Thursday, August 03, 2006

Daring radical poem, still working on, about Christmas 12 days...

Everytime I look at a poem I've written, I think it needs a lot of work. This one about meditative walk during the 12 Days of Christmas is a work in process. About four years old now, I have come back to it and posted it on a Writer's Workshop. What you are to read, if you are so willing, are the notes from that post. Mostly ignored by the other poets on the website, I thought a revise might help things--and some remarks. Here is that revise with the notes as they appear on "Frugal Poets" site.

(Side note written before posting poem itself: I call this a radical poem, a poem that is taken by the Spirit, that like some others came to me as a rush of words. I will explain some of the poem in this section, returning to these introductory remarks to its posting here with some of those thoughts.

God is with us as we cross various bridges, especially in this season of Christmas during the wintertime when one wants to be with Him. Is this too religious a statement. For some, yes, but the effort reflects my Benedictine experiences as explained by the contemplative monks of Immaculate Heart Hermitage in Big Sur (Camaldolese Monks).

Usually, this kind of thing wouldn't be so relevent, but here they are for I wanted the reader to know that the ideas and teachings regarding the contemplative meditative path which I would like to express in this poem is a way to be with Christ that has a long path, and that though I am not the same denomination as those monks, I have learned a great deal by being associated with them. Perhaps I go on too long, and I have used the word "I" too many times. This isn't a poem about the I, but the I Thou. To the notes and the poem as posted on the workshop:)

The problem with this poem is it is one big block of type... I have told you what I see as the problem with this poem, so here is a small revise. Written some years ago, the poem talks about the season of Christmas during its 12 days, as a reminder that one may like and take interest in living the seasons of the Church, and seasons in general.

If I recall, this was part of a series of poems that had to do with the Holy Spirit (or at least with that category in mind). Maybe the spirit of that 12 days of Christmas is a better way to put it.

Christmas 12 Days: Walk
by Peter Menkin

Winter sunlight brightens the path further along;
seek peace, sun warmer--approach
the small bridge, to cross the creek in knowledge
this is the way where He is with us. Midmorning walk
revealing the white light; God wrestles the pilgrim
with angels witness to yes. Wooden bridge, path, people
and the sound of love: gift.

The voices of strangers speaking,
listen to the sound of rising envelopment, subtle sense
the awake to mercy in the world. What sound is this we hear, what light
is this we see? What company awakens us?
Witness, after Christmas celebrations, these twelve days. Sojourning walk:

seek a homeland. Life, there/here is abundance.
During the way, again I am man, creature part of creation beauty
that You can in Godhead are. Reminder of starry night brought indoors,
night last come to us soothing dreams of this friendly good earth.
Perfect man, perfect God walk with us.

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A neighbor recently remarked about meditative walks, and this poem is about a meditative walk. The reader may wonder what is in the quiet, or the enveloping sounds that come as one walking approaches different areas, and I have to admit I like the line, "listen to the sound of rising envelopment, subtle sense."

After a few years, or a few years later, it is pleasant to come back to a poem of a season and find one recognizes similarities in the present season. I no longer take that path by the old railroad tracks in that lovely and quiet neighborhood in a town North of San Francisco, and now I must go onto new walks and bring with me what I have experienced previously.

As I make these notes, I recall that a friend of mine named The Reverend Jack Schanhaar told me today that the important thing is to live the life of faith, and this in relation to God. A good reminder during this Christmas season. So here is, in this poem, my Christmas of 12 days message, which hasn't a Christmas tree, per se, or some of the more obvious and easily seen signs of Christmas, yet these I believe are part of that time and living.

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