Saturday, December 31, 2011

entrata festiva

Harvey S. Mozolak

the talking around the well
quickly dried and ceased
as the bells of the camels
turned the heads of the women
filling water jars
a smith’s hammer halted in midair
when they slowly paced by
their brightly colored robes
turbans and beards cut in a pattern
not known to Hebrews
and the clean chin of the Roman
bringing questions to widen neighbor’s eyes
as they stopped at the house
the carpenter outside
ceased his sawing
and let the long board drop
to the ground
as he hurried inside to where his wife
sat rocking the child
on a stool near the fire
they entered shouting a warm word
of greeting in some foreign tongue
followed by a slurred shalom
when they filled the small room
in wide brocade capes and gold tasseled cloaks
the smell of eastern incense
cinctured around them
there their low prostration created a royal carpet
before the small child
with a murmuring no doubt a whispered prayer
from leather bags they presented
gold lumps
incense clumps
and spice ground from fragrant tree stumps
these for a king
a priest and a sacrifice bleeding
the child lifted from his mother’s lap
became a gift in their arms
his weakness a strength to them
his serious eyes caused laughter
puzzlement and sage attention
as they listened to Joseph and Mary
tell of fearful angels
wild promises
solemn decrees
the visit of shepherds
and the long journey
from heaven and womb
to the good of the God in this room
after a dinner offered and shared
salted fish and bread
that seemed more than was simply prepared
the magi left
this time hardly noticed by the villagers
in the dimness of evening
traveling far to the west
where the sun leads by leaving
carrying the news of the blessing
and worth of this birth

living water

Harvey S. Mozolak

it is little known
perhaps not at all
except here revealed
that while the magi
brought gifts of three
large nuggets of gold
nodules from a frankincense tree
and myrrh’s resin made into aromatic salve
all three also brought flasks of water
that never emptied
all their journey long
through deserts and mountains
they never stopped at streams
or wells nor dipped in rivers
but always when they lifted
the leather bags to their lips
sweet moisture filled their mouths
dripped down and wet their beards
and for their beasts the same
at first they marveled
then it became expected
thus to drink and thus be filled
until they arrived at Jerusalem
and there they found their vessels empty
and their tongues always parched
no matter what they drank
a Roman ale again a Jewish wine
some pomegranate juice of Palestine
thirst and longing became a search
a panting path
until they entered under the last cascading
light of their traveling star
the baby when they entered
Joseph’s humble house was sitting in a bath
a dirty bath laughing
the light from his eyes bathed them
as their tears streamed down
to water the upturned lips of tired travelers  
of all things God toasting them
with his Son now a blood-relative
he the full flagon of divine promise
to be carried home
by the different route of God

Sunday, November 20, 2011

mark the beginning

Isaiah 64   
Harvey S. Mozolak

the foliage
behind which we hid
has faded
the camouflage of living
is dead
our crypsis the trees
we will hide among them
blending among the branches
covering with leaves
our leaving for the future
until God is affixed
in their small grove
hidden in the hideous
and the wind which takes away
our name
fluttering  in babble
the beating of hope and heart
will whisper yours
into the ear of a girl
plain common young
within whom glory will swirl
the rip in heaven
to sew the ruined earth’s wounds
festered in filthy linen
laid now in swaddling cloth
and nakedness
at the plank
of death
planed to nothingness
torn down  

for a last and lasting Sunday

Harvey S.  Mozolak

the divine wearing
of a crown whose size encompasses
all the multiverse of space
planet orbits like gem settings
and risings of light for life
blossoming suns bursting from caverns
let time end and eternity travel
ever and for always
the I AM worn down
for the small figures
of bone jointed flesh
pinned by gravity to one small
ill-shaped stone
who cry an eleison
that the kyrie-king has chosen to hear
over the cataracts and torrents
of mass and energy
in the silence of listening grace
that speaks a Word
through a thorn-twisted sentence
plaited as a ring to be worn

Friday, November 18, 2011


Harvey S. Mozolak

the royal
quite separate
removed and at distance
from us
who hang about
waiting for some small chance
or fleeting moment
to see the passing by
hear the ring of ornamentation
the scent of as yet uncreated
perfume of purity’s perfection
and be brushed by hem of holiness
from a swaged gown of glory
the crown so high and bright
its glare surmounting clouds and storm
above our mud-sodden track and trod
and yet
who is this that is hung
before us?
pictured in pathetic pity
icon of God imaged
in a barn maiden’s motherhood
he clutching hold of life
draining nail by nail
from his hands
feet faltering to climb
the tree of death’s fall
leafless naked curled by cruelty
one not separate
but culled a lamb
among the goats
depart cursed
to prepare
for the starving strange
stripped sick and captive
the new unequalled kingdom

Christ the King Litany

Harvey S. Mozolak

Christ the King
you opened the boundary of heaven’s kingdom
entering by the power of the Spirit
the Virgin’s womb
to toil within our sinful turmoil

reign in our hearts
reign in our thoughts
reign in our doing

you crowned the Magi’s visit
with your innocent wisdom
a treasure hidden in infancy
greater than Solomon’s gift

let us serve you…
in the trust you give
in the deepest hope you arouse
in the love, yours that you make ours

you are a king who obeys his Father
and our Father in heaven
hallowed of old
ancient David knew your dominion
and your will be done

reign in our hearts
reign in our thoughts
reign in our doing

you preached
brought and bought
a monarchy measured in hearts
you conquered

let us serve you…
in the trust you give
in the deepest hope you arouse
in the love, yours that you make ours

the scepter of your rule
called disciples
the robe of your healing
covered lepers
the sword of your word
cut claims to lesser others
the light of your resurrection
orbs the world with eternity

