Monday, October 28, 2019

OUR LADY: 1101 A.D.

In faith, entering Notre Dame,
Our Lady -
a mother kneeling,
in one arm cradling the body
of her dead child,
its ashen skin illumined
by a thousand soldered shards
of colored glass...

She lit an ivory candle
topping the slender taper
with a flash, sobbing,
tears and wax dropping
beneath the Christless cross…

After some time, still weeping,
she rises, releasing the child
from the crook of her arm,
genuflects and leaves
amidst the wistful chants,
looking to the window of Apostles and Saints
lighted by the lens of a moon turning
like a sacred kaleidoscope
by the sovereign hand of chance.


Monday, October 21, 2019


Eros spoke, "May I touch your flesh,
press this dart into your lovely breast?
You will swoon dear one,
my poison must infect your heart
and make you forget the mundane,
those who watch your eyes fall shut
will surely think you quite insane.
This world with all her woes will disappear from sight,
then pure ecstasy, as you slip from your body,
and soar into the calm of the buoyant night."

Teresa whispered in her sleep,
"I have never known a man,
nor will I defile this flesh,
such love will never scorch my soul,
no palm nor lip shall cross my breast;
please take your barb and fly away,
let me wake another day
to love my God and serve my Lord,
murmur my prayers, recite His Words."

Eros held the shaft aloft,
tilted his head and exposed her soul,
"Dear Teresa, do you not understand?
Your God has come disguised as a man,"
and drove his arrow home.

end/Michael Bogar

I Hide in the Stars

Nefertiti, smooth as amber has it all,
honeyed lips, midnight silk for hair,
breasts full as the ample moon.

Each evening she stands, empty hands
longing for the diamonds of the Gods.
She reaches through the diaphanous dark
into the vault of sparkling fire,
fingers piercing dusk.

Desire is the blight of sated eyes
and empty nights. Dispirited by fortune,
the Queen turns up her palm, fingers
beckoning the unclaimed charms
that dangle over an endless Nile.

Beyond her reach, knitted together
on indigo, the stars are called.
Heavenly bursts strewn like glitter,
radiant before her stately hex...
yet each speck remains immobile, unclaimed.

Buxom brown sovereign stirs the aethers,
casts another spell; they always work
on the wills of simple adoring men,
but not on the twinkling stellar gems.

That is why I hide with the stars.

end/Michael Bogar
Published in Between Journal 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2019



One of my favorite songs is by The Doors, titled "Waiting for the Sun". At one point in the song, Jim Morrison woefully mourns:

Waiting for the sun…Waiting for the sun…
Wait—ing.... wait—ing.... wait—ing.... wait—ing....
Wait—ing.... wait—ing.... wait—ing.... wait—ing....
Waiting for you to — come along
Waiting for you to — hear my song
Waiting for you to — come along
Waiting for you to — tell me what went wrong

I am all too often a waiter, unconsciously waiting for the sun—waiting for things to line up, or postponing enjoyment until the good outweighs or eradicates the bad. I am reminded of Woody Allen's role as Alvy Singer—the neurotic romantic—in the movie Annie Hall. There is an interaction between Alvy (Allen) and his ex-girlfriend Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton, at an outdoor restaurant. Annie suggests they go somewhere and have some fun. Alvy gloomily declines. Then comes this dialogue:

Annie Hall: Alvy, you're incapable of enjoying life, you know that? I mean, you're like New York City. You're just this person. You're like this island unto yourself.

Alvy Singer: I can't enjoy anything unless everybody is. If one guy is starving someplace, that puts a crimp in my evening.

I now call this
Alvy Singer Syndrome, or A.S.S.—always waiting for something before I can allow myself to enjoy anything. Like Woody Allen's character, I have often seen the world through the lens of ubiquitous suffering and universal darkness, "If one guy is starving someplace, that puts a crimp in my evening."

And lest you think you are exempt, consider this cultures chronic obsession with reading food labels, chronic dieting, Global Warming, political corruption, the latest fashions, wrinkled skin, not having a 'healthy' relationship, recycling and bicycling, the unemployment rate and frequent urination. Now I am all for being conscientious and healthy, however, sometimes I am unconsciously "waiting for the sun to come along," or for someone, or come along before I can experience joy.

After the death of my son in 2008, I entered into an emotional descent that took me a long way from the sun. I found little joy in much of anything. I was in the muted winter of grief. For about eight months everything was viewed through the lens of my boy being shot and dying in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. I have never known such darkness—such waiting for the sun. About eight months after Jason's death, I was walking along a quiet beach on Bainbridge Island, praying, crying and waiting for the sun to return. I glanced up and saw a Heron gliding high above the water. He tilted his wings downward to slow his flight and regally curved across the sky and settled on the bouncing branch of a Douglas Fir. My heart spontaneously swelled with joy at this surprising visitation of Beauty. I then noticed the setting sun radiating a pinkish-orange circlet along the horizon behind the tree. I thought my heart would burst. My joyful experience was suddenly arrested by the thought: "I shouldn't enjoy this, my son has just died." At that same moment, an internal voice whispered: "When the moment of Beauty arrives dad, enjoy it." Jason told me years ago that his favorite animal had always been a Heron.

One of the dangers in all of our waiting—for wholeness, for ideal health, for perfect love or for that profound moment of mystical enlightenment—is that we may be residing more or less in a chronic state of inflated anxiety.
And Jim Morrison sings:

Waiting for you to - come along
Waiting for you to - hear my song
Waiting for you to - come along
Waiting for you to - tell me what went wrong
The soul is made for joy. Open. Watch. Receive. Stop waiting.