Monday, January 24, 2011

Mary's Joy Ministry, a Catholic helping hands link...

Mary's Joy, love in action:

Thanks to the generosity of our parish, the Mary's Joy shoebox collections and canvass bags continue to be "adopted," filled and returned overflowing! Like threads in a lovely tapestry, the little baskets and gift bags which our members create are delivered to shut ins, to people who are ill, just home from the hospital, alone, or just needing cheering up. Little things add up, are worked together, and make something beautiful in honor of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Joy, Her Son, Jesus Christ. What a miraculous year it has been! And in the years before that, we have learned how to share, and that is our motto "Linking those in need with those who can help."

Food donations flow in to the Mary's Joy kitchen "bread basket" and are taken to the local Catholic Worker House or local food pantry. There are quiet times, when only a few loaves of bread come in, and then there are times when the basket is overflowing with freshly baked fruit breads, cookies and cakes or canned goods. Still, people remember others and something is always there. People on the streets are fed in the morning breakfast lines sponsored by the local Catholic Worker House. Wish lists are matched, so that the coffee is there, the creamer, the makings of what they need for the bagged lunches. Wish lists quickly become perpetual prayers: We need more of this or that, because it is needed on the streets, and the need is urgent and perpetual. We learn to feel the need as if it is our own, because we should feel this way, as Christ does.

For our Mothers- in- need, someone crochets a baby hat and matching booties, a lovely blanket or jacket and these find their way a few weeks later to a shelter for mothers in crisis. Someone else fills a shoebox with "Most wanted items" on our wish list, and it is added to the other donations which make their way to homes for battered women or families in crisis.

Like our Lord's loaves and fishes, every contribution counts, no matter how small, so that together, baskets and gift bags flow out to those in need.

Thank you, all who share with such love! We will meet again this Wednesday at the Church, to wrap more gifts, to sort donations and make up the baskets. Anyone wishing to learn more about Mary's Joy, please contact me by email at, and I will be happy to share with you what we've learned and how we've been blessed!

Blessings in Christ,
Kathryn Forrester Thro

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mary's Joy: The Christ Child, God With Us

Our Lady of joys, we know, is also a Lady who understands sorrows. Even as we now all rush to prepare for one of several Christmas Eve Masses, we wonder, "have I done enough?" Have we forgotten someone, or even, hasn't someone forgotten me?

To live in the paradise of real love, we must constantly live in the country of mercy. When Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you," He did not mean that we are a kingdom unto ourselves, (despite what all the new age gurus and pop psychology self help books would have us believe.) A famous self helper recently spent thirty minutes explaining to his audience how the song "Row row, row your boat" should be one's philosophy of life. Yes, we know, "gently down the stream, merrily merrily...." but no, life is not a dream. So, what did Christ mean? A kingdom implies a King. Our hearts must be ruled by love and God's Divine Mercy, not by ourselves. We must get this part right, or all is out of sync with His purposes, which are so much higher than our own.

Our Lady is joyful today, yet even in that joy, She, as the Ark Bearer of Christ, has always served at the pleasure of The Most High God. For this reason, even while we see our friends today and even as we celebrate tomorrow, we will remember all those who have no home to call their own and we shall find a way to think of them as we would our own family.

The Kingdom of the heart indeed is within us, but must be ruled by God, and not an amorphous vision of a cloud like, new age philosophy. The Magi knew their gifts were appropriate for prophet, priest AND KING. The world today is not comfortable with the concept of being ruled over. Much of the world worships itself and ignores the very poverty that gives Our Lady one of Her many titles, Our Lady of Sorrows." For She sees in the midst of celebration those who cannot celebrate. She sees in the midst of joy those who weep. In the midst of every familial gathering, Her holy eyes and Christ's see far beyond the tables laden with food, the happy faces, the warm fires. She sees the homeless, the dis-enfranchised, the forsaken, and even as She smiles and blesses all who gather around large tables, She also sees beyond the lace curtains, past the manicured lawns and across all boundaries of time and space.

She sees the real Kingdom, and her loving eyes tear with joy and sorrow at the same time. Christ's heart and Hers shall teach me the way to see with new eyes and set me on the right path to make more people welcome to the Feast.

God With Us, Emmanuel. This is the Prayer of Paradise. Far across the continents, where people beg for bread in the streets, and as near as the person next to us on a bus or subway who misses home and hearth, God's love is the only love big enough to inspire us to the task of welcoming all to the Feast. He tells us that He has sent the invitation throughout the world: to both high and low, over highways and fields. Shepherds felt this and moved closer, Magi knelt in adoration. Angels praised with Glorias across the night sky. And thus, we tremble at the task before us: "What can we do? Show us!"

