Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Harvey S. Mozolak

an old house
with sick skin
and wounded wood
surrounded by blooming bushes
lipstick reds kissing school goodbyes
and clashing purples
screen doors slamming bruised
behind children
a shape that quietly speaks of love
like a rusting bell
tongueless clapper long gone
left a mound of nails and beams
studs and rafters
that once held
now shuttered 
and peeling
in emptiness

white tab
Harvey S. Mozolak

a clergy shirt tab
frosted finger nail hold
of holiness 
only part of a whole halo
the forgiven past
hidden tucked into the shirt

of sin collared
and Donne

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Easter 4 
John 10.11-18 

voice of heaven heard by the herd
Harvey S. Mozolak

laying down 
the dish with food for the sick
leading to thick green pastures
or water dipped from the stream 
for a newborn lamb
it is part of the job
keeping the sheep together
amid the rocks and cracks
swinging the crook
with passion at the bared teeth of a wolf
untangling thistles from the side of a ram
turning a ewe from stumbling over a precipice
expected even of a hireling 
but laying down
a shepherd his life
for the flock
a good beyond ordinary 
the owning of love
powered by the shepherd son
lamb of the Father

shepherd pall 
Harvey S. Mozolak

a warmth we wear 
like a coat changed 
from tuxedo 
to trench and parka 
if needed bullet proof vest 
and wind breaker 
selected by cut, color 
and taste 
yet one 
"who lays down his life" 
sheared thin 
to the size of a staff 
crook-cut to the cold 
for the flock 
God palled 
in the pelt of our skin 

a good gander ...
Harvey S. Mozolak

hearing less a choir 
and more the cackling of children 
a cortege of ducks 
albed for flight 
learning first 
to walk and follow 
from water's soft edge 
through the wet stones 
past the reader 
with the open book 
seated beneath the old tree 
cane resting on the bench 
at their ribbon-ragged row 
trailing toward the broken bread 
at the kitchen door 
near the church's graveyard 
the aproned voice of God 
inviting their hungry procession 
in the sounds of the housekeeper's cackle 
and sung psalm-stained tones from the nave 

Easter 4
Psalm 23

prepared in the presence 
Harvey S. Mozolak

to meet him in the corridor
meant a stab in the side
jaw and cheek
shoulder and hip
contact with a metal locker
or classroom door
in a kind of hockey check
leaving class was always
a gauntlet
but if he was part of the line
valley of the shadow
books would be hooked
kicked like pucks
toward the stairs
worth at least a goal
once in a study hall
students gathered like sheep
in rows for sorting by the monitor
he sat looming behind him
flicking his index finger
using the forward ear
like a marble or a post
in a pinball machine
that rang pain in his brain
the bell
there it was
late lunch
when almost no one came
and then they both were there
at the ends of the cafeteria
small he with a brown bag
that felt like it was filled with stones
and big he with an appetite
that included food
and so he decided to sit down
the meal prayer
an opening of  the plastic sandwich bags
daily bread’s petitions
spreading the table with forbidding ham 
and provolone cheese
homemade oatmeal cookies three
and a garlic kosher pickle
would you like half
he broke the bread
and two of the cookies?
if the chain he noticed
for the first time
about the thick neck of the boy
moving toward him
hid beneath his shirt
a silver skull with red ruby eyes
or a crucifix much like the one
he wore warm
over his chest
at a meal prepared in the presence
of the promised good

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

two for post-Easter

Easter 3
Luke 24. 36b-48

opened net
Harvey S. Mozolak

startled till they saw
the gems of where his crown
had worn God to death
terrified till they touched
the red ribbons of remembrance
for him not of pain
but of peace for disbelieving joy
the marks of heaven
marred and mauled
become designs of hope
and rough cut rubies
faceted for faith
the logo of the Logos
the slash of trim on the king's robe
of victory
the criminal in us
is identified in his scars
that prove our innocence
as we eat the next and nearer Supper
listening to words of fulfillment
fed like fish
for schooling wider oceans

Easter 3
Luke 24. 36b-48

resurrection release
Harvey S. Mozolak

in the small eddy
of the quiet post-Post meal

Cleopas and the other
had fairly run a great deal of the way
from Emmaus
but he who stood among them
with a suddenness that stood
most of them in fear
had the hunger
do you have anything to eat?

a trembling disciple reached out
to the covered plate
removing the napkin
stained with oil from the fried fish
offering the cold leftovers
with his mouth agape
hooked in disbelief and wonder

ghosts have no filet slashes
gashes that once showed
the veins and marrow of life
now do they
as I show you
and you see in my hands and feet?

what a story to tell
to witness the size of the catch
rising from three days dead in the depths
repentance and forgiveness
bones pulled from the sweet meat
of the fish flesh
eaten in their presence
held by palms pocked
by the scars of the leader lead pins
that did not hold

but released

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Holy Wednesday Gardening
 Harvey S. Mozolak

a day spent pulling weeds
with roots so deep
they break leaving their insidious
nature still tapped to brimstone
hand digging holes
lifting cores of dirt and clumps of clay
staining earth into the cuticles
of my tombstone-shaped fingernails
to plant flowers
in the holy week hours
of Wednesday close to the day
of the loaf and cup
which sop Friday’s flesh and blood
the small cuts and abrasions
felt in my soft palms show
I have left cells in the ground
in advance of my burial

Saturday, March 28, 2015

great week
Harvey S. Mozolak

the week is about to begin
the weather report indicates it will start
below freezing
deadly to early blossoms
so there will be no standing 
in the courtyard with palms 
for the mostly elderly crowd
although they would not complain
but there is no good in catching a chill
and dying before Friday
several neighbors are mowing
since the city is not far enough south
to have palms on the block
the scent of wet wounded grass
will have to do this eve 
which is the day already begun
collected in bags for the dump
children running in the last long shadows
with bats balls and bikes 
unaware that the king
is coming to town
that death 
from which they are carefully shielded
except for what is televised
and played as game from time to time
must be seen and embraced
braced like the fence against
the old dead tree on the corner
that marks the edge of the community
and secures it for the week end