Tuesday, December 24, 2013

sursum corda
Harvey S. Mozolak

her thoughts at once fearful
yet surprised
Mary reached into his arms
and marveled that her Joseph

was not dead
old but lively in this moment
as they dried the wet infant
of heaven’s dew sprung
from the virgin well
he laughed

the beams of the carpenter’s arms
like the limbs of an unshaved oak
held the boy high
unlike that bearer who carried holiness
and touched to catch the falling
ark of promise in a stumble
he cried and died
her hands and Joseph’s ached
only with love to lift
the  baby from the feed box
and hold God squirming among them

the covenant
begging to be touched and kissed
that he might share joy divine
and his Father’s forgiveness
for the Fall

Thursday, November 28, 2013

and for those who want a XPmass Proclamation of more traditional sort but yet newly written, I composed the following verse a few years ago and used it in both my last parish in Pennsylvania and my recent interim parish here in North Carolina:

Christmas Proclamation
Harvey S. Mozolak

long many long years ago
generations multiplied by a multitude
ages before eons and epochs
God saw this evening and day
and it was good
as the child lay holy in the hay

before light opened its eyes
to see the sea and seething stone
mound and cool as hills cast in mountains
the fish flash and birds in flight
man astonished at woman
lifted from his side beneath his skin
here a child from no man
but of a virgin’s belly boldly born

waves and waves ago
deep through the tides of time
well after the last lashing splashes
of the flood deluged the world
he washed ashore our flesh
a band of blessing light
new covenanted bent and bowed below
the reign of God
divine dew on the cold rock of the fodder feeder

centuries beyond the centenarians
Sarah and Abraham
who seeded the stars and plowed the sands
with myriad grandchildren’s feet
he came a shock to David’s stock
young maiden Mary of his tribe
too young and pure to know her womb a home
but God comes there by holy promise
to live and grow within and do without

where overwhelmed
drowning in captivity to sin
faltering like Pharaoh’s chariots floundering in the sea
as Moses-child to Egypt from his mother’s arms
he goes out to free his people
to save like Boaz his starving ancient mother Ruth
and rescue like the Judges
Gideon Deborah Barak Sampson
and Samuel last and also priest
anointing David boy of little Bethlehem
king prophesied so small
unknown and insignificant
beside the royal Rome that Daniel saw
with richness and in fear
the power and  peace

this the pax
at the right time
conceived by the Holy Spirit
thus after nine months of darkness
tabernacled by Mary’s ribs
fed by the flow of blood
near her consenting heart
born dropped down
like dawn from heaven
this we proclaim
God stakes out his fatherly kingdom
among us with his Son
now even in this year this day and hour
of our annual solemn joyous celebration 
full-throated in gloria-alleluias

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

For those who are leaning ahead as everyone does into the December doings, a Christmas Proclamation inspired by the words of W.W.   For those who do not know, the Proclamation is sung on Christmas and traditionally recounts the salvic events by dates from the Old Testament to the birth of our Lord.  This one is a bit more contemporary than simply its words... it begins with the birth and jumps to Hodie (Today). 

Contemporary Christmas Proclamation
Harvey S. Mozolak

In the 2013th year,
less several as can be miscalculated under eternity,
in the roughly 1980th year after the certain death
and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
he still comes to those who worship and adore
at manger, cross and the altar of his resurrection
where the proclamation is not fearfully announced
through archangelic presence
but by the sinful ordained
who tell of mercy laid low
and magnificence hidden
though without angelic choirs
the Gloria is only sung by weak human voices
embraced by organ, trumpet, string and drum
and where often more modest than ought to be
gifts are bought in procession
as plates and cups for the faithful
receiving incarnate Body and Blood
and departing used to offer food and filling
peace for those in need
in the name of the frail Infant and mighty Savior
in this year, day, hour, now.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christ the King
Harvey S. Mozolak

enthroned in November’s swirling winds
his train moving among the shifting leaves
beneath ladders laid against cold peaked roofs
reaching up in defiance of December’s freezing death
to place long lines of light readied for his coming
in the dark from the woman’s cave
to be enslaved by blood and breath

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Harvey S. Mozolak

when we came to the place
called “dead-head”
we hung “Yahweh-saves”
among the lost who had stolen
his crime forgiveness and restoration
“king of the captured”
shouted the soldiers in mockery
his head thorn-studded in cruel crown
full of remembering
those who deserve only his rule
mercy’s sentence
"you will be with me"
among the living
growing and flowering forever

