Wednesday, October 10, 2012

cleric's morning

Harvey S. Mozolak

fingernails of night
cold wicks clipped
some lost in the darkness
falling to the stone chancel floor
as scraps of day-directed thoughts
and guilt assuaged
are assembled
in candlelight
awaiting empty paper
a leaking black nib
and the flame of a convinced
tongue fumbling for words
beneath the shadow
of the ruminating rood

Monday, September 3, 2012

change of scenes

Harvey S. Mozolak

fog’s cool wet pat
on the warm land
wisps sleep unseen
longer
beneath grey fingers
extending
here and there their knuckles
quietly rising
above the trees and hills
to silhouette with silence
the sky and sun’s impatience
the clap and blink
flutter of flared wings
from startled nests
roar of engined breath
splash of a storm’s passing
awake
short the clawing hold
on hard slippery stone
and muddied earth
then on to hunt and prey
the seen no longer hidden

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

yellow

Harvey S. Mozolak

butter on bread
not yet harvested
a Picasso plate
of a-maized yellow
palette-knifed in a slash
toward the light
afield high to the east
growing brighter

Saturday, June 16, 2012

flexible inflexibility

Harvey S. Mozolak

futile waving at a wave
gnats in a midair undulating net
swirling the air in currents they create
with some unified
matted will of obstinacy
swerving to block my way
too much a nuisance not to swat
but mostly miss or merely alter
some course but not the sum
readjusted in an instant
to conform to whatever curtain
is deemed the best obstruction
opening closing
their wings an almost heard
applause
staging directions

Thursday, June 7, 2012

arbor vult

Harvey S. Mozolak

a pine cone
in the middle of the road
awaiting what?
a wheel to crush it
allowing it more easily
to move to dirt
and seeding
the swirl of a hind’s passing hoof
scurrying squirrel
to move it beyond the middle
a rabbit’s interest
to stop and investigate
it closer to the side
either one
although it fell from the east
and was hoping
in its own unthinking way
for some help against the wind’s will
and toward the treeless meadow
and the rock
where a fat snake
suns itself

Sunday, May 27, 2012

no memorials

Harvey S. Mozolak

a seed awakening
in a moist pot
does not remember
the field full of its flowers
and fruit from which it was plucked
and sacked
but only now the sun’s angle
to which it must lean
its sprouting head
unthinking of past seasons
but only surging hope dark buried
unseen but furrowed

song of the Spirit

Harvey S. Mozolak

when the dove
sings of heaven
nesting on earth
hear the holiness
angels understand
near in lullabies
as night-piercing gloriae
with a cup containing
garden-groaned tears
and a solid stone
setting for death
split open in descant for life

Saturday, May 26, 2012

dove sounds

Harvey S. Mozolak

winged word called from silence
beaked breast blood from bound wood
song of the tree freeing from the deformation of all
noted as one
anew anew anew

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

sunrise circle

Harvey S. Mozolak

a wood in the middle
the street goes around
called a circle
the trees clustered tightly
are knot a thick lumbered dot
yet not because halfway through
I can see you walking about the loop
enlarged by the framing limbs
beckoning birds a family of rabbits
squirrels bees and wild flowers
nested by a ring of numbered houses

Saturday, April 7, 2012

hOle in the hunt fOr…

Harvey S. MOzOlak

O lOOk O
sO sOOn
by the wOOd frame
Of the dOOr
a bOOn for my basket
nOw fOund an egg
rOund and red
as a drOp of blOOd
frOm an OOzing wOund
and O there tOO
sO blue
under the brOken tree
a giant drOp a tear O
what dOes the dyeing 
Of the Oval say?
the SOn in the bOOk
cracked On the gOOd Of nOOn
rose in the mOrning cOlOrs of jOy

morning following shabbat

Harvey S. Mozolak

it was not a day without God
but surely a godless time
forsaken of faith and future
it was not that there was no sun
but the light seemed not to matter
whether we walked the teeming tense streets
used the back alleys hidden
or hurried along the paths to Emmaus
and Bethany they were empty
without him who was our brother
no our new found Lord
was he simply a torn bookmark?
and we have gone on to read
another chapter learn of new characters
find drama and loves that pass like seasons
if it were only that the king was asleep
so his subjects crept quietly around his slumber
because he rested on his throne
instead we had lifted him lifeless
from the passion of the pitiful perch
placed him the robes of death
and delivered him into the throat of silence
among the cold stones and unmovable rocks
then we talked in the low tones of the fearful
will another rule the same our days and years?
yet we must keep this memory
the vast hollow void
for there is a kind of holiness
in all the unkindness and killing
the venomous stick left like a serpent’s broken fang
on the mounded flesh of a swollen earth
drained and dead itself
the Sabbath is trumpeted for rest
but fitful twisting and turning
all these mournful musings
and I have yet to leave my bed
Simon did I hear the women leave early
to do the dreadful duty in which none take delight?

