Friday, December 9, 2016

On Rosetti’s 
“A Baby Is a Harmless Thing”
Harvey S. Mozolak

A lion is a captive thing
Behind strong bars in zoo displays
the sun’s bright high and holy ring
His golden mane like rays
The cage is littered with a floor of straw
Its cold and wet is hardly meet but raw
The wind the door by which he came
To Judah land and tribe to free
Become our King of all the beasts
Within his is now a mild wildness
As angels hold their roar to see
He who overpowering 
Could claw and  maul
Yet offers a thin and thirsty feast
To take and eat our fearful fall

Harvey S. Mozolak

boughs of green
over the doorway
to time
the entering trembles
for the hour knows the honor
of the eternal
bending and bowing
to breath and breathing
the infant’s 
first lung’s exhalation
a trumpet of mercy
to the farthest sea
the most distant land
the marooned and frozen
hidden hearts
remote from God

left-up adornments
Harvey S. Mozolak

accidentally forgotten
a wooden angel 
on a bedroom fan pull 
a glass star dangling 
down a clear filament
from the living room ceiling
the marks on the wall
in increments where the toddler’s height
was marked and measured
with a carpenter’s careful eye
except these measure
the downfall of glory
in the pull of the gravity
of our grave depression
purposely remembered

Harvey S. Mozolak

the girl leaned over
hand over hand
lifting the rock deep
cold water
with a wet rope
to pour into her clay vessel


she dropped
the bowl
and in the splash
the flash of light

like lightning on the sea
the angel stood by the wood
of a tree
beside the well

his hand or wing or flame
held in speaking 
silence peace and greater greeting
than even his heavenly bearing bore
from beyond above
where the name is seen
but never said

let it be but…
how can the sun be within the earth
and more magnificent
the Lord within me?
yad-touched by God

        (yad - Hebrew ritual pointer 
            used in reading untouched Torah )

angel:  music notations
Harvey S. Mozolak

surely they will not hear our high notes
we will have to treble almost all of the gloria
down and softer
like the lowing of cattle
a murmuring of doves
and the settling sounds 
of lambs and ewes
and our brightness
dim to dawn and dusk’s golds
lest we blind them
when they see 
how fragile is his hold on his life
yet somehow our paean must praise
his tenacious grasp 
reaching to hold the wood 
baton of blessing
directed to heal their pain

first tune
Harvey S. Mozolak

none lullaby the virgin’s labor
her moans of pain
break the silence of the night
yet the Father knows
heaven pangs 
at the giving of the perfect peace
the prince of the good of grace
left upon the barn’s golden field lace
soft notes of the song of salvation

Father and fatherly 
Harvey S. Mozolak

sweetly Joseph cut 
from the field 
beyond the city’s low broken wall
some tender Sharon roses
and placed them on the straw strands
near his beloved and the one they loved
who loved the world
and all its weeds
God the Father stemmed the stars
using several comets to vase
and spread their light as ferns
among the blossoms 
of gathering angel wings

dark deep after sun down
Harvey S. Mozolak

the loose thatch and timber slats
allow the light through the roof 
from the moon and the stars
and somehow from the hillside fires 
where shepherds camp with their flocks
most on the way up the road 
to Shalem and the burning blaze
and sweet smoke
of Zion’s high altar
more light than the night normally affords
touching the face of the child
his mother calling him
her little lamb as the carpenter 
arranges him
on the wood frame he has formed
for bedding above the bowled stone
where animals feed
the donkey asleep and the cow
watching with an unmoving head
but old observing eyes
they turn
the rustling at the doorway 
announces some have come
with lanterns, staves and cloaks of skins
who must have heard
the infant cry at the light from the sky
among winged winds singing 
in the high meadows 
where there is more light
than the night normally affords
they will tell of sight and song
seen and heard of holiness
burning and bright then on the hill 
and now on the cold dark hay
heard by this night flock gathered 
before God’s seh

(seh - Hebrew for lamb)

masses in motion
Harvey S. Mozolak

a slit in the sky
a star parting the night
with light
the lamp of the angels
first carolers of the incarnation
this candle pillar
powered by peace
radiance eternal
the congregated custodians 
of a quiet quilt of wool
as the entrance hymn
of the first mass
among the mounds
of ground that surround
a moaning mound of flesh
bears heaven and earth
as one