Christ the King
Luke 23:33–43

Monday, November 11, 2013

Harvey S. Mozolak
at the edge
there are stones
we walk along them
beautiful rocks
set for a distant view
with drawings of hope
words of loving remembrance
many sprayed with flowers’ burst
in today’s color
we do not awake in a grave
or commute to cemeteries
only funeral staff work in graveyards
the young are not schooled
with desks among rows of tombstones
but each day is lived along the edge
near the end of time
and the beginning of eternal endurance
where souls are counted
as radiance around the Triune Head
whose words and wisdom
cannot be withstood or contradicted
but heard as invitation
verging beyond as entrance
the universe upheld
growing in a woman’s belly
king to subject among the sticks
November to December’s
raw edge of earth defined by heaven

fringed in straw

Lectionary 33Luke 21:5–19

Thursday, November 7, 2013

first grades
Harvey S. Mozolak

schools have begun this custom
in recent years
that must attempt to teach
some positive value
large rocks
easily three feet wide
and several high
appoint the entrance
and exit driveways
where presumably parents
or artsy aunts and uncles
paint student names
outlined with butterflies fireworks
and other splashy colored
things around perhaps a month
and day that marks one assumes
the child’s birthday
a somewhat strange custom
as a practice perhaps
for the next time the letters
will be ground more permanent
in stone
and the next date far less celebrative
when the grading
will be deeply elemental
after Halloween
Harvey S. Mozolak

the day after Halloween
many masks ripped
most flashlights dying dim
some costumes left inside out
the candy sorted
the best sealed in a clear plastic bag
the better to see the good stuff

a walk outside in the crisp air
stiffens the skin
and passes pumpkins
showing their wrinkled age
aided by now cold candles
there the tailed outfit left discarded
on the road
a dead opossum
the day after Halloween
is there any chance
that the dark pool is fake blood
under his unmoving head
and seemingly stiff curled tail
or has he hung up his costume?
fire bush

bushing out from the branches
the flames
fingers of faith reaching
for the tongues of God singing
children of the resurrection

human births will end
no marriage or need
of the families of earth
for God is the future
his presence the present
the past is past for glory

heaven a bursting with belief
undying like angels
in ceaseless winging
flight enthroning Yahweh

we this tree’s leaves
that never fall
among fruit fermented for forever
at Christ’s table

Luke 20. 27-38
Lectionary 32

Monday, October 28, 2013

in God’s sight
Harvey S. Mozolak

his heart on holy things
he looked beyond…
his mind on heavenly things
he looked above the horizon…
his love so deep
he folded his hands
and closed his eyes to weep…
he looked at his disciples
and said
“you are blessed…”

All Saints
Luke 6. 20-31
Harvey S. Mozolak

Zack climbed a tree to see
who climbed a tree to be
for all who see
him made small by death
for all
the world
become one large
salvation tree house
where a scaffold is sawn
into a banquet table

Lectionary 31
Luke 19. 1-10

Friday, October 18, 2013

Harvey S. Mozolak

the blessing
face to face
precipice to precipice
nailing down God
with hammer holds
to end the eternal
have you forsaken?
there held
in the stopped hands
of time
pinned by God
the blessing
limping away from the wood socket
wearing the life preserver

Lectionary 29
Genesis 32. 22-31

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

cor coram deo
Harvey S. Mozolak

all ways
where the heart beats
the being found
by the God worn out
stilled it
will be filled
with praise
or dread that to be dead
is not the end
where there is an always
for the found heart
by tradition the figure
is called the sacred heart
of Jesus bleeding red passion
or aflame at the center
of his chest
or is it his?
perhaps his is hidden
within the resurrected flesh
and he rather holds
faith enflamed of earth
bound beating
pray so
belief circulating
its living core

Lectionary 29
Luke 18:1–8

Monday, October 14, 2013

winged tree
Harvey S. Mozolak

small mustard seeds
ground down by God’s greatness
the flavor of faith
chewing life large from death

Lectionary 27
Luke 17:5–10

position prayer
Harvey S. Mozolak

standing by himself
beyond the colon:

I thank you
that I am not like others:
diseased with sexually transmitted viruses
drug dependent
addicted to the stock market
tongued with hatred
hooked on pornographic websites
I like God
AM not like others

standing far off
linked by a series of commas
lashed eyes that cannot bear
the scrutiny of the sky’s sentence
his skin unable to hide his sin
he strikes his heart with his hand
come like others
Jesus, humbled,
be merciful to me
a sinner
home to God

Lectionary 30
Luke 18. 9-1

Sunday, October 13, 2013

persistent as sparrows
Harvey S. Mozolak

the floor is worn
by the bed
where the knees
undress the day
and await a blanket
of hushing wings
promise sounding in the wind
the open stained
from the tears
window sill
rain seeking beyond
what can be seen
for the lost to return
the table set
with an extra chair
the one with the wings
waiting for companionship
to harbor hope again
the judge has left the bench
court has ended
justice has retired
fear thunders: awake
and now the gavel
is on his door
like crying
and prayer
a hunger
clawing the clouds
for rest and nest
and shared bread crumbs