Friday, April 6, 2012

pieta

Harvey S. Mozolak

taking down
by rope and linen leader
ladder laid against the limbs
the detached twigs
from the branches
the broken trunk pruned from the tree
limp leaves withered
in the oppressive noon heat
dried indecency
no wind no breath
only the commended spirit
silenced and closed by the wood
in a coffin of flesh
draped into arms of love
not yet adoration
but a simple pall
the fall of tears and waiting

Thursday, April 5, 2012

nard

Harvey S. Mozolak

the larder of Mary and her sister
held more than the large crock of lard
powdered herbs flour salt and dried fruit
there was a jar high on a shelf
alabaster of expensive
intensely aromatic amber nard
a spice not only hard
to get but beyond most ability to buy
her brother Lazarus had found and bought it
at the market when a booth
was being torn down completely sold
because its owner had died
hit by an errant Roman chariot
in a rush to get somewhere
to quell a riot or lift a cup of Jewish wine
purchased cheap with oaths and threats
Mary often said she pulled the curtain
on the cupboard open just to breath the fragrance
Martha said it made her remember
too much why they kept it
against that day when death would close a door
and allow the stench of death’s decay to retch their family
would instead that the aromas of stew and bread
filled their home
and then came that day
when Lazarus sick with fever
could not leave his bed then came the dread
his stillness no longer laughter
the coins from his work
willing hands stoking the fire
the strength of these two sisters no more
they called their other almost another brother
Jesus
sweet Jesus come
and late as he never was he came
delayed as if unneeded
with the Twelve bearing belated blessing surely
condolence at the corpse of the beloved friend
comfort indeed he carried in a strong voice
come forth and Lazarus did
trailing grave bindings unraveling
among the lavender planted at the tomb’s entrance
and now comes the Passover
remembrance of the freeing from death
under the beams dripping with lamb’s blood
the room has been reserved and readied
Martha is cooking the lamb and mixing sweet harsos
in the yard below at the kitchen fire
salting the water because she no longer has tears
undistracted from other’s preparations
Mary has come from home carrying a small parcel
wrapped in the bleached linen of a table cloth
for Jesus poor Jesus
he speaks of a terrible end
she brings for the breaking a jar
of unneeded nard
for blessing the blessed
at the table celebrating mercy
scenting the life that gives life

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

elemental union

Harvey S. Mozolak

body wrapped in a flat loaf
on a plate
blood in a supper cup
so strange and hardly believable
this setting of trust
in the table servant
offering the freedom feast
no greater mystery
than God on the cutting board
the next day nailed
and knifed by spear in place
by our enraged hunger
not satisfied by the eating
of forbidden fruit

except for a linen cloth

Harvey S. Mozolak

John was sleepy
limp like a dirty rag dropped after cleaning
relining as he was beside his Lord
the evening growing long
with a belly full of roasted lamb and fresh bread
frequent cups of sweet scarlet wine
he had risen far too early for the preparations
since he was youngest
he was given the tasks and jobs
that called for running ahead
often with the younger James
to make preparations
the donkey on Sunday
the upper room tonight
the table readied for the feast of freedom
indeed as it is said
fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints
it would be good to kick off  his sandals
and remove his winter cloak
one wore one’s best outer traveling garments
at the sacred exit-meal
to celebrate the running free
from captivity
but get up Master said
time to be going
through the gated wall
down the slope
between the brush and trees
across the Kidron creek
and down the path
into the ancient olive-grove of Gethsemane
awfully warm with all these heavy clothes
entering the garden where…

(a redaction should leave out
the small embarrassing exodus)


later redressed but un-composed
he stood by the women beneath nakedness
like he had never seen
bone-exposed heaven
veins dripping the red reign of God defied
only nails grounding the lightning from striking the earth
in rage until darkness covered the light

then a Joseph bought a linen cloth
took down the body
and wrapped it in the sheet
and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb
and stoned it shut
until John the quicker runner
and Peter came
and saw the linens lying there
not here
now clothed with untouchable nude glory

(Mark 14. 51; Revelation 19:8; Isaiah 64. 6; Mark 15. 46; John 20. 6)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

border frame of blessing

Harvey S. Mozolak

goghing through a wheat field
thick with yellow tassels
repeatedly bowing in prayer
loudly shuttling
in the passing wind
the knotted tzitzit
free from the fabric of slavery
psalms the graduation of grain for meal
there he spoke of the harvest
hands rubbing and the parting
sifting seed falling
into baskets
poured onto stones then ground
wet with milk and salt
pounded down kneaded and formed
baked brown and sweet
in the fiery heat of Passover preparation
later some left forgotten
kernels at the table’s edge are swept
and gathered into women’s hands
and sown in the soil of the neighborhood
where the fringe of his cloak
once swept the earth
and was touched for healing
where now on bare knees
he scrapes the streets
and stumbles
his own blood watering
the unraveling world

