A Secret Language

Here is a poem written on retreat

We wrestle with the mystery of words,
hammering from the vast inchoate
universe, the pointed spears and sharp swords
with which we marshal the inarticulate
chaos of the soul. With precision
we discuss, dissect and delineate;
then define and decide. Each decision
is set in stone—not open to debate.

But beneath the dogma something rebels.
We sense lost treasure buried in a field,
or secret meanings glimmering like jewels
in the dark caverns of the soul. They yield
their bright reward only to those who mine
with the pick and spade of symbol and sign.
In this underground struggle we soon learn:
only the work and liturgy of art
can unlock the secret language of the heart.

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  • Your poem gives me “chills” it’s beautiful–poetry, art, music, how horrible our lives would be without them–the language of the heart. Beautiful!

  • I have like so many things about this poem; I could say a lot about it. I’ll limit my comment to the one best thing, though — that is, the way it turns swords and spears into plowshares and pruning hooks! Well done, Father D.!

  • Rose Marie

    An artfully painted picture of retreat week using beautiful language. Glad you are back! Reading your blog is one of the highlights of my day. Thank you for keeping it going inspite of your busy schedule. Rose Marie

  • i just love it!

  • Meant to say i borrowed you for my blog!

  • Swords and spears into plowshares and pruning hooks. You know, I didn’t even see that myself! Writing poetry is a mysterious business. More comes out and is put in than you yourself intended…Thanks for the comment.

  • Anonymous

    Love that poem, Father Dwight! I have to confess I had to look up the meaning of “inchoate” and read it a second time. I have often felt that inner rebellion. Your Anonymous old friend