He said – and I’ve never quite forgotten

the robust, smiling vigour in his voice –

that we should strive, not to be special;

but to be -- ordinary..


and in that moment, castles in the air

or built on sand, shook and dissolved;

for a moment the mind questioned;

qualified; dissented; looked for some easy let-out..


then recalled that sweet, wise hymn :

‘The daily round, the common task

will furnish all we need to ask…’

(or was it ‘ought to ask’ ?)

‘room to deny ourselves; a road

to lead us daily nearer God…’


but how to praise as poets should,

the ordinariness ?

And yet, once found, the still and silent ‘ordinary’

as ordained; as wild things live;

as monks and nuns walk; as a flower blooms –

there’s boundless glory as of a rising or a setting sun

in that ordinariness that sings

to know the world made new each moment

as we watch in ordinary awe.

◄ Aaah...

barely-rhymed sonnet : Love and Law ►


<Deleted User> (6560)

Tue 8th Dec 2009 00:19

I used to want to 'tie things up' in a poem. Now I think that it's more honest to leave things unresolved -- the reader could be more perceptive than I !
When monks and nuns walk, they just walk..without the psychic charge of ego; straightforwardly, naturally, simply, truthfully, directly, purposefully.. that for me is their 'metaphoric' presence; not what they believe or don't believe.

Sometimes I have to wait for the last line to tell me what 'my' poem's about..I think this one's about what the world would reveal if seen truly objectively...would it be matter of fact, or full of wonder...?
I do admire the level of comment on this site..thanks.


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 7th Dec 2009 20:19

They always are, Starlight.

For me, this poem is very 'embracing', as an ongoing effort to reconcile ideas, many disparate ideas.

Michael, you make reference quite often to monks and nuns. I would like to know what aspects of 'monastic' life you so admire. There are, and have been, so many types of Orders emphasising very different goals, either personally or socially. How do your 'monks and nuns walk'?

<Deleted User> (7164)

Mon 7th Dec 2009 16:14

I really did enjoy reading this. Read it a few times over and it reminds me of so many quotations and ideas concerning the myths and realities of materialism, pre-judgements and egotism as well as elitism that it's hard to pin any one down.
Nice one!

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