Fool for Christ

Verily I say unto you, they have their reward’
Matt 6.2

The gratification of being well regarded
is my reward.
My reward is a stone
that pulls me down.
I must get rid
of my reward.

The eyes of men
are so many knives
cutting me up; under their gaze
I become
Legion. I pass like a whore
from one to the other
like so many pieces
of a smashed mirror.

Lusting after praise,
avaricious of praise,
proud of praise,
gluttonous for praise,
envious of praise,
angry at being disregarded and soon
falling into apathy.

That is how the days
pass; to flee
from the snare, I must be
ridiculous,
like Lazarus
lying at the rich man’s gate.

I must climb under
my reward, then, free
of other men’s eyes
I can see
objectively.
I can see the angels
outside the brothels
and round the walls
of the churches the devils
and in the depths
of winter, dressed
only in rags, lying
in the gutter I can taste
the fruits of Paradise.

In an Orthodox Church

Here is a poem……….

IN AN ORTHODOX CHURCH

In this place,
everything is still, any
noise is a shock.
No-one is
laughing here,
in this place, above
everything that happens,
above and below
and inside and out.
It requires,
this everywhere,
silence and darkness.
This is the most dear
habitation,
above thinking, here thinking
is a distraction,
demons, dreams and wishes
are only a nuisance.
The vibration of
strong emotion shrinks
this space, which is
normally very big, any
contrary vibration, contrary
space (e.g.
cyberspace)
is ruinous.
In this place what was
continuous has become saccadic,
what was saccadic
has become continuous.
I am living in an un-
finished dot drawing.
This is the house of prayer
where David went.
I am huddled in a dark
corner of his tent.
Here I have not seen God,
but I (and everyone with me)
have known a lovely
darkness from too much light.