I felt content slip away through stacks of tedium
these hours of work for the common cause
the kind of work that exhausts yet strengthens.
On this day my visions seemed almost lucid
driving down on the north end of town
youth full of yearning I placed my chin
gently on the doorframe by the window
where I once saw the details as we moved
each speck of gravel blurred with the next.
My mind as inconsistent as this dirt
I focused my attention on the frost
a cold fall morning sometime around dawn
I could see the first block of a stone arch
as the car passed onto this holy ground
I chose St. Francis as my patron saint
led to this monastery made of stone
destined to stay the weekend to listen
where the monks spread their messages stained glass.
Within each classroom sat ancient tables
large, dark, lonely places filled with echo
each monks jovial voice to push light through dark
here in front of us to talk about spirits
gowned in a heavy dark brown robe with rope
his belly as rotund as his bald head was
his laughter a spiritual bellow
here stood my childhood St. Francis
shared visions with Nikos Kazantzakis.
Years later my brothers confirmation
quiet latin spoken through brown, black, white,
my brother lost asked me who he should choose,
a patron saint, you should choose St. Francis.
Building connections between the old bones,
the old monastery, the peaceful monks,
my Catholic upbringing, the stained glass,
the distant relationship between us
empty lot where the monastery once stood.