Monday, April 2, 2012

feckless tree

Harvey S. Mozolak

a fig-less tree
figuring what to do
provide some small shade
in case a prophet makes this way
as his along the road to the capital
primly pose so pilgrims will remark
how its shape so well fits the side
of the path as it curves ever so slightly
here already uphill toward the place of peace
perhaps no one will notice it
is a fig tree but rather think it a shrub
a bush meant to be part of a larger hedge
it is simply not the right time of year
to be serious about producing fruit
leaves will have to do
then comes the creator hungry
for greater things as meant to be
before the barren appeared the blessed
and curses the tree for failing to have and hold
this was done when the wood was green
what will happen when it is dry
coming by some slaves drag large lumber
cut for forming killing posts
under the guard of the high priest’s squad
past the now brown skeleton
a command barks out
break that one down for kindling
in the courtyard
no denying the nights still are cold
when there are no leaves to hide

Sunday, April 1, 2012

trampled fronds

Harvey S. Mozolak

there is some pushing and shoving
to get to the front of the crowd
to see him and his passing entourage
children running and skipping along
some people have pulled down low green branches
others doffed their cloaks
like in the old days for David and Solomon
a kingly procession into the city
from victorious battle against some enemy
like the Philistines or those from the east
who could know that the conflict
will begin in the city itself
the Temple torn with loyalty
in the clash and struggle for the hearts
of those not assembled for the parade
but whose pageantry will include
a contingent of the priests' guard
the squad from the Roman cohort
and a mob stirred up by shouts
for the three trees stripped of praise

Saturday, March 31, 2012

altar cloth touching the floor

Harvey S. Mozolak

Palm Sunday’s joyful glories
tumble into the Prayer of the Day
and its dimming reminder
that the Gospel will be filled
with cries of crucify
as the cut branches dry
and die in people's palms
his empty awaiting the nails
that notch love to hang on a rack
like an unneeded seamless tunic
for the nakedness of God

orchids at the conservatory

Harvey S. Mozolak

orchids are all face
pursed lips and pouting cheeks
eyelashes curled and ears dripping
with bright held by thread-held beads
and gems of contrasting color
they have a small green neck
and something of arms
and below often ugly twiggy rooted legs
but the flowers’ leaves
something more to be desired
need a tree’s trunk or unnatural wood props
crutches supplied by a connoisseur
of the blatant odd and esoteric
miles from jungles and rain forest
their laughter must be conserved
under faux-fogged glass
for a eyes aided and memories served
by the focus of a digital device

garden row markers

Harvey S. Mozolak

mark my word
on the mound
with a wound in the earth
dug deep to suspend heaven
gouged to plant a tree
for transplanting soil
in harrowing spikes
and spading spear
through five wounds
in the flesh of God
where scars of plucking
will sprout faith’s fruit
clinging near the staking

Friday, March 30, 2012

frost

Harvey S. Mozolak

not a heavy cloth
but a simple tissue
small crisp crust
like rust to the rain
frost
winter’s first and last
betrayal
white bright rim
edging vivacity with duplicity
it does not stay
like snow to be hated
tracked down
and shoveled aside
it leaves only
a limp line of grief
to warm
as tears to run away
and say “it was not I”
to the waking
eye of the sun
staring quiet courage
in the march to April

beginning holy week’s endings

Harvey S. Mozolak

a whole week
worth of completion
set like
in ugliness some spot
walked around avoided
because going through
tracks sputum and sweat
blood and torn flesh
in the worn way we go
to say nothing of other base things
at the post where a pack of ferial dogs
stop to relieve themselves
on the beauty like a tree
set apart to see
stark bare of bark cold
then budded by red
blossoming in white
fruited in gold tasting sweetness
plucked by bidden hands
to hear and heart
plate cup and feast in the strong long
week of holiness

Thursday, March 29, 2012

improved vision

Harvey S. Mozolak

poets see so much more today
not only the beach
that a certain wealthy patron
has allowed them to walk
in the winter season
to sense beyond the sea
a fathomless land unknown
and make a lined account
between tides of the countless sand
or walk a woods closer to home
in spring to apply a bud
to the need for hope to flower
from within a frozen heart
but now with the freedom of film
and a world widely seen in video
televised rebellions
and geographic exploration
to fierce cold or molten places
remote peoples and their patterns
sometimes live and interactive
yet who proves such visions
to be what they are unseen
within sieved by thought
an art ocean-wide
plied where there are no ships
and nested deep in dense trees
where only birds commune in song

