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


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


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
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