Thursday, December 14, 2017

extension cords
Harvey S. Mozolak

the incarnation is a large event
its time now extended
not quite nine months
but more than four evergreen weeks
its greatness causes some to dress
as saintly statuary and mime
holiness in blood red coat and fallen mitre
with the skin of winter beasts
white like snow edging 
the hint of martyrdom
the light of a world now so bright
it is strung by the 100’s in blinking watts
plugged to power that kills

antiphons in honor
of the blessed virgin

Harvey S. Mozolak

our creedal chants
apostolicly assert 
she is the anchor of our Lord’s manhood
where heaven drowns in the depth of humanity
under the brooding wings of the Holy Spirit

in magnificats sung each vespered night
she celebrates her divine Son’s blood borne
victory over 
the proud
the mighty
the full
the rich
with the Almighty’s mercy begun 
in her straw-strewn arms

ὁ ὢν
Harvey S. Mozolak

her hands hold his cheeks and chin
“I AM he who is” 
his containing ribs and reaching arms 
and jiggling legs too loose as yet to go
Mary’s fingers slippery with shared blood
holding God squirming is difficult
but delightful
she has held bread offering it 
baked and fresh to Joseph
in daily sustenance shared
and now her son
through the morning window 
the light of the lesser sun 
breaking behind his head
making the exchange difficult
and yet the man too takes him firmly
the peace of God given whole
as they with us are received 
back into the ciborium of heaven
his every breath
the heaving opening of the heavy hinges
of death with God-enfleshed life
holding and being held

(ὁ ὢν— on icons, Greek letters often written on 
Christ’s halo, spelling “the being” or “He who is” 
from Ex. 3.4  and Rev. 1)

xmas beginnings 
Harvey S. Mozolak

the thatch on the stone
where hens scratch
and the donkey gets his straw
the cow his cup of grain
is bed of God 
whose head holds what stars dream
and suns energy

native to us
Harvey S. Mozolak

in the high corners of the room
to the sides of the narrow door
straw is stuffed
bird-borne from feathered families past
left for the cold season
when only angels are a-sky
on the floor there are three
huddled beneath 
the heaviness of what this might mean
in the flickering gold of a loaned lantern
behind the stall wall
a patch of dried dung
animal leavings left like discarded sin 
on the trampled earth

fearful thing
Harvey S. Mozolak

enslaved to our flesh
held by hay 
and the field’s flaxen fibers
of swaddling
folding his clay
to an animal’s feeding place
and our breathless arrival
smelling of frightened sheep
ewes and lambs

Harvey S. Mozolak

time twisted
un-wrenching with a sounded alarm
the voice at the beginning to begin
with the silence of the Word
that has spoken everything
to hear and sing
among the deaf and dumb
now mouthed 
in the single syllabic God
among the the murmur of cows
the scratching of a hen for seed
a movement amid a dove’s discomforted feathers
fumbling with what linens
are found for the child who is Lord
lain heaven’s blessing 
splattered in her blood
the soaked shroud blanket
beneath the clouds 
where angel armies
avert their eyes
in holy aghast
at the empty arm of the throne
now in the arms 
of a weak woman and unarmed man
whose hammer and nails
for the time
remain packed in a sack
near the stirring donkey
eternity’s unwinding
its swaddling

crowded sky ground alone
Harvey S. Mozolak

crowded like clouds flecked reach
winged angels over the flock
above fleeced glory
here the heavens allow low 
and aloud greeting 
the good and new
pressed in rock and wood
the nail-less cave
not yet but true
shepherd in the straw
there for our flaw 
amid animal paw
the awe of God 
crèched in fresh flesh
Word twisted 
cloth gagged
without speech
no thunder or sky-pulsed flame
but the quiet reign of God
Jesus his silent name
held in the eternal gasp
of the highest host

In Sentence Form
Harvey S. Mozolak

The timing of salvation is very helpfully drawn tightly to the cross but we should not ignore that the first confinement was not by Pilate’s police but by the Blessed Virgin’s womb and the earliest nails were manger straw, the preliminary purple robe of ridicule was wrapping God in swaddling cloth and Joseph may not have been an Cyrenean but his hard palms clumsily catching the Incarnate’s leap from heaven to earth were well splintered from wood in the Fall’s condemning brow-sweat.  And these but the beginning hours of the Passion according to Christ.

