Poetry IC 62

Eyes

By Vincent van Buuren

I stand behind the table of brass

in front of the icon of the Most Holy Mother of God

where they can light one, or more, of five candles,

which I will extinguish for others to light them again.

And everyone of them, as they light and pray,

they look up to the flame,

and I look into their eyes and see the silent prayer

only known to the Holy Virgin and them:

of the old woman dressed in black

with the parchment skin tanned by the sun,

of the mother with tears in her eyes

making the sign of the cross,

of the muscular athlete from Russia

who prays with tenderness and awe,

of the child on his mother’s arm

with eyes like an angel, radiating enchantment,

of the old man with the walking stick

whose trembling hand I have to hold to light the candle,

of the woman who came to the icon

all the way on her knees.

And as behind me a young man falls down on his knees before the icon

and bursts out in tears,

I can only stammer, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

Vincent van Buuren is presently on a three-month stay at a Greek Orthodox monastery on Cyprus


They’re gardening boots now…

By Aaron Haney

They’re gardening boots now

stained only with the dirt

of my small raised garden

Seeds unsealed from plastic

await a proper burial

reminding me of a past

that still weighs on my heart

but gives me hope

for the possibility of new life

“It’s been four years since my deployment to Iraq and 2 years since I left the Army for civilian life. By the grace of God and through the prayers and support of OPF members I was able to remain safe (and sane), able to turn swords into plowshares as it were with my combat boots.”

–Aaron

❖ IN COMMUNION / issue 62 / October 2011