Monday, March 26, 2012

after hirelings fled

Harvey S. Mozolak

the wolf howls
then the sheep hear the voice
and they know
the lamb who will triumph
though lost of heaven
caught in the thatch
a corpse in the lone copse
on the side of the fierce mount
is not frozen amid the flocks’ fear
but stands unmoving
at its unguarded flanks
where flattened lupine ears circle near
and the devouring decayed teeth
of death yellow
in the dying light of day

Sunday, March 25, 2012

elevation

Harvey S. Mozolak

an elevated host
the corpus lifted and held fast
above the scarlet pool of blood
wine red
is an orb like the morning sun
raised above the horizon
of all that once could be seen
leveled by the grave
and now that beyond
becomes reachable
as we rise from our knees
to stand with the opened mouths
of unsealed sepulchers
to praise him who fills us
with joy and peace
among the unneeded linens
and towels of time

Jacobean de profundis

Harvey S. Mozolak

from the profound depths
where faith had flickered and failed
and hope was emptied not found
where love no longer can embrace
he came rising
with flesh fresh from death
untouched by rot and worm
with hands that shook
their pierced fists at hell
and feet that trampled doom’s despair
and offer now shalom
and a walk without a limp
after pinning God

Thursday, March 22, 2012

warm sin for breakfast

Harvey S. Mozolak

to eat a hot-crossed pastry
properly in a due Lenten half-fast fashion
it must be torn or cut in two
removing the top from the bottom
and the lower section
with its nuts and wrinkled raisins
eaten first a kind of penance-driven
displaced delight and awaited more
and then the sweet mound
white crossed sugar-bled bun
almost in one bite liking sticky fingers last
after touching the coffee cup
leaving an un-confessed number
of tacky tracks of guilt  

Monday, March 19, 2012

first altar guild

Harvey S. Mozolak

stained tablecloth
down to the very wood
the wine
the women gather
the ends and the spills and splatters
crumbs of broken bread
and lamb cold on the bone
a bowl of salted tears
while the disciples
go off to sleep
betray and deny
hide and cry
the linens must be laundered
for the next sacred sustenance
of life after Sabbath Passover

consummatum est

Harvey S. Mozolak

consumed by our appetite
for death
his clothing was gone
wretchedness all that was left him
when the curtain ripped
allowing any and all to see
holiness exposed
to our handling
and the filth of our stare
at his deepest descent
into our midst
where we end
as we began
in the dirt
where he breaths
no more

Sunday, March 18, 2012

east leaning west at the edge

Harvey S. Mozolak

the coming of it is not like
the warmth
or the green stab from the soil
that says with a thick tubular thrust
spring
the winter stuffed north
by a battering series of storms
shutters then un-nailed

it is placed tenderly
like emptied eggs dyed with colors
set to blaze amid the black
among the stones
of silence and the unmoving ages
for many but not all
the Sunday after the Paschal full moon
following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox
a day between March 22 and April 25th
eternity our end
and out began

Friday, March 16, 2012

the third thief and the mother hen

H.S. Mozolak

the small boy with a smirk
showed his sister his find
she frowned
where did you get them?
you weren’t up on the hill were you?
he pushed his disheveled hair to the side
they clanked as he placed them
in the empty basket
perched by the rickety fence
in the yard beside their mud house
his hands dirty from their filth
rust and the redness
that wasn’t dried corrosion
you shouldn’t be touching things like that!
I’m telling mother where you were
he in threat and fear
no please don’t I’ll throw them awaythey left them there
she forgetting because her cousin
came to stay and play till sunset
and he occupied with a load of work
his father found for him
that was the eve of the Sabbath
and this morning was the first day of the week
the girl arose as she always did
hungry with so little to eat in the house
and as her mother left the door
carrying a bundle of sweet-smelling scents
the last spices of her garden
to sell as was her custom
to those on the path to the grave-ground
she spotted near the empty garden
the basket where her brother had left his “treasure”
look what Silas went and gotlifting the basket to complete her condemnation
she paused
inside she saw nested
atop the four heavy iron nail pegs
several small fragile eggs
mother
food to break fast
today you do not have to sell
to those who bury

held hope

H.S. Mozolak

dedicated in thanks to St. Stephen’s  Faith Family

I had hoped things would work out
you know we had a whole crowd on our side
the donkey almost floated in the parade
surrounded with Palm fronds
and cries of joy the first of last week
it was as if God was creating
a whole new day
hosanna… blessed is he
in whose coming we hope

our hope faded then for several days
like a drying dying tree
we passed one each day
coming and going
on the road to Jerusalem and Temple
without even a single sweet fig fruit
its branches brittle unblessed
by even his passing

our hopes were high
as they always are every Passover
next year people pray
Messiah come
and at table on the night we remembered
the eve of the Egyptian Exodus
the Lord was among us quietly passing
more than manna
mercy’s antidote
for the heart-hardening venom of fiery serpents
bread that lasts he said was his body
in a bloodshed poured out to save us

