Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Because I do not hope to turn again?
But are we not all made of hope?
Nothing but turning, again and again.
This, neither my first nor my last fast,
A fixed point around which the hoping swirls
Springing metanoia from a spiral curl.

Anoint my head with compost,
Mark me with a cross of rotten scraps
Of last year’s feasts and diversions.
Holy water and praise words gone,
replaced by gray skies and early nightfall--
We simmer, we concentrate.

An accumulated heap of critcism: a life,
To be gathered and burned and scattered.
And unto dust the pile of effort shall return,
But from where did it come?
It was never holy work. Or was it?
Yes, teach us to sit still. (And wait.)