reign in our hearts
reign in our thoughts
reign in our doing

bow with palms waved in palms
knees ground to ground
eyes shut to the earth
voices sealed in song
hosanna blessed is he
the Lord of power and might

let us serve you…
in the trust you give
in the deepest hope you arouse
in the love, yours that you make ours

you were ridiculed and purple mocked
bruised despised rejected and ignored
by kings governors emperors and priests
but the poor and shunned
became your court you acquit
in the grace of mercy’s richness

reign in our hearts
reign in our thoughts
reign in our doing

you are a king whose crown
drips rubies of bleeding blessing

let us serve you…
in the trust you give
in the deepest hope you arouse
in the love, yours that you make ours

your throne was wood
and you were nailed to it
lifted on a hill of pain and death

reign in our hearts
reign in our thoughts
reign in our doing

Jesus king of the Jews
and through them all the nations
all beneath the Nazarene monarch

let us serve you…
in the trust you give
in the deepest hope you arouse
in the love, yours that you make ours

Sunday, November 6, 2011

all ss aboard

November sailing into December

Harvey S. Mozolak

who is this one
the first one in 144,000
raised to the numberless
in white
somewhat off white
muslin mussed here and there
by soil rip and wrinkle
one torn edge dirtied by dung
and in the middle
a smear of blood
his and hers
heaven and earth
king of all saints
anchored in advent time
his majesty

Saturday, October 29, 2011

reformation 2011

Harvey S. Mozolak

the church is always
ever-beginning again
in God’s hands
molded anew
from the chaotic void
of our formless news
never good
and the over-formed laws
we create by our fallen nature
there we are given and shed
from the wound in his side
at the rip of his heart
a bride purified by his love
at banquet with lifted loaf and cup

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

jello salad

Harvey S. Mozolak

one could hope
for unadulterated yellow
an unsullied tropic orange
with no shredded carrots
floating half alive
confused of flavor
but red cherry and the deeper dark the same
raspberry similar
but then there is lime green
alone not a favorite but passable
until a full can
of fruit cocktail is drained
of everything
its juice closer to a toasting mixture
than any of the chum
pale skin-shriveled grapes
which could be Halloween eyeballs
pears barely fruit
some surly pineapple bits
the peaches are the only soft chunks
that pass in suspended contamination
for what they are
in the jaded jell
while the cherries for a kid
suggest some hope
with their color
and infrequency
halved quartered sectioned
but even several on a spoon
extracted do nothing
for the dish or tongue
“next time crushed pretzels dear
“you will enjoy them”
send me to my room
with no bed of lettuce

Saturday, October 8, 2011

tired track

Harvey S. Mozolak

down the highway
concrete paved hot
torn from a truck
a rubber carrion curl
shaped like a crow
with ascendant wings
above some flattened road kill
passing it rocks
but moves not away
a courageous raven
corvus-corded by its many miles
clawed across the country

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

greeting the book

Harvey S. Mozolak

the ritual is to kiss
a lectionary book
as in the more familiar communion pax
for it is the very Word of God
that after all before all
the everlasting
created everything everywhere
from galactic masses and holes
to hares that disappear beneath
and locusts that swarm above

like the baptizing John
fed into his mouth
and crunched and chewed
like sin
swatted repented destroyed
with a swallow of honey-sweetened
spring water feeding the Jordan
that read
the gold-edged pages bound in blessing
lifted to close with devout drama
and kiss
as my lips moved to embrace
with love its law and grace
marked mercy with ribbons
clasped by thick red leather
there flattened dead and stuck
where beneath the volume’s weight
of glory it died
ingloriously somehow this past week
a somewhat pressed grasshopper

this made my act of devotion
in living shock and surprise
thus eating words
in prophetic Ezekiel-fashion
scrolled a napkin before the meal

amidst the drape of green

Harvey S. Mozolak

daubed by the brush
of a stiffened wind
here and there
a blush of rouge
at the leaving of warmth
leaves licked
like the cheeks
of a porcelain puppet
dangling limp
sad clown at the ending
applause of the summer
hanging by threads
no longer under control
of its limbs
there the curtain of green
sways with uncertainty
as the hot stage light
dims and darkens
above doffed and discarded costumes
that can no longer beg
an encore
for a mounding final bow

Monday, October 3, 2011

wood preserver

Harvey S. Mozolak

drowning in endless rain
sheltered by a leafless tree
because it will when the land gives way  

peculiar cousin

Harvey S. Mozolak

an often odd relationship
some quite unknown forgotten
and others as close as friends
a family larger than siblings
one young enough to be a son
another as old a mother
with children the age of her child
kin counterpart
different the years of John
wading in water
preaching of detached relationships
from the river bank
older than Jesus by a mere nine months
dissimilar their keels and courses
though their mothers’ cargos
once hailed an exchange
passing full holds in the deep sea of age
the priestly son’s sail of camels’ hide
going over the horizon
before the other’s mast
begins leaving port to claim a distant
once unreachable shore
odd sent from God
to cry prepare this annoying locust-like
wild cousin
wilderness chirping chant to change
hauling safe anchors aboard
yet greater strange the range of heaven
to Mary’s son
plain level cousin-dom
even brother with the weird and wild of us

Saturday, October 1, 2011

first furnace heat

Harvey S. Mozolak

the furnace begins
with a yawn of an fan
buried in the house’s belly
then the fearful igniting
of a belch of gas
smells of ducts expanding
to breathe
against cold metallic taste
stored all summer
exhaling through its long throat
to thin metal nostrils
along the walls of every room
home resuscitated
against winter’s death