our hope held strangely
as he filled a basin and washed our feet
so much like a slave
he whom we called master and teacher
among our filthy feet
stinking toes and sweat warped sandals
his hands as gentle as his soul
his eyes seeing within each of us

our hopes swirled like dirty dish water
when there was talk
of betrayal and denial and missing money
all among friends
he and the twelve of us and the women
who ministered to him and to those in need
until the Iscariot left the room
in such great hurry that his robe ripped
screaming on a nail near the door

we carried hopes in the psalms we sang
in the darkening streets through the eastern gate
and across the Kidron creek to a favorite garden
an ancient olive grove where it was said
the roots were the grandchildren of David’s planting
there he prayed like he always did
to the Father with such fervor and confidence
that it always quieted us and calmed our nerves
so we fell asleep

hope shattered into a thousand sharp shards
in lantern lights and torch flarings
amid blaring barks and commands
as temple guards and an angry crowd
forced their way into our midst
shoving grabbing Jesus and beginning to bind him
with cords and pushing us aside

hopelessly Peter drew a blade
a long fish-fileting knife and slashed
at the servant of the high priest among them
severing amid screams his ear
then Christ touched and healed him
a soundless moment amid the loud mayhem
restraining Simon and commanding
that the mob of men let us go

we ran dropping our hopes like lost outer robes
slipped cinctures and several staves
the beloved ending up naked
his only hope to flee for freedom
leaving our hope to stand alone
abandoned without
within the silent trees
between the frightful shadows

hope was but a frayed unraveling thread
as Peter who hurriedly volunteered 
followed the clot of rage
to the courtyard of the priests
what hope could be found
among the lies of witnesses
the judgment before Pilate
condemned by the jeering jury of a hundred haters
at Herod’s court and then before the spit
mockery whips slashes and gashes of police
and soldiery of Rome and Israel

any hope that we had held out for acquittal
a fine perhaps a bribe
or some added corporal punishment
even time locked like the Baptist in a jail
drained away as the throng kept
yelling in fury for the wrong

how can one hope when the heavy beam
of the hanging wood is lashed
to a beaten back bleeding
crowned with spikes of a weed
wildly sharped and used for pain

hope cannot survive being grounded
staked into the earth
hope must have liberty to breath
flow and see beyond
but here on the hill things are nailed down
with the wrath of four searing irons
death is a foregone conclusion
only suffering is figured
in the intensity of the disfigurement

hope has now become garbage on a heap
thrown away all chances
all opportunities for more
planning over goals gone
but for the trudge to the grave

in thirst
yet one of his words
to the helpless hopeless thief
flings a slap into the face of bleak defeat
another to his very enemies
hands with hammers and spear
he offers unshielded forgiveness
care to his mother and brother
and to his God and Father the hidden shout
elpis
the Word of hope
that all is done but not despair
and he is in his Father’s hands

when the Christ like a flag
no longer furling on its pole
slumped wilted on the wooden stem
we reached and lowered him with a ladder
others thought to bring
because there was no faith
now I think of what we held
limp sagging drooping
dropping into our arms and hands
the divine hope
that can be held

and oh…
so dead
he did hold us
like we had never been held before
for he was hope
that can be held

even in the last drops
of an saved alabaster jar of tomb spice
carried fragrant to a morning grave
in mourning
and dropped there
like an anchor
unneeded
whose rope of hope
is held fast now to another shore
beyond the dawn


holy Saturday thoughts


H.S. Mozolak

somewhat like the rich
use shallow dry cisterns
or a carved niche in the wall of the city
even a small cool cave in the side of a hill
to cover a basket of pears
a lump of newly squeezed cheese
a freshly salted leg of lamb
we placed him like an uneaten meal
some stored supply on a stone shelf
in the borrowed burial burrow
of Joseph the Arimathean
for the women who would later come
to the ledge and wrap the body
tenderly pried from the wood
for what we did not know
the legendary of an Egyptian journey
our forefathers for Abraham’s feast
or as he said the three days
rebuilding of the Temple
it is the Sabbath rest
yet we know no manna can be kept
but for the day without the sacred spoilage
we have no hunger
our bellies are limp grave bags
tears are our only drink
and yet even David of the Tabernacle
entered God’s very house
and ate the presence bread
oh for the wisdom of Solomon
and the answered word of the prophets

sacred shapes refigured

H.S. Mozolak

useless fangs
drained empty of poison
were they left there empty
planted inert in the skin of the earth
above the choking knoll
where the air was taken out of heaven?
like three pegged plus signs
of sin’s addition to perfection
giving death its great subtraction
leafless lifeless marks of the fall
bringing on its breathless cold
where hung the thief
who still runs from Eden
and the other malefactor who remembers
to factor the promise of Paradise
before the one who spoke let there be
between engrafted
is the Christ who held court
beneath the gavels of his executioners
he robbed of all
but us

