I place block upon block
like a child grasping those small wooden pieces,
squares with the alphabet painted in primary reds,
blue, yellow, and secondary green
with primitive drawings on two sides
matching the sound of each letter,
lowercase on another, upper case at the end.

With precision I secure one upon the next,
perfectly chosen, balanced.
I make a tower. I do my job.
I seek perfection. I want the prize.

I am empty building this monument,
yet I continue day and night, years into life.
The tower grows, topples. I begin
again. No matter. I will do what I am told,
lying if I must, pretense. I follow the rules.
I loathe the bricks.

In the last fall, I heard your voice.
Removing the blocks from my hands your
touch is gentle, not like the hewn lump
I wasted in perpetuity.

Deep within, I gasp. There is a spark
waiting to flame. You know it is there.
Holy oils anoint my skin, the rigid shell
softens. Harsh coarse words
fade with your embrace. Finally, I am.


Author’s Note:

There is a darkness to these current logions. I find myself visiting my past, glad knowing I am in a new place now.

My other poems in this series of my study of the Gospel of Thomas can be found at Theophany or here:

Through the Mirror/5

Logion 6 from the Gospel of Thomas, translated by Stephen J. Patterson and James M. Robinson at the Gnostic Society Library:


(1) His disciples questioned him, (and) they said to him:
” Do you want us to fast?
And how should we pray and give alms?
And what diet should we observe?”

(2) Jesus says: “Do not lie. (3) And do not do what you hate.
(4) For everything is disclosed in view of <the truth>.
(5) For there is nothing hidden that will not become revealed.
(6) And there is nothing covered that will remain undisclosed.”

Through The Mirror/5

In the circus, a clown smears
her face with white paint thick,
covers all she seems to be
allowing her self an escape route.
A round red nose draws attention
away from the struggle,
fuchsia hair stands guard.
Her voice rises from her depths, without a sound,
rolls up her windpipe and out her smile.
Look through the mirror, she listens.
Find their joy and show it to them
on a platter they cannot discount.

The circus mimics life they say.
The Ringmaster conducts the parade.
Elephants in formation march
into daily submission.
Lions whipped into place jump
through hoops, sit on thrones.
High above, removed from all,
wire acts balance precariously.
Only clowns see inside,
the joy or the grief.

It must be tangible, this sacrament of life.
We must be able to touch it, know it from within.
It is there on the table waiting to be found.
Go ahead, look through the mirror.
He is there.

Author’s Note:

I must give a heartfelt thanks to Fr. Scott Jenkins at the Church of the Holy Family, ECC, for his powerful and challenging homily today. Little did he know, nor did I at the time, that a phrase of his would wind up here in my fifth poem in my study of the Gospel of Thomas.

Today we celebrated what old time Roman Catholics used to call the feast of Christ the King. Now it is known by another name in the Roman Church. But I like Fr. Scott’s name better – the Reign of Christ Here On Earth. Lovely.

However, that’s not the quote I used above. His other line about sacraments, we had three baptisms today at Mass, is what rung through me. The fact is that sacraments are a gift to us, but more importantly, they must be tangible. And that’s why our physical selves must celebrate and honor the unseen and often ignored Gift inside us by observing and participating in the sacraments.

This is what Logion 5 of the Gospel of Thomas calls me to do. I must look inside and out, seeing myself in the mirror but also looking through the mirror to see Him in others, too.

My other poems in this series can be found in Theophany or here:


Logion 5 from the Gospel of Thomas, translated by Stephen J. Patterson and James M. Robinson, found at the Gnostic Library Society:

(5) Jesus says:

(1) “Come to know what is in front of you,
and that which is hidden from you will become clear to you.
(2) For there is nothing hidden that will not become manifest.”

One Alone/4

You meet the time when
in your hand rests that trinket,
once keeper of such joy, such
covetousness, and you wonder
where the time has gone.

You gaze into the elephant’s eye
far above your head, wrinkles
spiral into darkness, a vastness
you cannot seem to comprehend.

You bend your head to survey
the bamboo birdcage,
weathered and brittle, pushing
aside what keeps you from the latch,
not quite able to reach.

Rest your fingers gently on the
suckling’s ribcage, a mere week
of breath rising to the moon,
releasing, no woe yet known,
a single whole you become one.


Author’s note:
My entry on the fourth logion of the Gospel of Thomas seems to return to breath and birdcages.

If you would like to read my earlier poems on my study of the Gospel of Thomas, here are the links to those poems:

Logion 4 as translated by Stephen J. Patterson and James. M. Robinson at the Gnostic Library Society:

(4) Jesus says:
(1) “The person old in his days will not hesitate to ask a child seven days old about the place of life, and he will live. 
(2) For many who are first will become last, (3) and they will become a single one.”