Lectionary 29
Luke 18. 1-8

eucharistic surfaces
Harvey S. Mozolak

Jesus Kyrie
for whom soft
newborn flesh
was a leprosy of perfection
earthcrust pierced
see us bruised
and rash-wrinkled
torn trembling
scared and scabbed
join our band
belling uncleanness
crying a master eleison
to you too the foreigner
among us
who understands the language
of rejection
hears the despising tongue
and speaks with words
stripped of curses
unbandaging salvation
for healing
in the resurrection skin
of thanks

Lectionary 28
Luke 17. 11-19

Monday, October 7, 2013

flat at his feet

Harvey S. Mozolak

at Jesus dusty dirty unwashed feet
the soiled sullied sick
diseased and infected
of the thankful
one of an unclean clan
never foreign
to God

walking among us

Lectionary 28
Luke 17. 11-19
long shadows freeze

Harvey S. Mozolak

bulging eyes
iridescent blue and gold bellied flies
lift off a drying flower
with no power
in October
left to please
the awakened dog bites the air
several times missing
what the night's cooling air
will slowly seize and squeeze
loosed for faith

Harvey S. Mozolak

in a storm
I saw a mulberry tree
float by
on a sea awake
with cargo and ports
whales and fleets of fish
above forests of coral
and swaying weeds
a bark
I believe
but not adrift
its branches reaching
like many masts to fuel
the lightning’s lines
the leaves a thousand
small sails trusting
the wind above time’s tides
roots unanchored of earth
trailing in the currents of God
trunk toward a treasured beach
pebbled with sand
the size of mustard seeds

Luke 17. 5-10
Lectionary 27

Saturday, October 5, 2013

worth for worthless

Harvey S. Mozolak

mustard smeared
of earth soiled and dragged
on the alb-white bib of his apron
the red of slaughtered lamb
dripped down on sleeves and hems
and where the iron edge
was wiped against his side
the servant
eat and drink
in order
slave and master
in order
that master may serve
and slave be mastered
the doing
for the ought undone

Luke 17:5–10
Lectionary 27

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Harvey S. Mozolak

some edge along the ground
as if seeking
by their slow snaking gnarled process
another place
to grip soil fingers
and stump and trunk
yet a few grow
upward from the dark humus
roots reaching
to as if become limbs and twigs
that bear the green of life
and rain autumnal color
or do they
dare the branches
of lightning to drop
and touch their rising
ungrounded pride

Friday, September 27, 2013

eaten, cupped and drained

Harvey S. Mozolak

“Jesus eats with sinners”
reads the invitation
to the publican and republicans
Matthew and the democrats

the woman wanton with weeping
her tears a cleansing faucet
for his forgiveness flowing
there amid her fragrant adoration
she anoints his head and feet

and he her hands
bowled in the blessing
of his life-giving water

still showering
shuffling communicants
on queue the dying
awaiting the eating and sin cupped
and drained
on the vine to intertwine
sheaf and grain
sop the stain and soak the soul
feed the mouth and fill the invited heart 

Lectionary 24
Luke 15.1-10

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

uncertain sign

Harvey S. Mozolak

a falling leaf
on its autumnal journey
dry colored curled to mock
the green of grass and evergreens
caught mid plunge
by a spider's single strand
now swaying
teasing the season's
sense of conclusion

licking sores

Harvey S. Mozolak

 “I have you covered”
meaning mostly
something less threatening
than seen through a gun sight
and more like
“I am backing you up”
although these words too
can have an ominous overcast
at the gate
a poor man
they always unlatch things
besides the heart
and call for locks and security
they are covered with sores
“I have you covered”
because I am one of the sores
the purple squeezed
the mollusk gland drained
and left an broken empty shell
to cut the soles of Lazarus
shuffling in
under the table legs
bruised purple kicked
quite by accident during laughter
and polite conversation
beneath the linen beaten white
by the raw hands of harassed servants
some with burned palms
from the grease of sumptuousness
taken too quickly from the kitchen’s ovens
to the table
where like a dog
there is hope for a splash
drip drop
mercy’s morsel to fall
like a Jesus story
in its dead weight of warning
the taste of uncooked
raw glory

Luke 16. 19-31
Lectionary 26

Friday, February 15, 2013

re: signation
Harvey S. Mozolak

fingerprints on the weapon
that brought death
upon hundreds in a single hour
willing victims presenting faces
fore in a temple
for the shock of the scar
of the wound
ground in dirty graceless grit
of that once where the world
thumbed its nose at God
heart and thoughts
fixed on dead lifeless limbs
limp but for the drawing
firm slash
of the sign in ash

later in the evening
even after soap and bath
the grains of skin
where sin’s end was announced
are inked with these words
you are and shall return
furrowing the flesh
dusting the earth
imprinted with God
and the violence we magazine
below the carefully rifled
lines of shafts and wood stocks
we all keep as our rights
amending the created good