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.”


Grasping with one last stronghold weathered,
now swarthy, once supple and verdant,

then golden to russet, now brittle,
her breath chides me to release my grip,

wisdom’s tumble down to earth.  Yet by my side
I am twin, identical or kin we twist

and turn through seasons’ favors
to shade or gift pure expiration.

Within my veins his words still
flow. I am parchment left behind.

I will loosen, take her ride,
crumble to dust leaving bare

a fashioned branch refined
for spring’s incumbent arrival.





Author’s Note:

I was recently introduced to The Gospel of Thomas among other writings that did not “make it” into the canonical gospels. Sharon Taylor, a spiritual director at the Church of the Holy Family, ECC, gave me a taste of these sayings of Jesus at a workshop. I am so very surprised to hear these words, many of which are used in the New Testament. These are transformative words. They open my eyes and heart to help me discover who I am.

I also now realize how writing helps me process and understand, and then explain my learning. So my new project plan is to write a poem based on each of the sayings of my study of the Thomas gospel and the sharing within our study group.

The above poem is a similar take, “twin” seems appropriate here, on one of my earlier poems in October, Marl. Must be the season.

Here is Logion I from the Gospel of Thomas that I used as part of my prompt. This translation is from the Gnostic Society Library by Thomas O. Lambdin:

These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.
(1) And he said, “Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death.”