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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ash Wednesday Collection

collecting lent
Harvey S. Mozolak

embrace us
in this bruised season
where the cold has broken branches
and allowed our tears to seep beneath
rotting the rooms where we live
make Lent a shelter
to weather our worst
under your sparse 
but protecting rafter 
offering a holy hereafter 

stroke of ash
Harvey S. Mozolak

passwords they say
ought to include
letters like found in a word
numbers perhaps three
and at least one symbol
the carbon code on the fore wall
before the thought and thinking
above the eyes and mouth
between the hearing
the choice of God
divine secret shown in Christ
of the three
his cross
stoking the fires of hate
the ashen stroke
printing in the dirt
the earth's opening
beyond burial dust

Harvey S. Mozolak

over the years by decay 
dense and darker 
the topsoil grows 
with dead matter 
rotted flowers and wilting weeds 

in the corners 
behind and in the seams 
the dust deepens 
like a quiet indoor snowfall 
from unseen drying clouds 

parched where we were placed 
make and take refuge 
wood-raftered room 
under the endless roof 
stars and hair 
flake away like layers 
of skin sloughed 
by what we are 
do and do not do 

draw intersecting lines 
rigid right angled to each other 
in the dirt 
breath expelled 
will gather us there 

blow the trumpet in Zion 
Joel 2. 1-2, 12-17 
Harvey S. Mozolak

clang the alarm 
ring the threat bell 
not the weekly check of the system 
followed by the all clear 
to move into Monday 
sound the trumpet to arms 
caution the careful to care 
alert the fragile 
the young and occupied 
even the baby and bride 
high from the community pole 
change the code color to red 
dripping down its wooden stem 
entering dangerous days 
the nearness of the Lord 

left hand ignorance to right doing 
pair of gloves, left 
Matthew 6. 1-6, 16-21 
Harvey S. Mozolak

absent-heartedly my hand 
reaches into my pocket to check 
the security of my wallet 
walking toward the man 
in the tattered brown coat 
thick wiry beard 
strange wide eyes 
on a rusty face 
of wind-sanded skin 
three stores down 
if he moves toward me 
will loose change do 
to step around? 
my shopping list: 
sauvignon blanc 
red peppers 
bathtub spray 
dilled cauliflower 
accidentally comes out 
with the two quarters 
three dimes a nickel 
and seven pennies 
and a twenty sticking to the grocery note 
stealing my secret fear 

pair of gloves, right 
Matthew 6. 1-6, 16-21
Harvey S. Mozolak

her story is of no interest 
it will be sad 
long and demanding 
she with her gaunt children 
their stringy hair 
untied shoes and misbuttoned shirts 
how can she afford to wear a watch? 
mine says 12:40 in the afternoon 
their faces stained by the street 
this small thin trinity 
mother with boy and girl 
offering me 
a chance for a hardly noticed fast 
on the way to lunch 
in the closet of my chest 
my heart flutters for a moment 
a moth rousted 
escaping the light 
for an alley 
there to the side of that store

a Wednesday before
Harvey S. Mozolak

encroaching on laughter
descending at merriment
disquieting contentment
and veiling our pretty faces
with the visage of divine suffering
Lent leans into the week

Ash Wednesday arrives
a date the printer knew
last year and sold to us
on the glossy page of a calendar
several months ago
for a recent turn or rip

—we have done no shopping for the holiday
no baking, cooking or cleaning
and the only decoration—

the dust has settled more slowly
but names can be written
deeply on the covered wood
walling us from the mere counting
of time
in a dusty day

the storage chest
Matthew 6. 19-21
Harvey S. Mozolak

the hinges rusted
needing a rib or cane 
a stick to pry open
a coronary-shaped lock 
that can be by-passed
loose hanging
its curved metal artery barely
holding a silent cold steel fist
in frozen defiance
that once held the combinations 
of minutes moments hours and events
the lining moth-holed and torn
and what is stored there
within is the wealth
of being buried and uncovered
by the seeking heart of God
restored as ardent and abiding treasure

almsgiving, prayer and fasting
three devotional legs of Lent
  Matthew 6. 1-18
Harvey S. Mozolak

music for trumpeting 
the giving of alms:
with the refrain in silence
the tone 
a tune handed 
by an anonydextrous giving
to those who are songless

standing like a little cathedral
on the corner
the minister in a dark blue suit
with a golden cross on the lapel
stands loudly
praying for pedestrians
that their shopping be fruitful
their business successful
and lunch longer than an hour
off to the side down the alley
leans a stubbled face
stumbling legs
blood-shot eyes
and a mouth that smells and mutters
“O God, O God, O God….”
the door to a closet prayer

fasting can not be done quickly
one skipped meal
the arch in the belly
a slightly lightened head
and somewhat heightened senses
the emptiness must deepen
stretch the skin of the soul
a hunger must house the hidden
oil the thoughts
clear the vision
of a God within 
a filling with an ache
for more

wednesday marking
Harvey S. Mozolak

on my head
enthorn your image
rooted with the soil
where sharpened pain
grows dense
as thicket
barbed enclosure
around your thoughts
forsaken in human words
fence of forever
unangeled now ungated
burns the brow
bloods the head
blinds the strength
of God like Samson
to a pole
column of all who crowd
and celebrate the earth
by whose fall
will all come down
oak to ash
dirt to dust
mark our ruin
in this destruction
judge of our salvation
a barren brown tree-cloud
above your closing eyes
each drop of red
the fruit replaced

thumbing God
Harvey S. Mozolak

ride on ride on
in misery
can we hitch
hike along
with you
to the crossroads
where we will thumb
our noses
at how you carry us?