Who is missing from the table? No one need be left outside. That is the message of the Nativity: Royalty in a manger/cave, God with Us, from cradle to grave and beyond, and love's urgent desire to welcome all.

"The Kingdom within us" implies the necessity for The King Himself as ruler of the heart. I see Mary at this feast, looking across at all who celebrate. She celebrates with us, certainly, only Her eyes lift intermittently to the open door, to see those still afar off and those hungering for warmth and shelter. Only God can hold joy and sorrow simultaneously. Even our Lady must rest her eyes on these very human characteristics but one at a time. She does it beautifully, whispering in our ears that not everyone has yet been seated....go in your joy, and make them welcome, while there is time. Make my joy complete, for there is great bounty here. Explain the Mass, joyfully recount your own journey and bring them back, bring them to Us.

Even as Christ handed the keys of the Kingdom to Saint Peter, the angels rejoiced. Whatsoever we bind or loose here on earth will be bound or loosed in Heaven. There is no hunger, no poverty, no abuse or loneliness there, so ban it here. There is joy and bounty, Divine Mercy and Love in Paradise, so loose it here!

God be with us today, of all days, and tomorrow. Give us the eyes and ears of love, and the loving hands to welcome all.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Kathryn Forrester Thro, Poet Laureate, Autism and creative writing

After completing my recent manuscript, Mary's Joy, A Dance with Angels, which is a combination of Catholic inspiration book and autism memoir,I realized that there may be very few "highly functioning" poets laureate out there.

Part of my book deals with the decades of mis-diagnoses, in part due to my having so many "co morbid" conditions, and the rest due to being born in the wrong decade. Educational professionals today have in place many ways to help identify any number of challenges: ADD, ADHD, anxiety issues, dozens of conditions including Asperger's syndrome and anyone all along the Autism Spectrum.

Paraphrasing from Mary's Joy, A Dance with Angels:

Just after joyfully converting to Catholicim in 2004, I found myself in the most welcoming church Parish I would ever dream of: Blessed Sacrament Parish of Norfolk, Virginia.

Extremely awkward at social situations as easy- going as Sunday school classes or coffee hour, I found a way to serve, literally, by signing up for the after Mass Coffee Hour. There, I could hide behind a serving tray, sweeping up, refilling trays or dish washing. My agonizing, childhood bouts of mutism tended to re-surface whenever I had to "be myself" or make small talk.

My attempts at socializing, I'm certain, came across as painfully over-animated and awkward, so I found a way to "hide in plain sight." Mis-diagnosed for years with "generalized anxiety disorders" and all manner of panic attacks (and a later correctly diagnosed heart condition) I still longed to participate more fully. The Mass itself was so beautiful to me that indeed, I nearly fainted several times. I found a beautiful release in writing my first post conversion volume of poems, The Snow Bridge.

One night, deciding to try the Lenten soup suppers, I arrived full of determination, but on facing the room full of friends, and un-used to being in the role of a guest, I stopped at the entrance of the social hall unable to speak. Retreating to the long bench in the front entrance, I could not understand what was happening to me. It was not panic, but a feeling of great sorrow that came over me, as it had in childhood. Some might say it was akin to a "non epileptic seizure", but all I knew was that things were terribly out of place. Who was I to be a guest? My place, in my rather sheltered world, was to serve or simply write my heart out in my little attic room. I was frozen in place at the open doorway of a simple parish hall. I should be in the kitchen, I thought, or ladling out the soup, not sitting at the long thoughts were dizzying indeed just as a friend came up and wanted me to accompany her into the crowded hall.

I saw a pad of yellow post it notes in my bag, and scribbled down, "sorry, can't speak". The evening was spent surrounded by petals of yellow papers I scribbled on, over and over. "Sorry can't speak." It never occurred to me to keep the same note and simply point to it. Kind friends, sensing something more serious than laryngitis, filled in and spoke for me, explaining as I went through the serving line.

There was a beautiful gathering in the church for singing, as part of the Lenten experience, but I could not speak. I only looked at the words, as full of sorrow as I felt Christ Himself must have been in the Garden of Gethsemane. To this day, I cannot tell you where that sorrow comes from, but I know for certain that it makes me at one with all the downtrodden of the earth, and it is they that my writing often looks to for inspiration. There is a kinship there, souls waiting to blossom, straining towards the light of God's loving kindness. I feel that love there, in the Church, and it overwhelms me to this day.

