Terry Collett

Gold Star - 23,271 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

A Good Night's Rest 1971 - Poem by Terry Collett

Stood in the cloister
with the other monks
in the evening chill
before Vespers,

Dei ornent in omnibus,

all things in God Gareth said
quoting Spinoza,

cold water in morning wash
in icy jug of water into a white bowl
hands to face and neck,

lavabis me et super
nivem dealbabor,

these are my pearls she said
and this is my purse of joy
plunge into me,

I passed the tall monk
on the stairs he nodded a notice
he carried a big book
beneath an arm,

if every tiny flower wanted
to be a rose spring would
lose its loveliness Therese said,

Hugh said perfection lay in
doing God's will but without
God we cannot reach
perfection at all,

I cleaned the toilets
on the upper floor
with mop and bucket
smelt of disinfect,

the old monk was dying
and once talked of Plainsong
in high places and I
washed him and dried him,

in the shadow of her wings
I made hot love
like one possessed,

the church so silent
so utterly still I felt it
in my bones and soul,

the monk with a limp limped
into the choir stall
bowing his tonsured head,

refrain from evil words
on account of the penalty
of the sin Benedict said,

some evenings before Compline
I would wander the drive
towards the road and curse
in the night air
to get it(frustration) out there,

moon in shadow of a cloud
in the night sky and stars
sparse to the eyes,

when I see the short
duration of my life
used up in the eternity
before and after
the small space which I fill
cast into the infinite
immensity of spaces
of which I know nothing
and which doesn't know me
I am frightened Pascal said,

pour voir à l'infini,

the space between her thighs
where the body lives
but the soul part dies,

enjoy me she said enjoy me
as if a small boat on a vast sea,

the French peasant monk
dug the ditch with an angel
at his shoulder whispering
the Notre Père
his hands calloused
but maybe blessed,

I turned out the lamp
by my bed and sought
(without her in my bed
or head) a good night's rest.

Topic(s) of this poem: religious

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 9, 2016

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