criminal smudge on plate and cup
Harvey S. Mozolak

ashes burned
from Jerusalem branches
so fine they fill the furrows
of the thumb print
following marking the foreheads
of the faithful trudging 
toward the place of the crime
corpse of the murdered 
modeled on the wood
lined like accused before the judge
to kneel as if before their graves
for fingerprinting the guilty
the broken dead and shed
on their tongues
and flaming their throats
with declared innocence

Harvey S. Mozolak

burned branch
thrust into a hole-shadow 
plugging the soil
smudges of dust 
bound to our brows
we wear this cross 
on which he wore us
as nakedness
breathless blood
dripped into the earth
his hidden wet roots 
crowning the way
walked below the heavens

Saturday, December 12, 2015

growing up as the God-man
Harvey S. Mozolak

he has left the bed
of animals
Joseph borrowed a house
from some distant kindly relatives
and he is walking now
it seems early
but somehow nothing he will do
will probably be premature
when he walks around the room
outside in the small street
and at the nearby field where Mary
takes him for air
it is like he is a wild creature
caged or un-caged
it is difficult to tell
Auden called him a tiger
once I versed him a panther
his Book said behold a lamb
he has begun to hunt
and stalk evil where it is found
in the neighborhood and nation
like a child who cannot let a pet or beast
be still he will find the foe
and confront its tottering stand
with childlike simplicity of spirit
himself the taunted prey
he the serious game in grace
this is where my Father
sent me to walk
and take a stand
in a sapling
he tells Mary he wishes today to climb
to see beyond Bethlehem's soft beginnings
she warns him of its dangers
one hand to each low branch
he places
he has not yet strength to climb
will the pure and holy virgin
aid this early crucifixion?
are these the lion claws of Judah mounting
he the treed king of beasts?

straw pole
Harvey S. Mozolak

a hey for the hay
he’s bailing us out…
born beneath
the post
holding up the roof
of a barn
with stars stowed
in the rafters

Harvey S. Mozolak

a manger moment
caught in time
frozen figures
warm God
caught just in time
for life beyond

God’s yes
Harvey S. Mozolak

one large brown leaf
enough to cover
our fall?
December speaks
through the spokes of tree limbs
beyond the stars themselves
a knowing “no”
in the nakedness of God

table of Christ
Harvey S. Mozolak

the fragrance of setting
the communion table

wine unstopped
sharp free opened grapes
aged sweet and mellow
leaping to awareness
a life beyond the flask
beyond into the air
unseen but tasted

bread one whole
ready to be broken
and passed to hands
warm like awaiting ovens

faucet shut off
Harvey S. Mozolak

the phrases flow
wetting with ebony
a great deal of paper
with drying thoughts
of the ever God bowed
bent and twisted
into the dates of Augustus
but after the twenty-fifth
we quit counting
and only he does
for us

Christmas Sursum
Harvey S. Mozolak

cold this night when the night
creates anew all days
and an infant’s birth and breath
begins the opening of all graves
and closed hearts
when a baby’s beginning cry
are the first words of God
in our living human tongue
God singing to silence
angry un-quietude with peace
come here and near
and offered to us
the blood of God surging
in the cup Mary bears
and Joseph lifts up
diminishing the morning light
with the tiny tender struggling body
we receive and hold as warmth

o magnum mysterium
Harvey S. Mozolak

the enclosed within
maiden-held God
o great the small
he the I AM of all
mystery come to dust
and flesh for faith
in the greatness of the unseen
contained for us
to blanket bind bruise
bleed and bury
for from his bandages
the blessing of healing will come

post feast post
Harvey S. Mozolak

when it is over
all that is left
the red tail lights
left from looking
down the streets
of strung blinking lights
the cold pots and dishes
soaking in the sink
lost Legos making their way
deeper into couch cracks
and the flesh of gifts
crumpled un-ornamental
balls bagged for the trash
he is off to Egypt amid slashes of red
washed and walking the shore of the sea
then like a prayer shoved into the seams
of the walls of the city-promised peace
the earth unraveled
rutted with ruin
is his swaddling for death
and when it is over
all that is left
is his life posted
that we might live
afterWord and feast

Harvey S. Mozolak

above the wool-dotted field
a corona of angels
lights and warms a flock of men
as yet manger-unknown
lamps lit to lead
to the light of life’s new breath
where Joseph whispers
Mary quietly sighs
as the baby cries
in a barn’s darkness and cold

higher than the hills
Harvey S. Mozolak

the angels are painted
in glory about the madonna
with the Christ-child
a picture that did not take place
others with cows
donkey and sheep show
the unclean shepherds
crowding within
under the loft of hay
peaking beneath the straw
at the blanketed babe
have just seen
been to a concert
of an angelic choir
their hearts must still
beat in blessing
thump and trumpet
with the high praise

shepherds’ flocked praise
Harvey S. Mozolak

song from sky
sad and hurt bleats
among lost lambs
ewes and rams below
readied for sacrifice
a tree cold
covered with rare snow
for the star of stars has fallen
for the herd has been heard
by God

art by Moze
Shawn A. Mozolak

earth kept
by king David’s greatest child
God’s sole Son
we are held
in the keep of the Shepherd of Israel
fed in the lowly Lamb’s manger
by the living staff of life
wood- one day his scepter of mercy
hoc est corpus meum
chaliced in our hands