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The Monk

Updated on April 1, 2016

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.


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    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 23 months ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Frank. Dirt seemed to fit at the time and still does. I hope you are having a great weekend. Jamie

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 23 months ago from Shelton

      again good poetry.. I love this line: ( My mind as inconsistent as this dirt )

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 23 months ago from Reno NV

      Thank you for your kind comments I appreciate every comment. I hope you are well this morning. Jamie

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 23 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A very well constructed and interesting poetic read, Jamie. Well done.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 23 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      Ah those fond memories!

      Awesome poem!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 23 months ago from SW England

      A powerful poem, Jamie. Emotions, memories and so many thoughts. Excellent!

      Hope you're well and that the teaching is still enjoyable.


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 23 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Your contempt billowed away into fond memories. Beautiful!