Harvey S. Mozolak

there are those who look for a winter rose
an unseasonably warm Eve 
or Christmas Day to say
that something special has happened
and touches nature again when
all it takes is to look into each other’s eyes
and know that God has come down through the skies
to be a warm one of us whether young to old
he is with us even through three deadly days of cold

Harvey S. Mozolak

With a drawn lower stem 
a simple symbol of a seasonal stock
the insertion mark in typography
indicating the place for a missing Word
spear-head for addition 
before subtraction
usually two lines often blood-red
outline of a “little roof” 
as it is called in one tongue
protecting emptiness beneath

His however inverted inserted
down and descending
mäkčeň in Slovak the diacritical notation
is a letter glyph
an ornament calling forth a certain silence
speaks a softening of sound
the lines of a caron
evergreen every-one ever-equal and eternal
the tri-love of God emptied
the Trinity opened and poured out
sent from and in and with
the Father’s faithful love
conceived by the Holy Spirit’s deep
and lasting power to comfort
in the pure and perfect jewel of grace
torn and thrown 
from the divine diadem’s peak
an unseen plunging Victory

Human triad
tall Joseph braced by a beam
with Mary bent in blessing
and our small God molding
a human triangle

ting a ringing gloria

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Harvey S. Mozolak

dark hued clothing
of the poor or chosen poverty
wrapped close
compact cocoon
hands hidden
undoubtably faithfully laced
neck bowed
face bent to the floor
eyes closed
cinctured by silent lashes
though one cannot tell that
but if they see
it is stone and earth and dust
knees together
bent like a crushed locust
whose spring must be souled
for its feet are flatted
arches overturned
the motionless body
an inverted chancel
belly and back
as low as can go
to creep begging eleison
kyrie before the altar
icon-ed in golden glow
illuminated by sand-buried tapers
among a score of tourists
snapping memories saved
on cell phones
like prayers during takeoff
for safe trips home
to lesser heavens

saint’s repose
Harvey S. Mozolak

he is to the side
of the altar where The Presence
is lifted in holiness
to be spooned to waiting lips
whispering Amens
many most go first
to the sepulchered side
where the bones of the saint reside
someone a cleric who saved the city
or some such thing
and there they light candles
and kiss the box that bears
his sacred remains
a woman enters with a priest
after making an offering
is one disparaging thought
but perhaps a parish member
who frequents this hour of prayer
where the Father unlocks the case for her
beneath are trays of medals
tiny icons
small sacred gifts
and tangles of piled prayer beads
awaiting answers
in repeated petitions
for less than a city-full of need
he then unfolds layers of brocade cloth
to reveal a place where the woman
can kiss and then several other places
for her lips as the coffin is closed
locked and then the line is freed
to again enter and see the darkened
alcove of death awaiting eternity
to the side
of the one who empowers
lesser hopes
and kisses us with bread’s given body
and the sweet wine of his blood shed
in the darkness of our need
the only flame that burns
beyond repose

Harvey S. Mozolak

kings are in charge
and the charges were
that he was no monarch
and in fact it was claimed
a usurper to the king
an undoer of the royalty of state
threat to the loyalty of priestly heights
attained by repeated sacrifice
and so he was given
a purple robe of forced guffaws
diademed with dripping bloodied barbs
driven to a throne that commanded
his breath to slowly cease
his trunk and limbs to limp and slump
become a stump of God
of thirty-three yet one eternal ring
there sceptered
with a spear axed to his heart
thus heaven charged
deep into all earth’s rebellions
the whole seditious lot
dying with him
to be free
and crowned sons and daughters
of the sole sovereign whose love
can never be drained
of its charge
and saving pole

Christ the King
Luke 23. 33-43

Dominum regnum
Harvey S. Mozolak

the skull
the chamber of the king
earth's throbbing thought beneath
God too shall not last

crucified with
advisers left and right
fellow accused of crimes
his, forgiveness
theirs, not knowing heaven
in what they do

lots to divide
the kingdom covering
or the rule of chance
the unclothed choice
at the shivering hill

scoffing and sour wine
God decantered acrid
king of bitter chosenness
label now eternity
at a peculiar place
for particular people
in this strange time of acerbic salvation

save yourself
to name aright and not to know
is to hold the cure
and flush it down the drain
with spittle

recall me
we wear alike the condemnation
his, an unjust sentence
ours, the deserving of our deeds
recall me King before you
this, my conviction:
censure me with your innocence

this day
with certainty
we will walk together bidden

to be unhidden in the Garden
my shame cloaking
your nakedness
thrown today over the throne
of holiness