Friday, September 30, 2011

host of questions

Harvey S. Mozolak

ranks of angels?
so said to be
is it necessary that an alarmingly great
lieutenant lead
the Bethlehem shepherd’s field choir
and that an arch-general Gabriel
startle the virgin girl with the Word embellied
or for fiery ones’ seraphimic-suck to heal
serpent slurp from the wounds of Israel’s poisoned
do cherubim only have the correct-sized pinions
to cover the covenant box with full holiness and awe?

or are their ranks such
so that they may stand on each other shoulders
to witness the creation of all things good
and wing-in glory
hang rank on rank to plunge low enough
to peek within the straw
and marvel at the smallness of all-God
rank obeying rank ray the Easter sun
for the sergeants of the sacred
to dismiss the Roman guard in fear
and supply the weeping women
with death-breaking news to share

ranks like commander saint Michael’s army
guarding the Garden closed and barred
its forever-flowers’ faces
shut throughout the long night of sin
until accompanied by trumpets
silver shouting commands of this world’s guardians
the band of messengers call
for flesh to join all spirits at bright parade
for rest and joy
and the end of all bent and twisted questions
these unseen exclamations awaiting
surrounding God
ranks rejoining the embodied

Monday, September 26, 2011

shortening string

Harvey S. Mozolak

alone on a knoll
a large lick of leaves
from a lollipop of a tree
by the wind of the wide-mouth sky
summer sweetness disappearing
in honey-yellows, oranges
cherries and chocolate flecks
candy-wrapper leftovers
turning around the world
of a yo-yo sleeping sun
palmed by the fisting clouds

Saturday, September 24, 2011

brushing the bush branches

Harvey S. Mozolak

the feeling is detested the shivering walk through unseen hanging spider webs thin entanglements clinging pasting their shuddering on face hair and hands that frantically wipe away at a foul cling fighting all attempts at removal is the brush of pinions felt passing through angel wings whose grace and glory burnish with God’s holy cleansing the edges of a contentment hidden but trusted trailing blood-rusted nails among jagged splinters and soiled grave linens?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

closet Clive

H.S. Mozolak

I have this apology
for C.S. Lewis
this robe worn
in the early dawn hours and evening
in my house is reminiscent
of Jack’s smoke-infused dressing gown
seen in one of his few popular photos
paunchy with pipe
perhaps slippers unseen
crumbs from an open tin of biscuits
on its sleeves
amid a Kilns’ reading room of open books
tomes with solid bindings
thoughts of the timeless
dog-eared pages reread and translated
mine color and pattern similar
a mere way
mostly to cover the draft
lounging in front of the telly
sipping sweetened banali-tea

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

inside wait

Harvey S. Mozolak

to the hook behind the door
and the robe
that has been too warm to wear
its folds becoming creases
suffocating several August flies
that fall to the floor unnoticed
now makes the air bearable
the wait begins
in the snaps of a fireplace
and the assuring hum of the furnace register
under blankets and coats with scarfs
the wait for the outdoor life
where skin was enough cover
and trees were wrapped with warm sweet fruit

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

autumnal doorstep

Harvey S. Mozolak

the days have become crisp
even small rain no longer refreshing
but shivering sharp and unhinging
driving flesh and bone
to jacket deeper
and wall against the coming
time of unwelcome
among barren stalks
that were once trees gifted with shade
which winked the light
and branches in the open
bright with blossoms
the draining green will mock
this fear in a small margin
that will not allow hope
to gather long
for coating shadows grow and reach beyond
the closing door

Monday, September 5, 2011

rood questions

Harvey S. Mozolak

to crucify anew
is the cross
an antique
timber petrified by death?
several old wood slats
held by red rusty nails
collected to display
some dismay of the standard
the current and expected
an amulet for admirers of his courage
and hope for the helpless
or is it an ugly thing?
a course curse of the perfect
the love without return
that can yet be used
as our tool for destruction
of heaven among us
and an instrument
with which to affix
our own foul fruit
to the tree in an exhibition
of our power and pride
once we pinned God down
continue the count
in time seconds hours
days years ages
less than eternity
viewed through this historic frame

Friday, September 2, 2011

the posting

Harvey S. Mozolak

said where it could be read
with several tongues
In Nameless Regal Innocence
at the crossroads
beyond the urban wall
outside the secure and gated
by soldier sentinels
like some sworded seraphim
strangely forbidding good’s reentry into earth
there an attempt is made
to fasten God down
after lashings with iron hammered
pins in hot-driven hate
how far will this love go?
here lepers cannot touch him
the cries of mourners
lost amid coarse laughter and curses
those who limp or stumble blind
will not find it easy
to climb close to this place
the smiling children will not be brought
for blessing nor harlots rise to face
his storied forgiveness
the poor will find his wealth
hemorrhages away easily
the gravity is all to the grave
thus a posted warning
a written condemnation
of holiness much too close to flesh
yet if it is not only the hands of Romans
who lift him to the prongs of punishment
but God who elevates
the stationing sentence of the Word
said in dark congealing red
how far can his wounding go?
revealing this a posting on a stripped tree
the only shade there is

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

two creation stories

art by Moze.... Shawn A. Mozolak
Harvey S. Mozolak
of seven days
de-voiding darkness
with light’s lifting eye
cascading tears of joy
to land and seas
jungled and coraled
seeded with stars
that swim Asteroidea in oceans
and in the space between galaxies
where lower in the breath of this planet
birds will one day inspire
rockets and Trochilidae as helicopters
cattle with horns and automotive horsepower
and those made from the mud
male and female
in the divine image
blessed fruitful to multiply
fill and subdue
to have dominion
for good and for God

on a day
following the resurrection
from the ruin of time ended death
in the authority of all heaven and earth
the waters
again commanded divided
light baptizing night with sight
from a mountain
even ignorant earth rising
to spire worship above doubt
thrice for the name
and the creating of the new
that is always
nationed beyond the borders
of the end of all days
this the age of earth
the remembrance of God
the I AM with us

