SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Sorrows (2018)

Our Lady of Sorrows ©2018 Alfred Eaker

To Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows by Arthur Symons

Lady of the seven sorrows which are love,
What sacrificial way
First led your feet to, those remoter heights
Which, for the uttermost delights
Of martyrs and Love’s saints, are set above
The Stations of the passion of our day?
Seven sorrows unto you has been desire
Since first your cheek grew pale.
And your astonished breath would fail,
And your eyes deepened into smouldering fire;
Seven sorrows from a child.
Nor has the soul which in you pants and rises
At any time been reconciled
With love and love’s intolerable disguises.
In the child’s morning-hour
You woke, and knew not the immortal power
Which in your ignorant veins was as the breeze
Troubling the waters of a little lake
And crying in the nests among the trees.
Fear bid you, trembling, wake,
And listen to the voice which seemed to shake
Bewildering prophecies
Unto the empty audience of the air.
The child, grown older, heard that voice again,
Nor heard that voice in vain.
You smiled, with a new meaning in your eyes,
As of some new, delightful care
Which made you suddenly mote wise,
Older, and to yourself more fair.
Then silence came about your lips, and laid
That tremulous shadow there,
Whereby the sorrows mark you for their own.
You woke and were afraid to be alone,
And full of some Strange joy to be afraid.First love, the hour it came,
You seemed to have remembered; and you knew
What a smoke-thwarted flame
Love’s torch is, and the jewel of love’s faith
How flawed, and by how many a name
The immortal comes to mortals, and how deal h
Is the first breath that love, made mortal, drew.
Therefore, not without tears.
And penitence, and a reluctant rapture,
All love’s and not your lover’s capture,
Not without sure, foreseeing fears
Of the unavoidable dedication of your years,
You entered on the way,
The way that was to be.Mortal, and pitiful, yet immortally
Predestinate to that illustrious grief
Whose extreme anguish is its own relief,
Lady of the seven sorrows, who shall say
The ardours of that way?
Men have looked up and seen you pass, and bowed
Into the dust to kiss your weary feet;
And you have passed, and they have cursed aloud
With dusty mouths to find the dust not sweet.
You have passed by; your eyes
Unalterably open in a dream,
Seeing alone the gleam
Of a far, mortal, azure paradise
Which your ecstatic feat is to attain,
Sometimes you linger, when men cry to you,
Linger as in a dream,
Linger in vain,
Having but shared, as they would have you do,
Some ecstasy of pain.
Therefore you shall be neither blessed nor cursed,
But pardoned, for you know not what you do;
And of all punishments the worst
Of punishments for you is to be you.
Go, neither blessed nor cursed:
We, all we too who suffer of you, throng
To make a royal passage for your feet,
When, in a dream, ere long,
They shall go sorrowfully up the Street.
You will pass by and not remember us,
We shall be Grange as any last year’s mirth;
It is not thus, so lightly, O not thus
You carry the seven sorrows of the earth.

SEA OF ROSARIES: THE MADONNA TEACHING HER CHRIST CHILD IN PRAYER

The Madonna teaching her Christ child in prayer ©2018 Alfred Eaker

Ave Maria by Hildegard of Bingen

Behold, Mary, you who increase life, who rebuilds the path,

You who confused death and wore down the serpent,

To you Eve raised herself up, her neck rigid with inflated arrogance.

You strode upon this arrogance

while bearing God’s Son of Heaven,

through whom the spirit of God breaths.

O gentle and loving Mother, I behold you.

For Heaven released into the world that which you brought forth.

This one, through whom the spirit of God breaths.

Glory to the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

And to this one, through whom the spirit of God breaths.

SEA OF ROSARIES: BLUE MADONNA AND THE HOLY INNOCENTS

Blue Madonna and the Holy Innocents ©2018 Alfred Eaker

AVE GENEROSA by Hildegard of Bingen

I behold you,
noble, glorious and whole woman,
the pupil of purity.
You are the sacred matrix
in which God takes great pleasure.

The essences of Heaven flooded into you,
and the Great Word of God dressed itself in flesh.

You appeared as a shining white lily,
as God looked upon you before all of Creation.

O lovely and tender one,
how greatly has God delighted in you.
For He has placed His passionate embrace within you,
so that His Son might nurse at your breast.

Your womb held joy,
with all the celestial symphony sounding through you,
Virgin, who bore the Son of God,
when your purity became luminous in God.

Your flesh held joy,
like grass upon which dew falls,
pouring its life-green into it,
and so it is true in you also,
o Mother of all delight.