Monday, March 12, 2012

warmer than usual

Harvey S. Mozolak

snow shovels given away
worn boots in the trash
winter wools given to a clothing bank
moving south
where the sun is wide-eyed
the air softer in warmth
the trees early pink white
red buds and myrtles common
as crepe at a party
but spring has come early
after a winter warmer than usual
as if to say
we can do better
please stay
see the north season
can play
nice but we are not listening
instead memorizing a new house address

along the trip

Harvey S. Mozolak

it appears
between the mountains
the road a parting
comb for a receding pine line
where the deep young forest
ages up the winter-whitening sides
fingers unthinking run
through thinning temples of matted hair
tired after miles of driving
among the ridges

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

an empty church offers…

Harvey S. Mozolak

echoes fill entering this sepulchral space
empty wood benches
assigned for Sunday sacred serenade
there the podium of the maƮtre dei deserted
the table central for food ordered above all love
in obedience yielding as common garden goods
and stock their life to death in knifed silence
the menu posted with nails overhead
a la Nazarenus
what whip and cries have driven
like a flock of pigeons or some frightened filthy sheep
all from this place who have bought and brought
things to sell and barter on their knees with heaven?
now off to elsewhere to find the missing
the extra to add on the odd of interest
hangers for off-season coats the shelves for more
this barn where God comes un-bargained sold
was once a tent like animal flesh
this hide of God among us taken down
to move as the people journeyed
un-pillared by great stone and colonnade
now flung away ripped torn naked on a refuse heap
among the broken debris of the desperate
and doomed of human waste
here we will fill our mouths and cup
of God’s leftovers three days old
handouts among the hungry starving
who cannot refuse the filling this donation
an empty offering plate reflecting
the morning brass of light shafts from the east

Saturday, February 25, 2012

take up

Harvey S. Mozolak

carrying the awkward wood
large heavy extending far too far
wide tipping balance and bearing
God even needs Cyrenean hands
carrying the awful tree
cut wounded wood nailed
into the fearful furniture
of future’s failure to hold but keep
lock leave and jail in death
afterwards when the nails
have weakened all the beams
the blood belched too much stench
and made too slippery to lift
it is left for the poor
the beggar and thief
to take up the long log limbs
and drag them away
not stumped by the stumps
a craftsman fallen from the trade
by drink or once suspected leprosy
in a filthy tent pitched with other rags
and hides near the Kidron
wedges into chunks and saws the lumber
with finality into a trunk a solid chest
to cart to market to be sold
to hold
the dead
as the awkward
awe-filled wood
will always do
beneath the lid
among linens be laid
within the unseen rings
of time unneeded
for the crossing of eternity

Friday, February 24, 2012

identification please

Harvey S. Mozolak

who am I
kneeling among the shards of fallen cliff facades
at upheavals of crevices attempting the overthrow
of the earth a sand of battle boulders and mounds
of the ground dead
I who created am churning hungry
the temptation if not home with the Father
is to eat bread broken with companions
of this bleak earth but I am alone
each unsaid word a slice
by which to tongue-tie God
but by

who am I
balanced between heaven’s holiness unhinged
receiving the thick smoke of sacrifice
in the scent song of praise
and a child presented redeemed with fluttering doves
then circumcised and waist deep in the waste
John condemns as filth in the Jordan
here at the pinnacle of ancient promise
that blesses faith unfurled a battered banner
for the kiss of righteousness and peace 
held not in the arms of ascending angels
but by God passing the test
by failure to fly away

who am I
clinging like an mountain climber
beyond the oxygen of life into the delirium
high-filled with lies and dreams
dripping of draped splendor
one could be heroic even in their sense
Homeric Hectored Odysseus to Zeus
a Caesar or a Solomonic David
in but a bow to exaggeration
and the careful overstatement of a truth
but I am the Bethlehemic baby
diapered with their doom
whom am I but their own
to say “away with” and to crush
to submit subject and conquer
serve as strange slave

this you will worship only
therefore with angels and archangels
and all the heavenly host

around the cup that will not pass away
in the body that ministers
great mercy known
in the emptiness of God