Holy Trinity Sunday Readings:   Genesis 1.1-2.4a and Matthew 28. 16-20

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Quill-drawn Spirit

Harvey S. Mozolak

the Spirit
not only the quiet peaceful dove

but a high-soaring hawk
protecting the nested church

also the eagle of Saint John
and all writers of the Holy Writ
their pens feathered with holiness

a peregrine falcon’s speed to our need

a godwit arriving in Christchurch
bridging the long distance
swelling in its chest
the groans for the harbor
of the ship well yet
beyond the shore

the promise of the pierced pelican
feeding her young by her blood
on the death-doweled tree

even a jeweled humming bird
singing of heaven beyond
the sighted sky

the swallow whose home
is made beside the altar

a sparrow whose gifts
many and always
brought beaked as blessings
to those whose gather and kneel

without wings

(art by Moze   ...Shawn A. Mozolak)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


a liturgical dramatic reading for Pentecost
Harvey S. Mozolak

may I present you with a dove

how nice
beautiful its white and all
with wings will stand out
against all the red
that streams
bannering this day

although fire at its hottest
flame is white
not so?
like a burning heart

it could be hung in a nursery
above a baby along with some animals
two of kind
a whole little display of Noah’s ark
and his cute furry friends
and feathered flock
is that not right?

the dove over the waters
is an image from the Bible
early on the first page
it speaks of the Spirit hovering
brooding over the watery deep
the wet waves of its scrolls
drying with indelible promises
sand on the shore
stars in the sky
for the rooting of tall family trees

that sounds too abysmal and ancient to me
maybe Noah and his little boat is better

well it wasn’t so little
and the water was awfully deep
and the drowning most everything living
except for the floating contents
flotsam of flesh
God saved

so the dove rescues
yes everyone is concerned with
safe car seats
and the proper width of bed bars
the size of things that can be swallowed
the manufacturing materials and paint on rattles
just the right kind of formula
and later infant food in graduated stages
so the dove saves?

true with certainty
from the chaos of sin
that is hard to see
in the orderly world
of a child with a nice crib
and Fisher-priced toys
oblivious to the fisherfolk
wading among the shoals of souls
in the disorderly worlds in which we live
where all can keep score
teams can win and tie
credit can accumulate
degrees be conferred
statues carved and dedicated
and all die of death

not nice talk
maybe it could be used
as a Christmas ornament
I have seen doves on holiday trees
and plenty on cards
that say, “Peace”
didn’t the winged angels
sing something like that?

think even earlier
than the first eve in the stable inn
to the mother Mary
made unstable by the presence of God
frightened by an angel
and told that the Spirit
would eclipse her
with the holiest of holiness
the everlasting tented in the temporary
magnificently yet with a baby’s cries
filling her bearing insides
the first nest for God’s Son
the beginning branches of a barren tree
planted deep
well before the animals’ bedding straw

but it is peaceful at Bethlehem
and at Christmas
even armies sometimes
put down their arms for the day

a sword pierces
the virgin’s heart
this her Son comes to bring
because his heaven’s love
is offensive and upsetting
not simply solace
but a weapon a furrowing plow
the cutting of the Word
that separates sin from within
through Spirit-inspired speech
the Dove Divine a quill
that writes God’s way and will
bringing to mind the teaching breath of Christ

where then shall it rest?
have we a tree?

over font poured blessing
to be filled with the Spirit
is to know the world’s hate
yet the friendship and care of God
to be his child
son or daughter In the Tree’s trace
forgiven to live
the life bound in time
and bound for abounding in God
in the new nation and race
those given eternal life

so a dove in the house
of earth
can we cage it in the kitchen?

the lamps have been lit
their flames plea
for the freedom of the people

sung over the lasting supper
in the table grace this epiclesis
veni creator Spiritus
come down creating Spirit
a song for the dove
divine love sublime
our prayer for God’s descent
on bread and wine
come Holy Spirit
before the loaf is broken
the cup is lifted in praise
and to our lips
come Lord Jesus
come Holy Spirit
come ours
Father in heaven
holy is your name
your kingdom come
and will be done
on lowly earth as in highest heaven
give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us
lead us from temptation and the evil one
amen glory!

how is this dove a gift?

the Spirit is the giving
the power that changes
the gift that brings other gifts
as graces
the presence that presents
offering us as Christ’s to God
our Father

the servant at the table
with font and holy book
is servant on whom
ordained they have prayed
come down o love divine

to gather together
enlightened sanctified and kept
servants daily wet and washed
by the Lord’s self-shedding love
infants children
men and women
from old to young
frail or strong
with bowed faces
kneeling beneath the beams
that bear body and the blood
in remembrance that members
them with the risen Christ

this is the day of the dove

God’s love for his children
like the quiet fowl
thought feeble and meager
at which disobedient children
throw stones
and others their unwanted crusts

still its soft quiescence
stills and soothes the frightened
hallows the empty with the lace
of lovejoypeace

but comes also as plunging eagle
the prophets call
God’s vigilance of strength
who teaches us to walk and talk

the Spirit confused at Babel
so that all could hear
in catholic unison
only the language of God
and walk in his ways
mounting heaven’s blood-splattered ladder
lifted by his Son’s nail-notched
carpenter’s hands
crafting a mansion of mercy