Friday, December 9, 2016

On Rosetti’s 
“A Baby Is a Harmless Thing”
Harvey S. Mozolak

A lion is a captive thing
Behind strong bars in zoo displays
the sun’s bright high and holy ring
His golden mane like rays
The cage is littered with a floor of straw
Its cold and wet is hardly meet but raw
The wind the door by which he came
To Judah land and tribe to free
Become our King of all the beasts
Within his is now a mild wildness
As angels hold their roar to see
He who overpowering 
Could claw and  maul
Yet offers a thin and thirsty feast
To take and eat our fearful fall

Harvey S. Mozolak

boughs of green
over the doorway
to time
the entering trembles
for the hour knows the honor
of the eternal
bending and bowing
to breath and breathing
the infant’s 
first lung’s exhalation
a trumpet of mercy
to the farthest sea
the most distant land
the marooned and frozen
hidden hearts
remote from God

left-up adornments
Harvey S. Mozolak

accidentally forgotten
a wooden angel 
on a bedroom fan pull 
a glass star dangling 
down a clear filament
from the living room ceiling
the marks on the wall
in increments where the toddler’s height
was marked and measured
with a carpenter’s careful eye
except these measure
the downfall of glory
in the pull of the gravity
of our grave depression
purposely remembered

Harvey S. Mozolak

the girl leaned over
hand over hand
lifting the rock deep
cold water
with a wet rope
to pour into her clay vessel


she dropped
the bowl
and in the splash
the flash of light

like lightning on the sea
the angel stood by the wood
of a tree
beside the well

his hand or wing or flame
held in speaking 
silence peace and greater greeting
than even his heavenly bearing bore
from beyond above
where the name is seen
but never said

let it be but…
how can the sun be within the earth
and more magnificent
the Lord within me?
yad-touched by God

        (yad - Hebrew ritual pointer 
            used in reading untouched Torah )

angel:  music notations
Harvey S. Mozolak

surely they will not hear our high notes
we will have to treble almost all of the gloria
down and softer
like the lowing of cattle
a murmuring of doves
and the settling sounds 
of lambs and ewes
and our brightness
dim to dawn and dusk’s golds
lest we blind them
when they see 
how fragile is his hold on his life
yet somehow our paean must praise
his tenacious grasp 
reaching to hold the wood 
baton of blessing
directed to heal their pain

first tune
Harvey S. Mozolak

none lullaby the virgin’s labor
her moans of pain
break the silence of the night
yet the Father knows
heaven pangs 
at the giving of the perfect peace
the prince of the good of grace
left upon the barn’s golden field lace
soft notes of the song of salvation

Father and fatherly 
Harvey S. Mozolak

sweetly Joseph cut 
from the field 
beyond the city’s low broken wall
some tender Sharon roses
and placed them on the straw strands
near his beloved and the one they loved
who loved the world
and all its weeds
God the Father stemmed the stars
using several comets to vase
and spread their light as ferns
among the blossoms 
of gathering angel wings

dark deep after sun down
Harvey S. Mozolak

the loose thatch and timber slats
allow the light through the roof 
from the moon and the stars
and somehow from the hillside fires 
where shepherds camp with their flocks
most on the way up the road 
to Shalem and the burning blaze
and sweet smoke
of Zion’s high altar
more light than the night normally affords
touching the face of the child
his mother calling him
her little lamb as the carpenter 
arranges him
on the wood frame he has formed
for bedding above the bowled stone
where animals feed
the donkey asleep and the cow
watching with an unmoving head
but old observing eyes
they turn
the rustling at the doorway 
announces some have come
with lanterns, staves and cloaks of skins
who must have heard
the infant cry at the light from the sky
among winged winds singing 
in the high meadows 
where there is more light
than the night normally affords
they will tell of sight and song
seen and heard of holiness
burning and bright then on the hill 
and now on the cold dark hay
heard by this night flock gathered 
before God’s seh

(seh - Hebrew for lamb)

masses in motion
Harvey S. Mozolak

a slit in the sky
a star parting the night
with light
the lamp of the angels
first carolers of the incarnation
this candle pillar
powered by peace
radiance eternal
the congregated custodians 
of a quiet quilt of wool
as the entrance hymn
of the first mass
among the mounds
of ground that surround
a moaning mound of flesh
bears heaven and earth
as one

Harvey S. Mozolak

there are those who look for a winter rose
an unseasonably warm Eve 
or Christmas Day to say
that something special has happened
and touches nature again when
all it takes is to look into each other’s eyes
and know that God has come down through the skies
to be a warm one of us whether young to old
he is with us even through three deadly days of cold

Harvey S. Mozolak

With a drawn lower stem 
a simple symbol of a seasonal stock
the insertion mark in typography
indicating the place for a missing Word
spear-head for addition 
before subtraction
usually two lines often blood-red
outline of a “little roof” 
as it is called in one tongue
protecting emptiness beneath

His however inverted inserted
down and descending
mäkčeň in Slovak the diacritical notation
is a letter glyph
an ornament calling forth a certain silence
speaks a softening of sound
the lines of a caron
evergreen every-one ever-equal and eternal
the tri-love of God emptied
the Trinity opened and poured out
sent from and in and with
the Father’s faithful love
conceived by the Holy Spirit’s deep
and lasting power to comfort
in the pure and perfect jewel of grace
torn and thrown 
from the divine diadem’s peak
an unseen plunging Victory

Human triad
tall Joseph braced by a beam
with Mary bent in blessing
and our small God molding
a human triangle

ting a ringing gloria