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

tempting details

Harvey S. Mozolak

i.
baking in the hot sun
of an un-secluded sky
over an empty table of solitary land
like oven stones hot from a fire
stoked for loaves of bread
come sweet and soft for breakfast
his toes turn over some rocks
with his sandal
a small scorpion escapes
making its wretched way across the sand…
his raspy voice smoothing away
the creature’s crooked path
be gone sting crushed
beneath the path of God
like a desert wind written
evened by the sentence
even of the wordless mouth of God

ii.
then to the trumpet corner
where Sabbath and Holy Days
are announced with pinnacled shofar
whose high pitch angels must hear
and gather to overshadow pinioned ark
and arise to descend in fragrant smoke
of wounded seeping trees
among bled and burnt animals
if— then hurl heaven away
to earth God says his wings
will fly your throw from throne
away above all vain and empty promises…
this is no test flight
but for God a burial
beneath the fall of human
unkindness hidden even in temple
stones unmoved by prayers
mouthed in mute acknowledgement
of some place above

iii.
you should be comfortable here
high over things kingdoms forests
fields ice pack oceans steams
cities villages and caravans
I can and will with blast of horns
show far and near
who and where you are
and place their wonder
like this grand view within your reach
if but you credit me with a certain power
a sameness to you at least
to sit at an equal game
perhaps a board
and play a contest
similar players you and I
a nod of your head
you go first will do…
worship the Lord your God
I WILL serve only one I AM
as I WAS
and on a higher mountain write
with my silence
this head bowing into death
for the life
of those whose feast I left
to fast

then angels in a hurried hush
sing him a praise before his meal
is given
to a hungry world

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

hyssop

Psalm 51. 7
Harvey S. Mozolak

stench of body sweat
sick smell of blood
and a small antiseptic
sour vinegary wine
hyssop
the minty taste
of Christ’s dry
dying breath
on a stick
breathed into us
spiraculum vitae
a genesis
recreating us
in his holy death

Sunday, February 19, 2012

figuring in the light the unseen

transfiguration day

Harvey S. Mozolak

glory stuffed within
tunic cloak and sandals
spilled out radiant ripped by the wind
whipping the mountaintop height
when the sun slid behind a cloud
to hide gauzed from its glare
with Moses and Elijah also there
light askew dazzling helter skelter
in the afternoon shadow
this view through open window of sky
at the weather gathered in the west
tempts a change in direction
the seeking of shelter
on the trip to the city named for peace
and for the figure unseen in the brightness

Monday, February 13, 2012

Friday fast


Harvey S. Mozolak

ah the fast
one that lasts
long after hunger
became the empty hanger
clanging in the Lenten closet
proclaiming its frame of nakedness
the Father without the Son
and the Spirit given up
draped the passion plate
and wine-filled bleeding cup
vested for our hunger

fish fry


mission: entrusted to feed

Harvey S. Mozolak

breaking the waved surface
baptizing the boat in a shower like rain
the shimmering scales
of the fearfully curved fins
on a taunt hooked line
a few weeks away
from the trust-stake pole
caked with a trace on the face
beginning the fast that lasts
this year deep into a wet spring
enough time to eat a bit more bacon
and chocolate chip cookies
play some cards and see a nominated movie
late in the afternoon on a day off from work
sweat of the brow
most will not notice
any more than another hanger
worn from a stuffed bedroom closet
the change from green to purple cloth
except for the coated look on a few
bows bobbing on the street or at the mall
the benefit will be found on the drive home
a number of parishes offering fish dinners
with tartar sauce in tiny topped plastic containers
to take home for a hungry spouse and kids
from schools of fish encrusted
with burned crumbs
covered by the bread of life

implanting

Harvey S. Mozolak

bury me
with the burnt-out praise
of the last
up to my heart
at your mounting
topped by the tree
unearthing God’s love

rash of ash

Harvey S. Mozolak

the bars un-noted
of the end
of the music of mercy
that were his days
silence streaked
above where eyes
can see but still can cry
but not erase
the rash of ash

death rubbings

Harvey S. Mozolak

an irritating imperfection of the flesh
to wear God ruined
where he can be seen
a solemn sore
dried boil at evil’s ulcer
and the memory of the wearer’s mind
worn rubbed on a tombstone
before it is set
over the stilled heart
there on the face
above the smile and frown
where furrowed contemplation
is planted in the subsurface
blood-watered soil
there we attempt to draw our own
conclusions

empty pew dust

Harvey S. Mozolak

in a long line
snaking up the center aisle
to the chancel
Michelangelo’s moment of touching
digitalized by countless cameras
pointed upward
caught on I lenses
that look beyond self
in the settling dust
of myriad sloughings of life
and its necrotic flesh
into the crossed rafters
framing all hereafters

et in pulverem reverteris

Harvey S. Mozolak

imperfectly drawn
finger painting of God
in the wet of heaven’s tears dried
and framed by limb-lines of wood

memento homo, quia pulvis est

Harvey S. Mozolak

the downward thumb thrust
of dust and slash of ash
over the outward wall of thought
and will where words are formed
and feelings weighed
a marring mark above the senses
two eyes of sight and ears that hear
nostrils by ferment
and tongue that tastes
the bitter bread and sharp wine
of a body thrust and death slashed

Monday, January 30, 2012

why do angels sit?