feathering pinions
like white gloves
tenderly touching
lifting us to God
divine-fingered skin
leathered in our work
the gears of working wings
building sacred shelter
amid earth’s ruins
hands of the crucified
lifting from the mountaintop
their benediction’s wave pointing
to the coming of holy comfort

come Holy Spirit alleluia amen

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

finding the cross

Harvey S. Mozolak

so long on the wall
it has blended like a frame
into its picture of pain
in cracked painted mud
and unfilled nail holes
stains from an ugly spill
and where the child scrawled a drawing
of three X’s

sound escaping

Harvey S. Mozolak

near the tracks
along the river
that is deep only in the rain
I hear a train whistling
somewhere distant
an old sound
so few crossings anywhere
today I wonder
if it is a lost memory
echoed off the mind’s tunnel
to the past
or will the engine come
around the bend
with smoke and steam
to hurry me along
to the next place

un-kosher but kadosh

Harvey S. Mozolak

it is the day
there was no bread and wine
to conceal and hide the sign
the ripped body
the flow of spilled blood
the pain unbound
by basket or supper plate
labeled and libeled I.N.R.I.
as headline
the violence un-cupped
and splashed on the world
on the marred place
at the Skull’s shrine
the bloodline begins
our holiness

Sunday, April 17, 2011

song of Simon and the women chorus

Luke 23

Harvey S. Mozolak

here carry the naked tree
be seized by his terrible task
African from Cyrene
wailing weeping women
like willows sucking up the Kidron
in the storm
blessed the barren hills
breasts that never sucked
the sky dry
palms with plants
palms planting nails
that scratch the face
of the earth
and plunge into the flesh of God
oozing the blood of holiness
may his mountain
cover us
recover us
winter sticks awaiting
the stalk to green

question for the season

Harvey S. Mozolak

are spring tree blossoms
made to unfold
and flower
like corsages
on knobbed wood shoulders
and branched boutonnieres
to await our viewing
pointing and photographs
or to sow
like soft substantial snow
felted in the sun
color in the wind
and fallen on the ground
all pink in a pool
where a tree
in the glee of green
has dropped its skirt
to run with the wild sky
waving its limbs?

a pair of returning birds
seeing the bent and bend
if this is the kind of place
best for a nest after all

Friday, April 15, 2011

palm-tossed blessing

Harvey S. Mozolak

from stripped trees
that now look more naked
timber stark and arid
the fronds on the road
here and there
especially where a rock
hides beneath or the branches
overlap each other
the donkey’s tread
is heavy plodding
sure and slow
toward the stone arched gate
this indeed is where he deems to go
the crowd shuffling along beside
keeping up especially for the children
with the chanted march
others with cries have entered
thus to conquer
someone sings Hosanna
as they do at temple
on the holy day
an echo returns and enlarges
from the nearing walls
some who arrive and leave
Jerusalem join the gathering
did David not once do this?
dancing with the ark
to the side in the shadows of the shops
a small clot of faces
whispering plotting discuss
pushing him off the beast
where he might tumble to the Kidron
the steep stones and outcrops
kill him Hosanna indeed
this is the place that will unseat
the highest powers for peace
the master’s seat shifts
among the cloaks
forming his temporary saddle-throne
as he slips to the side
followers halt and help him upright
they do not die
touching God’s hidden presence
for he awaits yet the holding pole
the priestly lifting
the one offered for the all
in his ascent to death
naked on a stripped tree
timber stark and arid
before the boxing of the covenant
and the cherubim’s announcement
under the wings of dawn
of newness blessing

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

no comment

of poetry
that between the words
are thoughts that cannot be captured
tamed to talk about
especially without some usual punctuation
and ordinary phrase pacing
in the urbane paucity of prose
and such great white space
in which to flee specificity
while living the less-mapped rural
among the trees
and fields free
of needless conversations
bound and shelved

Monday, April 11, 2011

ichthus with wheels

Harvey S. Mozolak

some haters of creationism
have created ones with feet
like alligators or low lizards
but this on the rear bumper
and window
one small ambiguous
fish drawn with two stylized
curved lines
among almost a dozen
military and political
stickers of faith
allegiance and hope
vote against the godless
semper fi stuff
the Greek unknown among
shouted power
no fishing around

unfit but fragrant turret

Harvey S. Mozolak

a spike of dense design
rising among green spear belts
the low-acinth
bows deep below
not planned well
to hold a tower
of trumpet florets
purple pink yellow white
singing scent
into strong spring gusts

apostolic women walking

according to Matthew and Mark
Harvey S. Mozolak

early morning wet stones
can be slippery
night vines grow across
the paths to trip us
kick against a hidden rock
and serpents and scorpions
stir to sting
the light is limited at dawn
it may hide or mask
lepers thieves drunkards beggars
what we think we see
there may be guards
soldiers if they slumber
and we awaken them
suddenly in their startling
might fling a spear at us
if there is a seal
and we break it to enter
will the authorities hunt to hurt us?
what will greet us
at the grinding gate of death?
“who will roll away the rock?”

questions curl around the women
as tightly their clenched and cinctured
dresses shawls and cloaks
baskets heavy on their arms
filled with preparations for death

their shuffling pace slows
there coming close the silent sepulcher
entombing the loss of love
and their once divine devotion

as they went
the sky began to seize the earth
and turn and twist
seething upside-down
their steps loosened
as in waves of unseen water
a tide pulling time and place
loosens rocks and reels trees
cracks form and vise
a hillside tumbles and a nearby foundation folds
they stumbled fell and cried out
until the ground was still

before them
the Lord’s angel had descended
from heaven like a meteor striking
piercing the mounded metal helmet of death
ringing like a bell in hell
announcing the freedom and victory
of wood splayed flesh and holiness
over fang and roaring lie

the women saw the soldiers waver
shake like limbs in a fierce storm
then were fallen trees
struck down by lightning
that remained aglow
fiery as the gown of the rising sun
robed clean like new fallen snow

come see
the emptiness of fear
the void after violence
the deep vacancy now in death itself

go quickly
tell his disciples
“he has been raised”
this is God’s message
“you will see me”