The next week, an appointment was made for me at a nearby psychologist's office in Ghent, where I was professionally diagnosed with "highly functionoing autism." I poured out my heart: how I'd left the campus of Radford University long years ago, just a week after starting there, because I couldn't find my way around or understand the schedule of classes. It all suddenly made sense now: the childhood bouts of mutism, my tendency to stare, and my years of mis-diagnoses and refusing to be medicated to this day.

I remembered cotillions, the Junior Assembly dances where I would memorize baseball scores to use as conversation. While the room itself seemed to spin around me, my brother's kind advice to talk about sports assured my avoiding the label of "Wallflower." Dozens of other much prettier girls from private schools were left at the wall, wondering how a rather odd girl with braces had her dance card filled in seconds. What they didn't know was that I would collapse later at home, unable to speak for hours, overcome with all the sensations I'd encountered.

In middle and high school, I bounced between being completely mute for months at a time, and being considered a talented, emerging young writer. There was no in between place for me then or now. I am either giddy and the center of attention or retreating to my attic room to write. Writing then, my poems, is my one trusty companion in a spinning earth, with God and the angels to comfort me as I pour out my heart: that's the exhaustion of the poet.

Poetry had been my first love. My thoughts, abstract in nature, never did fit well into journalistic work or even paragraph form. But individual words or little phrases fall like leaves upon my psyche. Even as I had literally collected leaves since childhood (odd collections, that should have been a clue in itself) and continued to keep a large bowl in my front hall wherever I lived, I collected words as well. Lists of words that interested me had been a lifelong hobby. My attempted works of fiction were often put aside as I made page after page of possible titles for my still unpublished novels.

At my "Maiden Speech" as Poet Laureate of Virginia, a lovely celebration in my home town was given for me. I froze, having always had trouble speaking in public. I'm sure I read "Inaugural" breathlessly, as the room spun about. Afterwards, shaking hands with a hundred people rushing up to meet me was petrifying. I had no idea what to say and I'm sure to this day that it was only the kindness of the audience that saved me. I had been compared often to Sylvia Plath in her "blonde summer." I would blush when being introduced like this. My work, I am sure, and my gift as a poet, had nothing to do with intellectual capacity at all. It had more to do with a kinship with those I call the earth's downtrodden in spirit. Something broken in me felt at one with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He who seeks out the lost, the forgotten and forlorn. My poems could touch on that.

My "Mary's Joy Ministry," after converting to Catholicism, had been inspired by reading about the saints. While Therese of Lisieux, my Patron Saint, had spoken of souls ranging from the simple wildflower to the graceful rose, and how all were beloved of God, I felt a kinship with the yet to emerge root seedlings of the earth. A broken and dysfunctional home during adolescence, along with my undiagnosed challenges, had made me shy away from real socialization. Yet I wanted to help! I would often feel a kind of heart's whisper: "Mary's Joy" came to me. "Mary's Joy?" I asked aloud in prayer. "Yes," the thought came to me again. "Mary's Joy." And later....I understood: the blossoming of all souls upon the earth, even mine? Yes, even mine. Miraculous!

"Mary's Joy is to share with others as we can" That was another heart whisper. I heard of a Catholic Worker House which could use some baked goods, put up a sign "Mary's Joy Breadbox, and left a shiny copper container in the church kitchen. People left bread there, and it became a continuing joy to drive it over after Mass and coffee hour, where I stayed to clean up and sweep occasionally.

Then came the whisper about "shoeboxes." I spent hours making the flyers listing "Most wanted items" and tying them to the hundred empty shoeboxes I collected. People adopted a box, filled it up with the requested items and returned these to the church. To this day, it's my honor to deliver these to the local Samaritan house and others who care for young mothers struggling to get their GED's and make their way in the world. What makes my heart sing is the little children of the migrant workers rushing towards the trucks with donations of toys, clothes and needed supplies. If I have only a few boxes to send, I know they are greeted with smiles! I am reminded often of Christ's little feet as He made His first steps towards The Blessed Virgin. He would one day walk to the Cross, and arise from the tomb triumphant, but they both remember these little ones who now walk barefoot upon the earth. His joy joins with Our Lady's whenever they are shown loving kindness. I am surrounded by parish supporters in this work. God's grace, along with my compassionate pastor and Sr. "Sunshine" are both the center of this loving universe.

