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

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

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

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


Psalm 51. 7
Harvey S. Mozolak

stench of body sweat
sick smell of blood
and a small antiseptic
sour vinegary wine
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


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

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