Harvey S. Mozolak

if you stare to the side carefully
best if you are a passenger
not the driver
and study the leafless woods
between the few left lonely pine
there even in daylight
one in the creek mostly hidden
by the curving of the road
and its metal barrier ribbon
is drinking alertly lifting
her head from time to time
and several up the hillside
in step fashion
perhaps a buck well up the ridge
closer to the housing development
but beyond where they mow
and toss the football
a house is there
with on one inside wall
a trophy head with horns
on another
a print of a Thayer angel
watch for the movement
of what could be brown trunks
and branches to betray them
they live among us like the angels
prayed for in the evening
over our children’s beds
wings in place of antlers
moving silently through our yards and streets
there even in daylight
but not a host hunted this season
in the after Christmas cold

Saturday, January 21, 2012

one breath away from death

Harvey S. Mozolak

the way the wing feathers tip
determine if the ground squirrel
will live to fluff its fur
beside its burrow
unless the wind’s gust has a say 

poet-horse

Harvey S. Mozolak

words with wings that mount
to beyond above
and plow the hidden
trampled caved and creviced
Pegasus
swift of foot fleet of feather
finless yet prancing
in spring pools the hardness
of cold earth 
with lines of scent and color

in awe of ten

Harvey S. Mozolak

none with antlers
yet some quite large
eight deer eating
around two houses
three in front of each
and two on the sides
when I stop to look
at the size of this herd
they stop eating
whatever it is that is eaten
and all as one watch me
in the car
two in the front
I the driver
and my wife in the passenger seat
she sipping her coffee
and I chewing an orange-flavored mint
the west side window open
as are their sixteen wide eyes
brown spheres less in awe
of 36 mph Bluetooth heated front seats
four-wheel drive side deploying bags
more in fear awaiting direction
for all to drive

Friday, January 20, 2012

snow after sunset

Harvey S. Mozolak

it snowed last night
(the “it” less personable than divine
and even less able and plural than clouds)
but across the paper white
making of the night’s bed
while we were roofed and sleeping
it topped and smoothed all that could be seen
helped by the moon hung with a wide yawn
though not completely necessary
it seems
(again there is an “it” awake and working)
that a small creature
not the usual deer whose arc
of prints are out beyond the porch beam
walked to our door and returned again
to the white beyond indoor distinctions
asking in?
inquiring of our warmth and safety?
looking for some dropped chewable thing?
or searching for the “it”
that came even more quietly
but covering darkness with a lightness
that reveals most all the hidden
except for what
it is

Thursday, January 12, 2012

one moment please

Harvey S. Mozolak

the cat was here a...
the difference between
a minute and a moment
sixty seconds that can be counted
and a space said to be short
whose time is quantified
by the phrase
“one moment please”
a monumental moment
pedestaled by impatient pause
paws that are cast larger and longer
than the real that is watched
leaps and escapes

flotsam for flesh

Harvey S. Mozolak

a speck of dust
in the sun’s shaft
slicing through the living
room glass magnified
among uncountable flecks
swirling between the fireplace
and the open window
near seven billion aboard

Monday, January 9, 2012

on a table

Harvey S. Mozolak

in a clay pot
white flowers rest above green leaves
forced in some southern sun-house
outside the snow has covered
what is left of the lawn
browns interspersed with khaki
tired of the battle with the cold
the blossoms are not nearly as intricate
as the flakes that fell
but they retain their distinction
while frost on the window designs each morning
a protest against the nature of hope

Monday, January 2, 2012

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
the 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 simplify 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
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?

cleaning up

Harvey S. Mozolak

after they left
the parents with their bundled boy
more pigeons returned to roost
in the rafters
and you would think
the sheep
cow and goats
would eat from the manger
but they never did
at least very well
only the grain tops which fell to the floor
the straw still radiated its gold
from the frame where he was laid
until one day the owner of the shed
pushed it aside
among the unused bins
storage sacks
and lumber leftovers
like old yesterday’s yellowing baby pictures
stored in seam-bulged cardboard boxes
in the dusty attic
and today’s discarded cards
from Christmas

Sunday, January 1, 2012

outside the wind howls

Harvey S. Mozolak

the stalks left since October
like the odd pens and pencils
in a wire container on my desk
have given up their protestations
and leaned over a few breaking
in the cold front that blasted through
this afternoon
January has moved into time
with its promise
that it will make everything new
by covering over all previous mistakes
its paper white falling in flakes
blanking in blankets and drifts
the wind thinks it is part eraser
but these words are written
and will be kept indoors

sacristy preparations

Harvey S. Mozolak

light licked liquid
the ceiling smell of wax
the warmth
of new lit wicks
high ablaze
the crisp uncracked
communion host
with lines for wounding
napkined in linen
the fragrance
of fresh poured wine
awaiting