Five Years

Five years ago, at half past ten:
Bell-peals! “Baptized in Christ!”
But in my fear – foundations weak –
His Grace not yet sufficed;

Five years ago, His hand – outstretched
to mine at Gates of Death –
urged “onward!”, yet did wait for me;
yes, Life did hold its breath.

Five years ago, I gave no sign;
I froze as Hell washed o’er
and glued me to my childhood seat,
to all I’d known before.

Five years ago, the paschal night
was one with all the past.
He lit the way to Adam: Old
to New, and First to Last.

Five years ago – bizarre exchange! –
God did propose a deal:
“I’ll show you how I rescued him
if you’ll trust me to heal.”

Five years are spinning by in blur!
O, Friends! O Anguished Cries!
Five seconds – at the most! – I’ve seen
with clear, unclouded eyes!

Five years are gone. Old Eve,
the Prophets, Kings, and Just
Ones wait for me to give reply,
impatient for my trust.

Five years have taught me only one
truth, held through burning tears;
which, namely, is: “the opposite
of love’s not hate, but fears.”

Five years have led to this, and this
alone: these are the times!
Not then, nor futures yet to come,
but now to heed the chimes!

Five years of Easter bells have rung
out, dearest Jesus Christ;
five years of fear are past; now I
can say: “His Grace sufficed”.

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Thomas Sunday

Dear Name, so hallowed by the course
of human word and deed;
unworthy bearer, I, unsure,
to “Thomas” do accede.

Which, one, did grace a strong-willed son
who – hardy, rash, and brave –
declared “destruction though it be,
I’ll trail thee to the grave!”

And, two, adorned the Lord’s own day
which ends the Octave Week
of Him whose life has killed old death:
whose aid confirms the meek.

But thirdly, did alight on one
“dumb ox”, whose mind held sway;
glimpsed Ipsum Esse Subsistens,
yet humbly ground his hay.

Then, fourth, a tortured heart, at risk:
conflicted loyalty,
in death, pray’d for a murd’rous State,
and met True Royalty.

The fifth, it must be said – not strange,
giv’n those, before, thus crowned –
repeats the fourth in love; his blood,
too, drained upon the ground.

A sixth? A wondrous multitude
of mystics, martyrs, men
of India; identical
in praise of God. Amen!

A seventh’s needed to fulfill
the line of this one Saint;
well, what can one man do, dear Name?
In light of these, I faint!

But this great list of poets, priests,
and sinners made anew
is not exhausted yet — so I,
as “Thomas”, join the queue.

Bless God, my fellow baptized twins,
and pray for our dark days
when Summum Bonum is forgot:
that Truth might shine and blaze.