This evening I found myself looking at an old journal and reading the details of my own past life like a novel. I would never have remembered all this if I hadn’t written it down but, unlike with a novel, I didn’t just imagine the events I was reading about, I really did remember them.
On one of the pages, I’d copied out this poem.
I must tell you how it happened,
Believe it or do not –
An episode to end housewarmings
In granaries of song.
I say, the drowsy blossom closing,
A bee was trapped within;
Moonlight passed through clouds and darkness
Till lawns lay diamonded.
Then spirits stalked to beg for baptism
In the open halls of night,
Their silent footfalls never troubled
The clovers’ sleep nor mine.
Astonishing – that one night’s hostel,
The thousand shimmered dreams –
Who knows sleep’s charm inside a blossom,
Except the captive bee?
Leonardas Andriekus was a Lithuanian poet and a Franciscan priest. He died in 2003, not so long ago. I loved this poem all over again when I rediscovered it tonight. The spirits begging for baptism bespeak a uniquely priestly nightmare.
Let’s pray this month for the souls of the dead still longing for heaven, for the souls of the living in desperate need of baptism.