“suddenly Jesus met them”
falling at his feet
they anointed him with worship

in his quiet and healing presence
the earth is pieced together again
held by his sealed scars
and the whole instability
brought by his resurrection

elevation at an Easter cemetery

Harvey S. Mozolak

above the graves
cross-shaped pastels
flowers arranged in sprays
ground rays cut
desperately dependent
on visits and watering hands
a few as bunnies and novelties
in a children’s section
called The Holy Nursery
where the clusters of the living
seem tighter and linger longer

some poke a fisted outcrop of stone
at the sky as if to rip open
clouds that drag east
too near the earth
with their closing curtains of tears
others low lie encouraging
a falsity of green and age
the grass to grow at their edges
the dirt to accumulate in seams
as remembrance dims and deems
less attention
to the barren bedding of dear affection

looking toward the morning light
where there is a grove of three wintered trees
at the border
of this vast green field
a church has come to be
within its walls another rock rises as a grave table
of blessing a pedestal beyond
on which to hear and place
the said and tasted
above and within the broken loaf
the fingered sign lip to lip of the cup
and below in ferment of faith
where words are heard like these

if you have been raised with Christ,
seek the things that are above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set you minds on things that are above,
not on things that are on earth,
for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ who is your life is revealed,
then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

above the graves
that are our houses and homes
built from the small forest of pain
and boulders that stubbornly remain
hope is gathered by its stems of trust
into bouquets of love
lifted by the song that rises above
and plants itself toward heaven
with roots like organ pipes
trumpet pistons drum skins
the metal shells of cymbals
and joyful drape of bells
raised above

where lives in Christ
are his glory revealed

(text within, Easter epistle: Colossians 3. 1-4)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

new tricks

Harvey S. Mozolak

old amid a nature growing young
does the dog
notice that the insufferable cold
is gone underfoot?
its white barrier dismissed
by the west now simply wet
and that there are more birds
taking offense
at her patrols of the yard’s perimeter
though by now they ought to be assured
she climbs no tree or bush
too old to even rise and stand
her front paws a few feet up considering
the rabbits have been convinced
several litters ago
(good name also for their lawn leavings)
that she has slowed down
and that the haunched look may well be
part of a decision not to chase
as well as preparation for a launch to action
at the end of her lead
in dawn’s farewell to darkness
she sits
having hunted and crept upon
a small herd of deer
six who stand and watch her
as intently as she does them
having heard her metal-tagged collar
twice six foot away
they are learning a lesson in intention
they would do well to forget
if they would spring
old amid a nature growing young

Saturday, April 9, 2011

reaching beyond the thaw

Harvey S. Mozolak

a tree
with a twinned trunk
as its base
getting its feet wet
thinking of breaking the flow of clouds
with new branching heights
the puddle dreaming
of becoming a pond
in park
a rivulet envisioning
itself a stream
with perhaps a school of minnows
moving like leaves
did downhill last autumn
the depth of spring
more ample than simple thirst


Harvey S. Mozolak

it is a second day
pushing up toward seventy
a bumblebee buzzes
among slim spring sippings
the ground cover’s tiny blue flowers
a few stunted hyacinth stems
towered trumpets challenging brazenly
daffodils in his battle colors
an armed scout of days to come
seven blocks away
later that day
I saw a lanced knight the same size
dead in an entrance way
unable to breach the week’s warmth

garden goof

Harvey S. Mozolak

the tickler reads
…don’t make the ten top mistakes
in gardening…
click on the internet link for the list
turn that clod over
and rake through the wet thought
picking out any rocks and stones
what if there are nine top errors
or eleven odious blunders?
if I avoid the ten
will one of the eleven rows
of beans lettuce beets peas spinach and more
turn yellow instead of green
or poke through as a line of laughing weeds?
to say nothing of twelve or sixteen
much less five or six
is it worth the callousing work and brow sweat
underarm stains of guilt
when the return to Eden is growing closer
where all ten are forgiven?
and some things are not to be eaten anyway

Friday, April 8, 2011

bright highlighting

Harvey S. Mozolak

arms up
yelling “ow”
at the property line
of winter
in the edge of browned grass
yellowing warning
no going beyond
this is spring

Monday, April 4, 2011

two studies of Lazarus

the disrupting peace

Harvey S. Mozolak

our last words
chiseled in dead silent rock
something about resting
Lazarus comes bounding
from the tomb
streaming bindings
resurrection’s unwindings
strangling death
gagging the soundless
rousing with the Lord’s word
our stone cold nature

shreds of time

Harvey S. Mozolak

left like pencil shavings
swirls from the mute grave sentence
the cloths that covered him
unwrapped his hands and steps now write
there is more
that meets the closing eyes
an awakening word
that earth cannot cover
and contain by blunted breath 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

black shirt tab

Harvey S. Mozolak

on the dresser
in front of the mirror
showing rumple stubble
and stain
the white clergy tab
cut of what was once
a complete round collar
lying there detached
a small clipping
snip of the sacred
finger nail
broken in the failed grasp
of the horns of holiness