Now let all Ecclesia shine in joy
and sound in symphony
praising the most tender woman,
Mary, the bequeather/seed-source of God.
Amen

SEA OF ROSARIES: MADONNA OF NAGASAKI (with EDGAR ALLAN POE ‘HYMN’)

MADONNA OF NAGASAKI (SORROWFUL MYSTERY: AGONY IN THE GARDEN) ©2018 Alfred Eaker

 

Hymn by Edgar Allan Poe

At morn–at noon–at twilight dim–

Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!

In joy and woe–in good and ill–

Mother of God, be with me still!

When the Hours flew brightly by,

And not a cloud obscured the sky,

My soul, lest it should truant be,

Thy grace did guide to thine and thee

Now, when storms of Fate o’ercast

Darkly my Present and my Past,

Let my future radiant shine

With sweet hopes of thee and thine.

SEA OF ROSARIES: Black Madonna of Antipolo

Black Madonna of Antipolo (Pentecost) ©2018 Alfred Eaker

At This Precise Moment of History by Thomas Merton

    At this precise moment of history
With Goody-two-shoes running for Congress
We are testing supersonic engines
To keep God safe in the cherry tree.
When I said so in this space last Thursday
I meant what I said: power struggles.

You would never dream of such corn. The colonials in
sandalwood like running wide open and available for
protection. You can throw them away without a refund.

Dr. Hanfstaengel who was not called Putzi except by
those who did not know him is taped in the national
archives. J. Edgar Hoover he ought to know
And does know.

But calls Dr. Hanfstaengel Putzi nevertheless
Somewhere on tape in the
Archives.

He (Dr. H.) is not a silly man.
He left in disgust
About the same time Shirley Temple
Sat on Roosevelt’s knee
An accomplished pianist
A remembered personality.
He (Dr. H.) began to teach
Immortal anecdotes
To his mother a Queen Bee
In the American colony.

What is your attitude toward historical subjects?
—Perhaps it’s their size!

When I said this in space you would never believe
Corn Colonel was so expatriated.
—If you think you know,
Take this wheel
And become standard.

She is my only living mother
This bee of the bloody arts
Bandaging victims of Saturday’s dance
Like a veritable sphinx
In a totally new combination.

The Queen Mother is an enduring vignette
at an early age.
Now she ought to be kept in submersible
decompression chambers

For a while.

What is your attitude toward historical subjects
Like Queen Colonies?
—They are permanently fortified
For shape retention.

Solid shades
Seven zippered pockets
Close to my old place
Waiting by the road
Big disk brakes
Spinoff
Zoom
Long lights stabbing at the
Two together piggyback
In a stark sports roadster

Regretting his previous outburst
Al loads his Cadillac
With lovenests.

She is my only living investment
She examines the housing industry
Counts 3.5 million postwar children
Turning twenty-one
And draws her own conclusion
In the commercial fishing field.

Voice of little sexy ventriloquist mignonne:
“Well I think all of us are agreed and sincerely I my-
self believe that honest people on both sides have got
it all on tape. Governor Reagan thinks that nuclear
wampums are a last resort that ought not to be re-
sorted.” (But little mignonne went right to the point
with: “We have a commitment to fulfill and we better
do it quick.” No dupe she!)

All historians die of the same events at least twice.

I feel that I ought to open this case with an apology.
Dr. H. certainly has a beautiful voice. He is not a silly
man. He is misunderstood even by Presidents.

You people are criticizing the Church but what are
you going to put in her place? Sometime sit down with
a pencil and paper and ask yourself what you’ve got
that the Church hasn’t.

Nothing to add
But the big voice of a detective
Using the wrong first names
In national archives.

She sat in shocking pink with an industrial zipper spe-
cially designed for sitting on the knees of presidents in
broad daylight. She spoke the president’s mind. “We
have a last resort to be resorted and we better do it
quick.” He wondered at what he had just said.

It was all like running wideopen in a loose gown
Without slippers
At least someplace.

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Manaoag

Our Lady of Manaoag ©2018 Alfred Eaker

The Divine Dew by Therese of Lisieux

My Sweet Jesus, You appear to me
On your Mother’s breast, all radiant with love.
Love is the ineffable mystery
That exiled you from your Heavenly Home…
Ah! let me hide myself under the veil
Concealing you from all mortal eyes,
And near you, O Morning Star!
I shall find a foretaste of Heaven.

