Harvey S. Mozolak

when they came
to the place
that is called The Skull
a cranium of empty earth
thoughtless lump
lifted against the sky
cortical high hemisphere
drained of blood and life

they crucified Jesus
nervously nailing
spine to stem
as emotionlessly
as hammer kisses to a nail
above the crowd's scoffing curses
and soldiers' mocking
criminals, one on his right
and one on his left
forgive them, Father
they cannot understand
what they stand under
in condemnation and release
clothing now a game of gamble
for the covering
and winning of others

King of the Jews
the toast
with wasted wine
one crucified
who almost can no longer steal
any time at all
rides him rudely
the other giving back his last breaths
as rebuke to the remonstrance
and to request remembrance
is under the same condemnation
as God
but without innocence
do kings recall slaves who have begged?
servants who have bowed
and subjects who humbly pray?

you will be a blooming blossom
on the band of bloody blessing
flowering with me throned astalk
surrounding the garden of God 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

All Saints Day
Luke 6.20-31

Jesus looked up ... at his disciples
Harvey S. Mozolak

blessed are the less
least and nothing
for they are the more
of the God
who counts the greatness
of the empty

who are these who wear
the red-rinsed robes of righteousness
around the altar albed for praise
aproned in white kneeling in the dirt
at the feet of the poor and hungry
wiping the eyes of those who weep?

they are the hated, excluded, reviled and defamed

do not withhold from those who beg

even the bare basket is blessing
placed before
the God who is hated
cursed, abused
struck on the cheek
and stripped of good

as you would…
have has been done


the halo of humanity
Harvey S. Mozolak

God chooses as a halo
at night
for his Son
the Christ
a young woman
of the tribe of David
Joseph her betrothed
and shepherds
fresh from angel-covered hills
their hairy arms and wild wings
encircle the kadosh of God

God chooses as a halo
during the day
tax collectors and widows
fishermen and lepers
prostitutes and the persecuted
the hungry and the blind
their gnawing crying needs
encircle the hagios of God

God chooses as a halo
at noon
a mourning mother
frightened John
spear-armed soldiers
several cross-imprisoned thieves
and a cursing merciless crowd
their blood-soaked eyes
surround the sanctus of God

God chooses to dim
in the day of the Son
the hot haloing heilos
for the glare of grace in the nude
as the darkened earth trembles
at the good of God
pierced by evil
draining holiness
a blood flooding
the pus and poison of soil
and those who plow and plant it
for an unseen harvest
the hollowness of the furrow

filled with the hallowedness of God

Saturday, August 6, 2016

sabbath liberty
Harvey S. Mozolak

bondage to a back
eighteen years
with tendons tied
almost two decades
sinews sewn bowed 
a chunk of childhood
muscles muddled
or the wealth of youth
arthritis wrongness
or warped the choice of age
coiled crippling spirit
we wanted to tie
and bind to a day
when he couldn’t loose
eternity on the present
healing at disease
salvation for the imprisoned
a crook in the week
the sabbath God
at work
watering the thirsty
tethered to time
like mangered beasts

Lectionary 21

Luke 13:10-17

Thursday, August 4, 2016

division’s sum
Harvey S. Mozolak

three agains two
two against three

water swells
from the well 
of Names with the Name
far beyond the heavens
and rains the reign of God

baptism unites
the flood pools
drowns the stain
and spill of soil
and floats to dry land
a faith-shod people

led by pillars of clouds
and fire
and a sandaled righteous rabbi
at home praying 
between the columns
of the Temple
and walking
teaching and touching
limping beggars
the blind and diseased
beside the stoney paths
amid beaten lives
at village funerals
and among the demonized

his baptism joins
him to us
his he said
much after 
Jordan with John

I have a baptism
with which to be baptized
and what stress 
I am under
until it is completed

peace pulled beneath
in undertow
division’s draining 
not of water but of drought
kindling dry dead branches
to cross the hot hewn trunk
boiling blood
evaporating breath
in the noon sun 
fueled by burning 
in the raging tongues of hate
sown deep within the family
weathered by warnings
from the Presence
clouded by the present time
The Three for all

Lectionary 20

Luke 12. 49-56

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

good pleasures given
Harvey S. Mozolak

a casket on the dresser
small treasure trove
containing all that is left
when possessions are sold
the heart set in Christ
a candle beside it
lighting the wedding picture on the wall
of the banquet table
wood ladened
with bread and wine
veiling body
knife forking blood
a living knock at the door
company expected
but at an uncertain hour
fear flutters only in the window curtains
echoing the clatter of empty closet hangers
and dust-owned floors
as the house is emptied
for movement to the mansion
where servants at meal
sit with the master
unwrapping gifts stolen from death

Lectionary 19
Luke 12. 32-40
as good as dead / Sarai on the shore
Harvey S. Mozolak

dropped between the sands
a small stone
fallen from the ring of those who loved
so deeply
they encircled the stars and sea
in their hope for forever
the diamond loosened in a crushing wave
her hand releasing his
for moment
to swim alone and right herself
the gem slipped unseen
into the water
clear as its clarity
slowly rolling ashore
with the broken
shorn of shape and worn
where she having noticed
its brightness gone
its edge of remembrance
no longer felt against her flesh
now searches frantically with a flashlight
in the darkening hour
somewhere near where they wore
the sun as clothing
as good as dead the trust
that she will find it
amid the countless sands
and numberless night eyes of the sky
the moon glints on a single facet
or was it one of the stars' glances?
a single hard crystal
among the many white and brown
grey opaque
and broken hulls of the hidden
when they marry she wears a gold shell
about her neck
a piece of common sand
from that beach
glued in its center
and her fingers turn the ring prayerfully
after the birth of their first child
accounting beyond translucent life
of harder unseen wealth

Lectionary 19
Genesis 15. 1-6

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Lectionary 16
Luke 10. 38-42

meal and more at Bethany
 Harvey S. Mozolak


a priest and Levite
from the region of Jericho
at an Inn
sitting at the feet
of a certain Samaritan
called good
who has paid for supper
and more
telling them stories


Martha’s house
Mary’s room
the welcoming word
and the Word a well
the sign come home
do you set the altar with silver
if the Christ is already there?
do you open a book or scroll
if God is already speaking?
how do you vest the ears
and paten the heart?
Martha’s dishes clattered
in preparation
while Mary herself a plate
silent empty ready
on which the meal is served
at a supper
where the food
is and changes
the conversation

Lectionary 16
Luke 10. 38-42

 Harvey S. Mozolak

is there enough salt for the meat
enough meat for all
or just enough even for him
the bread soft enough
wine cool enough
the vegetable sufficiently crisp
the cup and plate
enough beyond ordinary
for his hands to hold
worried and distracted by many things
that which cannot be taken away
at the sated center
one thing
the God who needs
to be needed
in the flesh of the Christ
at supper
the hearing home
where he welcomes

works and prepares