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mary and Martha’s brothers

Harvey S. Mozolak

in the final bandages of illness
he was wrapped like leftovers
the kind that only unkindness
would keep uncovered

without malice
there is something of garbage
to our remains
that after exposure
to death’s silent heart
begins to smell and stink

we must be buried
deep in the earth
shovel-carved or caved
where the worm keeps its winnings
for a time uncertain

what are left are the tears
after the last care and embrace of the body
they are allowed to clean
those who cleansed
the neighbors and friends
and sisters Mary and Martha
in the home that once
held also a brother
now dead Lazarus
bound for the unwinding of years

at a distance were others
who heard late of the passing

among them
a loved one
unrelated by blood in the usual sense
as yet unscarred by the wood and stone
that would mark his mysterious end
but perfumed among them as Lord
a brother by blessing
often at table in their home
laughing in the garden
talking late by the light
and warmth of their fire

two days he let Lazarus
oversleep time
stumbling in the daylight
as if at night
his sisters searched
for ways to fold their emptiness
within the closing curtains of memory
stained with the reign of sadness

and then the follower Thomas
a twin among the dozen
felt moved to say in sympathy,
of the unseen fear
“let us also go, that we may die with him”

thus four days foul
he was found
a cold hidden fragmented loaf
damp saturated with the stench of mold

when Jesus came
at his feet they fell
as before a rock
they could not move
in the road to Bethany
on the path to the fresh-filled grave
“if you had been here
“my brother would not have died”
Martha sobbed later Mary cried

strange even rude to suggest
a look at much less beneath the lid
could he not see
blind to the battering
tears gauzing their sight?
clearly he should have seen
to have been there

but there an opening
a peek at the peak that will be raised
under the towel an awakening face
an early unwrapping
to see the edge of beyond the edge
the sight of the glory of God
unstrapped of the strife of life
and the binding strips of death

we are sisters and brothers
disciples awaiting
in the several sick and sad days
wrapped in water
the tears of God
drench our souls
buried in the believed Word
who will rise
who will live
who will never die

the rock cleaved and dragon slain
by the plague of blood
this new exodus
a parting of the earth
as if it were the sea
so aboard with him
we billow with breath

Lazarus wipes the whispered wings of eternity
from his eyes
to see again his earthbound Lord
before his departure

the dead coming out
at “God’s help”
in the lasting voice
calling “come forth”
into faith
and the following beyond
banded with the Twelve
and the faithful who followed
to the one death which will gather
our dispersion
into the children of God

“now the Passover was near”


Friday, March 25, 2011

woman of Samaria

Harvey S. Mozolak

mud ridges of moist clay
her footprints in the puddles
by the well
his too leaving
on a journey toward the south
hers deeper into self
and the heart she carries
heavier than the daily water skins
now emptied for others to drink
of the life he offered
bubbling beyond the noon’s thirst
the spirit and truth worshipped
neither here by Sychar’s high ground
nor on Jerusalem’s conflicting mount
but in those who believed
because of his word
saving the world

generation of God

Harvey S. Mozolak

God of Adam and his Abraham
sons Isaac and Jacob

the infinite
vesseled in a measure
that will hold
nine twists of the moon
carried like a jar from a well
whose depths cannot be plumbed
to the cupped ears of centuries
and epochal-empty hearts held
parched in waiting for a promise
hidden beyond hope
under the shadow of a tree
Mary loosens the rope
of her dress at the bulging
blessing growing within
the Most High placenta-pressed
pulled low by the gravity of our generations

God of Eve and her Sarah
daughters Rebekah and Rachael

nuncio Christi

Harvey S. Mozolak

from the Lucian palette
the angel’s cadmium gold wings
are stroked next to the blessed mother
as yet unburdened
by the extra weight of heaven’s favor
in his pinioned hands
one could picture a lily
for her purity of purpose
“let it be with me’
the bulb of my belly
“according to your word”
or still a sword
piercing the heart of every joy’s juice
her heartbeat comingled
in the covering by the dripping of his blood
in the embrace of new son John
or yet a shroud
to receive the loaf of cooling bread
broken and held in sarcophagal napkins
or even an empty cup for filling
to toast the throne of David the servant
of another kingdom forever lost
his robe a painter’s rag
undivided by the die
for the fortunate sponging the dripping easel

daubed with doxa his hands are brushed open in prayer
departing at the presence
not nearer but more visible
on the canvas of time
before the ceiling paint has dried
Mary sealed hurries to greet Elizabeth
with all magnificent news
that will be framed
by the high most low
his holding nails
for the hanging

Annunciation, 2009

Thursday, March 24, 2011

annunciation, 2011

Harvey S. Mozolak

spring cleaning in late March
in the warming attic among tangled lights
and the broken shards of ornamentation
fallen from a forgotten box
I saw
the wing of an angel
worn by a small child in the play
that in December became the warmth
allowing time to await
the announcement of spring
and the single once
return of God
to living room and tree
in the hot noon days
of April’s merciful migration


Harvey S. Mozolak

it is usually somewhat after
a sonogram
the special sound within
made to echo seeking creation
that gram and great-gram
grand-pops aunts and uncles
cousins get the news
of the fresh expectation
that will shortly distend the belly
and the heart

hers was well…
before such possibilities
the paintings often show light
beyond simple or natural source
holy harmony and resonances
too difficult to paint
but her ear heard
chambered first the announcement
unknown to her mind or mood
in that sixth month
in a town in Galilee called Nazareth
Mary a house never entered
an address not yet known
now greeted and favored
“the Lord is with you”
The Word within
for he after your extended bearing
shall be greater
called Most High
reigning without end

a dove sits in a tree
outside her home
limbed wings casting a sheltering shadow
over the opened doorway
to new spoken possibilities
Mary in swelling dress
and smiling remembrance
carries her daily water vessels
flour for bread
clothes and cloths for washing
serving beyond the needs
now of betrothed Joseph
family and herself
thinking of her cousin Elizabeth
who should place her ancient ear
to her young belly and hear
of these unbelievable things….