From the moment a new dawn awakens,
When we see the first lights of the sun,
The young flower beginning to open
Awaits a precious balm from on high.
It is the good-giving morning dew,
Which, producing an abundant sap,
Makes the flower of the new bud open a little.

Jesus, you are that Flower just open.
I gaze on you at your first awakening.
Jesus, you are the ravishing Rose,
The new bud, gracious and scarlet red.
The ever-so-pure arms of your dear Mother
For for you a cradle, a royal throne,
Your sweet sun is Mary’s breast,
And your Dew is Virginal Milk!…

My Beloved, my divine little Brother,
In your gaze I see all the future.
Soon, for me, you will leave your Mother.
Already Love impels you to suffer.
But on the cross, O Full-blossomed Flower!
I recognize your morning fragrance.
I recognize Mary’s Dew.
Your divine blood is Virginal Milk!…

This Dew hides in the sanctuary.
The angels of Heaven, enraptured, contemplate it,
Offering to God their sublime prayer.
Like Saint John, they repeat: “Behold.”
Yes, behold, this Word made Host.
Eternal Priest, sacerdotal Lamb,
The Son of God is the Son of Mary.
The bread of Angels is Virginal Milk.

The seraphim feeds on glory.
In Paradise his joy is full.
Weak child that I am, I only see in the ciborium
The color and figure of Milk.
But that is the Milk a child needs,
And Jesus’ Love is beyond compare.
O tender Love! Unfathomable power,
My white Host is Virginal Milk!

SEA OF ROSARIES: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR

Our Lady of the Pillar ©2018 Alfred Eaker

Landscape: Wheatfields (Thomas Merton)

Frown there like Cressy or like Agincourt,
You fierce and bearded shocks and sheaves
And shake your grain-spears,
And know no tremor in your vigilant
Your stern array, my summer chevaliers!

Although the wagons,
(Hear how the battle of those wheels,
Worrying the loose wood with their momentary thunder
Leaves us to guess some trestle, there, behind the sycamores.)
Although the empty wagons come,

Rise up, like kings out of the pages of a chronicle
And cry your courage in your golden beards;
For now the summer-time is half-way done,
Gliding to a dramatic crisis
Sure as the deep waters to the sedentary mill.

Arise like kings and prophets from the pages of an
ancient Bible,
And blind us with the burnish of your message in our June:
Then raise your hands and bless us
An depart, like old Melchisedech, and find your
proper Salem.

The slow hours crowd upon us.
Our days slide evenly toward the term of all our liturgy,
And all our weeks are after Pentecost.

Summer divides his garrisons,
Surrenders up his strongest forts,
Strikes all his russet banners one by one.
And while these ancient men of war
Casting us in the teeth with the reproof of their surrender
(By which their fruitfulness is all fulfilled,)
Throw down their arms.

Face we the day when we go up to stake our graces
Against unconquerable God:
Try, with our trivial increase, in that time of harvest
To stem the army of His attributes!

Oh pray us full of marrow, Queen of Heaven,
For those mills, His truth, our glory!
Crown us with alleluias on that day of fight!

(Light falls as fair as lyres, beamy between the branches,
Plays like an angel on the mill-dam, where the lazy stream
Suddenly turns to clouds of song and rain,)
Oh pray us, Lady, full of faith and graces,
Arm us with fruits against that contest and comparison,
Arm us with ripeness for the wagons of our Christ!

SEA OF ROSARIES: Black Madonna of Oropa

Black Madonna of Oropa ©2018 Alfred Eaker

Aubade-Harlem by Thomas Merton
Across the cages of the keyless aviaries,
The lines and wires, the gallows of the broken kites,
Crucify, against the fearful light,
The ragged dresses of the little children.
Soon, in the sterile jungles of the waterpipes and ladders,
The bleeding sun, a bird of prey, will terrify the poor,
These will forget the unbelievable moon.
But in the cells of whiter buildings,
Where the glass dawn is brighter than the knives of surgeons,
Paler than alcohol or ether, shinier than money,
The white men’s wives, like Pilate’s,
Cry in the peril of their frozen dreams:
“Daylight has driven iron spikes,
Into the flesh of Jesus’ hands and feet:
Four flowers of blood have nailed Him to the walls of Harlem.”
Along the white halls of the clinics and the hospitals
Pilate evaporates with a cry:
They have cut down two hundred Judases,
Hanged by the neck in the opera houses and the museum.
Across the cages of the keyless aviaries,
The lines and wires, the gallows of the broken kites,
Crucify, against the fearful light,
The ragged dresses of the little children.