Christ the King

unwounding is forgiveness
Harvey S. Mozolak

cross-stained with compassion
he is
for those who press pain like thorns
hammer hatred
and spear fear
into flesh

Lectionary 33
Luke 21.5-19

not a hair of your head
Harvey S. Mozolak

a tripping field
we walk across
rocks left like checkers
stumbling without the squares
and king-me row
chess figures disfigured
crown here
black miter fallen there
slotted parapet and white horse ear
stones and shattered stocks
plundered pillars
of a game which has no rules
no safe castling
en passant or resignation
except one
touch the ground
and you must move
the hand above
allows the play
soul without perishing

Lectionary 33
Luke 21. 5-19

the mighty loss and gain
Harvey S. Mozolak

a widowhood thrown over
the veil
a great city sadness
stepping stones stumbling
across the acropolis
of war-mounted
rocks strewn like abandoned play toys
in the fit of an angry child
or goods fallen from a cart
overturned in the marketplace
crushed by a charging chariot
into puddles of laundry
bath and toilet sewage
the smell
the stench
the only holding of them together

rich and royal
rectangular levels askew
a consideration askance
to eyes leveled by tears
and throats clutched by bubbles
of grief and fear
and hunger for table and Temple

one stone not upon another stone
memory caught like clothing
ripped on a nail…
unsealing death’s destruction
and setting the cornerstone
of a holy and civic vision
of the grave unstopped
peace unearthed
the resurrection army of angels
un-mortar mortality
and clay begins to live
and society with God
embodied in new mounted praise

Christ the King
Luke 23.33-43

Christ the crowned
Harvey S. Mozolak

when they came
to the place
that is called The Skull
a cranium of empty earth
thoughtless lump
lifted against the sky
cortical high hemisphere
drained of blood and life

they crucified Jesus
nervously nailing
spine to stem
as emotionlessly
as hammer kisses to a nail
above the crowd's scoffing curses
and soldiers' mocking
criminals, one on his right
and one on his left
forgive them, Father
they cannot understand
what they stand under
in condemnation and release
clothing now a game of gamble
for the covering
and winning of others

King of the Jews
the toast
with wasted wine
one crucified
who almost can no longer steal
any time at all
rides him rudely
the other giving back his last breaths
as rebuke to the remonstrance
and to request remembrance
is under the same condemnation
as God
but without innocence
do kings recall slaves who have begged?
servants who have bowed
and subjects who humbly pray?

you will be a blooming blossom
on the band of bloody blessing
flowering with me throned astalk
surrounding the garden of God 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

All Saints Day
Luke 6.20-31

Jesus looked up ... at his disciples
Harvey S. Mozolak

blessed are the less
least and nothing
for they are the more
of the God
who counts the greatness
of the empty

who are these who wear
the red-rinsed robes of righteousness
around the altar albed for praise
aproned in white kneeling in the dirt
at the feet of the poor and hungry
wiping the eyes of those who weep?

they are the hated, excluded, reviled and defamed

do not withhold from those who beg

even the bare basket is blessing
placed before
the God who is hated
cursed, abused
struck on the cheek
and stripped of good

as you would…
have has been done


the halo of humanity
Harvey S. Mozolak

God chooses as a halo
at night
for his Son
the Christ
a young woman
of the tribe of David
Joseph her betrothed
and shepherds
fresh from angel-covered hills
their hairy arms and wild wings
encircle the kadosh of God

God chooses as a halo
during the day
tax collectors and widows
fishermen and lepers
prostitutes and the persecuted
the hungry and the blind
their gnawing crying needs
encircle the hagios of God

God chooses as a halo
at noon
a mourning mother
frightened John
spear-armed soldiers
several cross-imprisoned thieves
and a cursing merciless crowd
their blood-soaked eyes
surround the sanctus of God

God chooses to dim
in the day of the Son
the hot haloing heilos
for the glare of grace in the nude
as the darkened earth trembles
at the good of God
pierced by evil
draining holiness
a blood flooding
the pus and poison of soil
and those who plow and plant it
for an unseen harvest
the hollowness of the furrow

filled with the hallowedness of God