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

seven knots in the wood

Harvey S. Mozolak

let there be
creating affixed to a tree

disobedience swallowed whole
on the violent hill's violation
a cry that the kingdom is come near
to those hopeless even afar
new love for each other
bonds beyond blood and loss
in the midst of abandonment
remembering the God who never forgets
slaking sharpness in throating death
a sponge on a spear
it is done
handed over to heaven
the earth
named conquered explored

in a breath narrowed to nothing
on a board

Monday, March 21, 2011

a plethora

Harvey S. Mozolak

the spaces between
and an extra
that didn’t count
did she bring them
back with her?
the woman at the well
her jar now forgotten
amid the prophet’s words
of water and life
what of those she urged
to come and see
everything that she had ever done
spilled like wet soil
about Jacob’s quenching gift
to countless generations
even of Samaritans?
they the many traces
of division among the divided
all a plethora divorced
from God’s salvation
inviting the new wedding to stay

“Rabbi, eat something”

Harvey S. Mozolak

there were times
when they gathered
gleaning grain from the field edges
on the rutted roads they walked
and others
when baskets were needed
to save the uneaten abundance
at the feeding of a multitude
filled by a few fish and loaves
an invitation recalled
to a Pharisee’s house where they ate
welcome amid others’ folded and refolded
unused napkins of purity and complaint
then in the upper chamber
for the feast of saving leaving
with unleavened bread and wine
given as broken and shed
he had said
there was food that he ate
that they knew nothing about
his appetite beyond
the occasional date and sweet bite
of pomegranate or roasted egg
bread fresh baked from the earth oven
lamb licked to the bone
his life was a fast
amid our plates and platters
his food to do the will of the one
who sent him to the last
the work of the fruit re-stemmed to the tree
his will slaughtered on a spit
basted by human spit and spite
for the reaping of our eternal harvest

(John 4. 31-34)

beyond Sychar’s thirst

Harvey S. Mozolak

wet and cold
under sweatless sun
beating down with drying
into death

dropped down
from on high
into red raw augered earth
Jesus a deep draw

dug in virgin ground
there above the well
his branched brace is built
to bucket earth

into heaven’s reign

Sunday, March 20, 2011

sponge that cleanses

Harvey S. Mozolak

from their garrison quarters
by the soldier’s slave
a small man they kicked around
from some foreign capture
the sponge
an easy way from the water bucket
to wipe their faces
and clean off bloody hands
from a task that was not welcome
but just a thing
guards get commanded to do
here on the hellish hill
sometimes weekly
to shock and warn the crowds
of the Roman fist and Pilate’s power
when the one they all laughed at
and cursed called out in thirst
the officer pointed to the sea sop
in its small pink ocean
first his men squeezed out
all its tainted taste of life
then poured sour wine
into its empty craters
offering it like a chunk of a broken bitter star
returned to heaven
tearless now the dry eyes
of the condemned looked down
soaking up the suffering
on the hot acrid hill
pustule of the poison
deep in all the earth
“Father, forgiven them for they known not
what they are doing”

teacher of Israel

Harvey S. Mozolak

he sat on the wall
I on the cushions
spilled for coolness
under a moon pouting with light
and we spoke
of tender things
birth and childhood
returning to the womb
fear and wisdom
and the wind
and as we did it came up
unseen with spirit
from the west we heard it
in the ancient olive grove
we talked of the signs
his questions and he listened
I spoke of the love that gave
my God his only
I from above below
until the sun began its
slow Jerusalem climb toward
the tree tops

Saturday, March 19, 2011

go softly quietly friend

Harvey S. Mozolak

she cannot hear
the door thump
the creak of shoes
on a nearby floor
the bird’s chatter
a rabbit
among the leftover winter leaves
the quick slash
of an early fly
will catch her eye
but the dullness has begun
to slow the watch
to twitching in her sleep

Friday, March 18, 2011

Isaac at the tree

Harvey S. Mozolak
last night
they sat outside on the rocks
to the side of the tent
the princess of his kingdom
the night’s small lights
could be seen in her eyes
his world there
glistening like an dark wide sea
her feet plowed the sand gently
many of the grains sticking to her toes
she could laugh so
when he tickled them
but that was when they were young
before Haran and the call to leave
and tent among the temporary
inside he could hear Hagar and Sarah
struggling to manage Ishmael’s play
there between the trees
at first like the limbs themselves
strangers coming difficult to see
in the shimmering noon sun
against the ache in his arms and legs
he rose to reverence
invite the favor of their presence
bring water ordered bread
and slaughtered calf
to eat beneath an oak of Mamre
and introduce at their request
the woman at the tent flap listening
his aged
wind-wrinkled wife
who now hardly ever smiles
at God’s pleasure
now invited
to a belly full of giggling

Monday, March 14, 2011

casket of grace

Harvey S. Mozolak

a long narrow box
with high walls
a ceiling somewhat vaulted
for the chest
that no longer rises
except in the shortening sighs
of the mourners gathered
ribs poked by the pockmarks
of flesh fasteners
a wood sign of our end
flat fallen among the rocks
without destination
the church
the coffin of God
where the carpenter son of creation
construction of his table
for blessing a meal
to gather and go on

Saturday, March 12, 2011

secular Lent

Harvey S. Mozolak

no time to pause
means that we have gathered
all the pauses
bound them with busyness
and used them as whip
against our hours
to hurry away from home
and when the circuit
returns at darkness to something
under a roof’s shelter
we are too tired to retire
and occupied devouring our silence
with completing completions