My first book of poems after my conversion was "The Snow Bridge" which has been described as elegiac and mystical. I publish these in hardback myself, and when I later wrote "Museum Piece, a Poem of the Nativity," a kind patron bought fourteen copies as Christmas gifts. Rare books indeed, as I've yet to find an agent, and have them lovingly bound, each one by hand, by a French bookbinding family.

I once walked into a local museum, painting in hand, noting the empty spaces on the walls, and asked if there was room for my "Blue Vase with Flowers Upon a Table," but the curator declined. I imagine I appeared a bit out of line, but this same child- like inability to self censor, which may get me into trouble, is of incomparable help when writing creatively. There are no boundaries, I find. I do not stop to edit at the first word, but instead allow myself to feel a kind of earthy compassion for my inanimate surroundings. Leaves, earth, root seedlings, the downtrodden who walk barefoot on the earth, all these overwhelm me. I think some inexperienced writers tend to over think their subject. I can see it often in their first line, their trying too hard to be clever. It comes off false and off-putting. I, not being clever, must be myself. The heart, if broken, is a well spring of inspiration.

I believe it may be a myth that autistics lack some innate ability to empathize. Indeed, I believe what may be happening is not an inability to empathize, but in fact may be a hypersensitivity, a being overwhelmed by circumstance or emotions. I may be wrong, and am not a scientist, but emotional overload and hyper- awareness may be the culprits here.

My dearest friends are the ones who make me feel safe when they address me, and give me a moment to respond. Each person is unique, each a gift of God. The adage is true of autistic persons as well: When you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person. I honor others in the same way. I tend to look at people as miracles. Their eyes dazzle me. I want to tell them "You're miraculous, a gift from Heaven," but of course it's not the proper way. So I work at my poems, and may, very rarely, send one through the post, with a number assigned to it for my archivists at the Library of Virginia, Richmond. Some day, a hundred years from now or ten or twenty, some of my letters will be open like John Donne's souls are described as opening to God. Until then, it is enough to offer a humble poem/prayer to friends whom I admire.

When I lecture now on creative writing, it takes hours of preparation and an honest sharing with my audience about my terror at facing them as myself. I explain the difference between writing on the page with reading my own words aloud. The difference between losing myself onstage in a play, and standing before my peers as my lone, broken self, that is all I can share honestly with them.

God is gracious, whether we are gifted or not. I like to say that poetry has been a way for me to express my abstracted mind with the world of un-abstracted. Poets are usually given space to be a little different, certainly that has been true historically. Perhaps many of us are somewhere on the autism spectrum. I feel it's a great gift.

Sitting under that lovely tree at Radford all those long years ago, and the painful decision that I was unable to remain, might seem a great loss to some. One unkind person said to me that "You might have been a teacher by now, a lecturer, author or writer." Wait, I want to say: I am all those things, and less and more, all at the same time! God loves me in my broken heartedness and gives me grace, just as others excel in other ways.

To be broken is to be open to light and love. God is gracious to all within His garden. Surely His light shines as brightly over his little root seedlings as it does on the emerald lawns of Saint Therese's blossoming flowers. Mary's Joy, then, is the blossoming of all souls upon the earth. I am happy to be a witness to this love.

Kathryn Forrester Thro is a poet laureate emeritus of Virginia, Publisher of Anthem Press of Norfolk, Virginia, artist, playwright and author of seven books, including her two most recent: Laurel the Flower Girl and Three Cats at a Wedding, her first children's rhyming picture book, and Mary's Joy, A Dance with Angels. She is foundress of Mary's Joy, a helping hands ministry "linking those in need with those who can help."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kathryn Forrester Thro's poem "Somewhere"


How can one face in thousands
Speak to me of spring?
All my treasures
Hidden in the field come back to me again?

Blossoms of mimosa
Following us up the path at evening
To my father’s house,
Where my mother’s arms welcome me in at the door,
Leaves of every season rushing up to meet us
Swirl, dance, follow us up the path to the shining door.

My brother, coming in from baseball,
My father’s voice heard once again upon the stair.

The door shut safe behind us-
His presence in the house

How can the glimmer in a pair of gentle eyes
Remind me of my secret treasure,
Of all that was lost to me?

My father’s voice about the house.
Spiraling blossoms of mimosa
Their scent. Sweet girlhood lost, then gained again…

I confess, Yes I confess this sin:
Seeing something in your gentleness, a long lost treasure
Hidden on the stair

And wanting to be Spring again, somehow,

Kathryn Forrester Thro, The Glass Harp


Where shall I find rest?
Wandering on the highways,
Beaten down by life,
One of the nameless poor?
My only work that of
Itinerate artist,
My shadow plays and portraits
Such desperations,
Lovers, life, spent, squandered,
But oh the jewel,
(Who cares the price?)
a child, a pearl born to me.

