Thursday, December 14, 2017

extension cords
Harvey S. Mozolak

the incarnation is a large event
its time now extended
not quite nine months
but more than four evergreen weeks
its greatness causes some to dress
as saintly statuary and mime
holiness in blood red coat and fallen mitre
with the skin of winter beasts
white like snow edging 
the hint of martyrdom
the light of a world now so bright
it is strung by the 100’s in blinking watts
plugged to power that kills

antiphons in honor
of the blessed virgin

Harvey S. Mozolak

our creedal chants
apostolicly assert 
she is the anchor of our Lord’s manhood
where heaven drowns in the depth of humanity
under the brooding wings of the Holy Spirit

in magnificats sung each vespered night
she celebrates her divine Son’s blood borne
victory over 
the proud
the mighty
the full
the rich
with the Almighty’s mercy begun 
in her straw-strewn arms

ὁ ὢν
Harvey S. Mozolak

her hands hold his cheeks and chin
“I AM he who is” 
his containing ribs and reaching arms 
and jiggling legs too loose as yet to go
Mary’s fingers slippery with shared blood
holding God squirming is difficult
but delightful
she has held bread offering it 
baked and fresh to Joseph
in daily sustenance shared
and now her son
through the morning window 
the light of the lesser sun 
breaking behind his head
making the exchange difficult
and yet the man too takes him firmly
the peace of God given whole
as they with us are received 
back into the ciborium of heaven
his every breath
the heaving opening of the heavy hinges
of death with God-enfleshed life
holding and being held

(ὁ ὢν— on icons, Greek letters often written on 
Christ’s halo, spelling “the being” or “He who is” 
from Ex. 3.4  and Rev. 1)

xmas beginnings 
Harvey S. Mozolak

the thatch on the stone
where hens scratch
and the donkey gets his straw
the cow his cup of grain
is bed of God 
whose head holds what stars dream
and suns energy

native to us
Harvey S. Mozolak

in the high corners of the room
to the sides of the narrow door
straw is stuffed
bird-borne from feathered families past
left for the cold season
when only angels are a-sky
on the floor there are three
huddled beneath 
the heaviness of what this might mean
in the flickering gold of a loaned lantern
behind the stall wall
a patch of dried dung
animal leavings left like discarded sin 
on the trampled earth

fearful thing
Harvey S. Mozolak

enslaved to our flesh
held by hay 
and the field’s flaxen fibers
of swaddling
folding his clay
to an animal’s feeding place
and our breathless arrival
smelling of frightened sheep
ewes and lambs

Harvey S. Mozolak

time twisted
un-wrenching with a sounded alarm
the voice at the beginning to begin
with the silence of the Word
that has spoken everything
to hear and sing
among the deaf and dumb
now mouthed 
in the single syllabic God
among the the murmur of cows
the scratching of a hen for seed
a movement amid a dove’s discomforted feathers
fumbling with what linens
are found for the child who is Lord
lain heaven’s blessing 
splattered in her blood
the soaked shroud blanket
beneath the clouds 
where angel armies
avert their eyes
in holy aghast
at the empty arm of the throne
now in the arms 
of a weak woman and unarmed man
whose hammer and nails
for the time
remain packed in a sack
near the stirring donkey
eternity’s unwinding
its swaddling

crowded sky ground alone
Harvey S. Mozolak

crowded like clouds flecked reach
winged angels over the flock
above fleeced glory
here the heavens allow low 
and aloud greeting 
the good and new
pressed in rock and wood
the nail-less cave
not yet but true
shepherd in the straw
there for our flaw 
amid animal paw
the awe of God 
crèched in fresh flesh
Word twisted 
cloth gagged
without speech
no thunder or sky-pulsed flame
but the quiet reign of God
Jesus his silent name
held in the eternal gasp
of the highest host

In Sentence Form
Harvey S. Mozolak

The timing of salvation is very helpfully drawn tightly to the cross but we should not ignore that the first confinement was not by Pilate’s police but by the Blessed Virgin’s womb and the earliest nails were manger straw, the preliminary purple robe of ridicule was wrapping God in swaddling cloth and Joseph may not have been an Cyrenean but his hard palms clumsily catching the Incarnate’s leap from heaven to earth were well splintered from wood in the Fall’s condemning brow-sweat.  And these but the beginning hours of the Passion according to Christ.

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