At a Shropshire Hermitage

Watches and alarm clocks dropped
In the mire of the quotidien,
At what season, Lord, to this corner do you come?
Dawn and dusk are the one time now,
They have shrugged off all but the holy hours
When the door may open to them,
Their robes pulled over the raddled cardigans.

Only the growing and the wasting of the light
Speaks to them of the untimed, the possible
Improbable descent of the dove
Upon its lawful downstroke to release
The crushing thunder of its love.

Brother Silesius puts aside the work board
Closes the psalter, dusts his knees and rings
A single bell inscribed with the one word
And by the son the centuries
Have raised these woods in leaf to shelter them.

Simeon in wellies rakes the byre
Opening a path for their one cow
To come to milking.  She shrugs crossly
At the stall side, kicks.  He whistles, washing
Her teats, pulling them gently.

Lady, by your intercession it is
That these men, sons of your son,
Make of this time a holy thing.

Roy Ashwell