Am I earth mother now?
Somehow, miraculously having
Wombed new life.

Sweet Jesus, tender Mary, patient Joseph,
Father God-Hast Thou
Brought me from wanderer
To Nest?

Let me be Holy Straw.
Scatter me then,
Through the wilderness
Under stars and shooting of moon beams.

I believe.
I believe.
I shall shout it in the streets.
Christ is Risen and rescues.

Sing it through the streets, that
The morning is bright and fair.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kathryn Forrester Thro, Poet Laureate, Call to Action on behalf of the world's children

Among my friends, I'm delighted with the countless acts of chivalry and everyday kindnesses I see towards myself and so many others. But I know we all do battle in the outside world with just the opposite

Just yesterday, I had some chance encounters with rudeness in which I could have let the incivility go and simply ignored the behavior, but I did not. These can be teachable moments. I had what I call a "table turning" moment. Are you shocked? I had one of these moments years ago at the local general assembly when I did not like the attitude I was encountering in regard to caring for our homeless brethren and people in crisis.

I generally choose to listen quietly and learn. So many of my friends are great scholars and many are great citizens making a difference in the world in their own way. Do nice people make a royal fuss when things get out of hand? Most certainly. I believe I had more fun upsetting a few tables in front of our good senators than many have on Mardi Gras. Yes, Virginia, there is room for temperament. It is good to keep it under strict control, but as Shakespeare noted in Henry V "Nice customs curtsy to great kings." Go ahead and have your say. When you encounter injustice, if there is no table handy, stand your ground, draw the line and say "No more."

My brave hearted friends know my moods well. My silence may one moment be adoration or possibly sadness or disdain. Do not always think you know you have discerned it. That's the charm of life and a lady's prerogative.

Kindness is born of love and consideration of others as equal human beings. Yet how many times do we see people begging on the street and how many people respond to their pleas by attempting to ignore them? Yes, some are perhaps running a dishonest game, but many are not. How many people live in desperation? Do we turn out hearts and minds away from them?
How many good people have lost jobs and face poverty? What should our attitude be to those countless people without health insurance? Do we take the "I've got mine, you get your own" attitude? What of other's political stances? Can we dare to express opinions at the risk of losing friends of opposite viewpoints? I have good friends from all sides of the political spectrum who, I trust, respect mine. We must all find some common ground.

I have dozens of people I consider friends who have the most surprising opinions on subjects close to my heart. But they base their opinions on their particular life experience and have every right to them as I do mine. I'm intrigued by their opinions and their loyalty to their causes, and often surprised when we agree on anything at all.
I find most people of good upbringing to be the same.

On a global scale, some, not all, of the "haves" have always simply dismissed entire generations of "have nots" by dismissive and superior attitudes. "The Poor" nations become a silent, unwanted shadow that the rich nations attempt to blot out by a process of shunning and dis-inheritance. On a day to day level, people choose to interact either with awe and wonder or by turning away from whatever is unpleasant or frightening, thus a silent holocaust occurs daily:

One in two children in the world face hunger every day. One in two. Twenty five thousand children in the world die every single day, a known fact. Hunger, disease and poverty are their killers. Twenty five thousand. One child every three and one half seconds. This is the epitome of social injustice and a turning away from all that is decent or civil. A simple "google" on hunger and poverty gives us these facts, and the same websites tell us why these facts are not in the headlines. UNICEF, who relays these figures to the world, wrote of this and is clearly seen on the website "Global Issues." These are not my findings, but those of experts around the world. Many have said, before me, "Every three and one half seconds, snap your fingers together and pray a silent prayer, because another child has died." Some say the answer is to battle the despots and tyrants around the world who stop the trucks delivering aid. Some say the churches are doing all they can. Band Aid, Farm Aid, all who help are blessed. What is the answer?

A young woman made the news recently as the latest victim of Taliban injustice: Forced into marriage at the tender age of sixteen to a much older man, she managed to escape at nineteen. But she was found, and her nose and one ear were cut off. She survived to tell her story to the world, thanks to a woman's shelter which helps countless victims such as she. Her rescuers are true examples of chivalry in action, and what the world needs. But what to do to prevent such cruelty in time to save others from the tyrants? Enlightenment and well wishes may come far too late for so many.

