This collection contains original work inspired by Patrick’s ongoing social distancing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are all monks now.

Crèche 2020


This Christmas—He waits quietly in a drawer

No lit candles

Or joyous hymns

No visiting Magi

With their sibylline gifts

No pictures or videos

No venerations either

This Christmas—He weeps quietly in a drawer

*          *          *

May we in each our own way

This Christmas—with lonesome and weary hearts

All draw near

 

INQUIRIES

 

Reprieve


Shorter almost-autumn days

Are a welcomed reprieve

From white-hot reality

 

In these nearly-hopeless times

I embrace the darkness

Hoping cool-light awaits me

 

INQUIRIES

 

 

It’s 2020, Charlie Brown!


The Twin Towers never fell on those kids

(or their parents).

Masks were only for Halloween.

And don’t even bring-up Zoom.

 

Autumn of 2020 has indeed arrived

(God help us).

What next?

Will the Great Pumpkin finally arise from that patch?

 

INQUIRIES

 

 

 

Had I only known.


On vacation last summer—

It could be two years

Before I would smell your sweet hydrangea again,

I would have breathed-in more deeply.

 

Had I known

 

At Christmastime—

It could be a year or more

Until we would hug again,

I would have squeezed harder.

 

Had I known

 

During the last mid-winter Gospel Brunch—

I could never—ever

Hear your ascending voice again,

I would have cheered with all my being.

 

Had I only known.

 

INQUIRIES

Becalmed


Becalmed

In a sea of shape-shifting contagion

 

Like sitting ducks

in the eye of a viral storm

 

Windless and disoriented

languishing in the swell of pause

 

Pendulous sails wait pensively

for inoculating gusts of vaccine

 

To whisk all weary souls aboard

onto glorious vitality

 

Far-far away from the blurry procession

of quotidian virtuality

 

Into the swift refreshing current

of togetherness

 

INQUIRIES

 

 

This cannot be all for naught.


SO—

There must be a reason

An end game

A trajectory

OR—

A collective moment of pause

A hard reset of humanity

A new flight path charted

Into the jet stream of goodness

Love

Gratitude

Respect

Selflessness

AND—

Equality

BUT—

We must emerge scathed

We must arise broken

We must fly up with mended wings

FOR—

Without scars

Without ingrained memories of pain

NOR—

Is there learning

Is there growing

Is there evolving

YET—

Emerge

Arise

Fly up

We will.

 

INQUIRIES

 

 

STOA


Sometimes

we

need

to

stare

death

in

the

face

and

smile

back.

 

INQUIRIES

 

 

 

 

ENCORE


We are but mere shadows—

Phantom specters in training,

(By our own doing)

Dancing on the wall of time.

 

The sun rises, peaks and founders—

Casting our tickling impressions,

(In any number of ways)

Onto every surface that will suffer them.

 

They patiently indulge our fancies—

Letting us clumsily lead with each new measure,

(Giggling all the while)

Fully knowing the final movement approaches.

 

INQUIRIES

 

 

 

SPRING COMES FOR US ALL


Neither wind, nor hail

Nor pandemic

Can stop her privilege.

And

Amen to that.

 

INQUIRIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 Resolutions


This year, I will watch the hyacinth spring forth and the wild beach roses bloom.

This  year, I will have dinner with my spouse every single night.

This year, I will bid adieu to curbside check-ins and bell-hops.

This year, I will spend Friday and Saturday Nights with my dogs.

This year, I will make peace with mortality and morbidity.

This year, I will mourn each and every one of them.

This year, I will—what God wills.

 

INQUIRIES