Two for Lent from Francis Morrissey

Many thanks to poet Francis Morrissey who is sharing these poems with us today as Lent lengthens into light.


A time of penitence and prayers.
Of promises that longer, warmer days
will soon awaken spring.

A time bridging the grey
of Ash Wednesday
and Easter’s Lumen Christi.

A time of early daffodils,
swelling buds,
and hints of greenery.

A time when peepers wake in unison
and woodland vernal pools
resound with Bacchic urgency.

Winter’s Wane

“And this, our life exempt from public haunt,
finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks,
sermons in stones, and good in everything.” – Shakespeare

Come stand with me on granite steps;
we’ll chant a secular refrain
to celebrate the gradual of winter’s wane

and watch shoreline’s accreted sheets of ice,
loosened by wind
and river’s ebb and flow,

release their fractured grip.
They ride receding tide
like clouds that skim across refracting sky.

Look how a mouse, perhaps a scout, crosses
diminishing snowdrifts in search
of fractured cellar wall or tiny household hole.

He disappears into a labyrinth
of backyard crevasses and steep seracs
as if he were Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mt. Everest.

Why struggle foot-by-foot up poetry’s steep slope
when vernal miracles unfurl instinctively –
their only prompts: warm days and innate DNA.

Recall the lines from Matthew’s Gospel:
“Consider the lilies, how they grow;
they toil not, they spin not.”

It’s time for winter’s withered steed
to rest and feed invisibly
on field’s emergent greenery!

Let’s venture out on roads
now fully plowed and walk beneath
tree-top cacophony of crows.

Francis Morrissey

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