Chivalry is love in action. Civility is meant to be extended to all persons, and most especially "the widows and children in their distress." Whatever your belief system, whatever politics you hold close to your heart, be open to those at the forefront of the cause of benevolence. We must all choose our battles. Yours is as sacred as another's. And mine? I like to think of Christ among the children. Heaven, he declared, is made of them. All around the world, both near and far, they hold up their little faces to us like small flowers reaching for the sunlight. It is love they are reaching for. For some of them, the view is blocked by tyrannical abuse, child trafficking, hunger, disease and poverty. Others bask in love daily. Someday they will be the ones to battle for others.
Just now, we are those who must battle for them. We put on whatever armor we hold most holy, and stand our ground. We draw lines daily, we pray, we watch and work in the world. Your calling, although different from mine, is just as worthy. Mine is to link those in desperation to those who can help. What begins as civility in our own, quite fortunate society, must expand, must extend to all other people of the earth and most urgently to each child.

As the Global Issues site points out in regard to the twenty five thousand dying every day, "this is an earthquake daily." and yet we seldom read or hear of it. Haiti's earthquake grabbed the world's attention, as did hurricane Katrina, and so many other natural disasters. Yet to hear that one precious child dies in the world every three and one half seconds due to poverty, hunger and disease, is a holocaust beyond all others. In the holy season of Lent, when we see the sacrifice made by Christ and His Mother in giving Him to the world, we can, no matter what our religion, see that love must extend to all. "True religion and undefiled before God is caring for orphans and widows in their distress." This is our common ground: seeds of love arising out of compassion and flowering into joyful, benevolent acts towards others.

In the name of love, in all that we call civility, all that is holy calls us to action in such a time as this.
Who speaks for the children, who cannot speak for themselves? Perhaps only our loving actions towards them, in their plaintive distress.

Love and prayers.
Foundress of Mary's Joy
A helping hands link. "Linking those in need with those who can help."
Sponsor a simple Shoebox Project now. An elegant and simple solution to everyday needs.
Contact Kathryn via email at for more information on Mary's Joy projects.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Kathryn Forrester Thro

Come, Beloved. You. It was you
I wished for in my travels.
You, all along. In the ice palaces,
and in the safety of Varykyno. You,

far from the politburo of the Kremlin.
Cold from my long train’s journey from
Moscow, long days through the mountains,
arriving weary at the inn, shivering

at the very threat of winter sky,
I sat alone at my small, appointed table
at a Latvian hotel, eating thick bread
like a grateful anarchist,

drank strong coffee,
seeing you in the rise of steam
from my gold-rimmed cup,
dreaming, dreaming of you far from me,

far from these winter hills,
somewhere under a blazing sun.
And I realized light had fallen from the sky
and so I climbed the winding stairs to bed.

And I said inside my room by candle light,
Yes, I am undone, then. Lost
as a child in the cavernous, canopied bed,
took up my journal from the bedside table,

my poor poet’s pen aloft,
poised as if to write some
grand and elevated truth
then knew in that instant

that you, Beloved, are my only truth.
That I am weary of wandering and
have long imagined your eyes locked,
mesmerized in mine.
You I desired in my rooms near the fireside,
upon the floor, with only the bear skin
rug beneath us, our only cover the gossamer
of sheet dragged swiftly from the bed,

a single candle flame upon the window sill.
Frost and fire. Snow sent to cool the wanton earth.
And I trembled to dream of you even then, hearing
far off bells, cathedrals at even-song. Ah, yes..

a dispensation. Eden pointing on to Paradise.
Forgiven then, long ago, the taking of me in your arms.
I think I wrote of you even in my childhood verse when
I saw angel’s wings amid the falling snow,

wind howling, wings fluttering
outside tremulous glass panes.
Earth and Heaven, heart’s desiring, yes,
the angels understand….

Your Lion heart is Legend.
So they sing Rush, come. Even now,
far from my travels, my mind plays
upon the night I realized

that my whole life is this, a prayer, and
it is simply this: God knows that I was
made for you, Rush then, come.
This ground is yours by rights.

Come, seize, and flights of angels
shall follow closely, envious,
And I say come, yes rush, come
upon me on a winter’s night.

We shall rise and rest eternally in Heaven,
yet the morning, Comrade, Beloved, shall
not hide the majesty and truth of love’s poor
wanderings nor the star’s.

Rush. come. And violins shall
never cease their
playing of our
one celestial hymn.

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Foundress of Mary's Joy, a Catholic helping hands link. Poet Laureate Emeritus of Virginia and Poet Laureate of Clan Forrester Society.