poetry, sonnet

In the Silence

In the silence, amid the incense and the light slide,
stone falls on stone; a grinding mill scratches and calls.
Thus it’s ever been, amid the silent beating heart, beside
the whispering nave, knave and brave, brave the squalls.
And the stones answer when the lambs lie dumb ‘n’ mute.
Thus it’s ever been, amid the windowed calls for right,
amid the cobbled walls, cobbled floor, and hobbled foot;
Thus it’s ever been, amid the storied skies held loft by light,
amid the storied limbs can be heard the silent whispers;
Thus it’s ever been, amid the once chiseled and shape’ed stone
amid the storied floors that hear half-prayers and muddied vespers;
Thus it’s ever been, amid lullaby, amid cradle, amid birthing groan,
amid the pounding silent foam, amid Euphrates’ flowing;
Thus it’s ever been, when men keep selves from knowing.

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved


I can’t dance

I don’t know how many days
I will have with you.
I don’t know how you came
to be with me.

I can’t dance
and the tunes I carry
are always wrong.
Somehow they sound better
when they’re stuck inside;
then the beat is always right,
then the cadence slides
softly to the side.

How could you have come from me?

It’s not just these things,
but your warm and open
heart; your faith
that causes me to praise.
You seek to do the good.
You seek the highest mark.
You seek His glorious name.

I thank you for being mine.
I thank you for laughing lines.
I thank you for silver shrines.

You are the little one,
the one with the “funny” name,
the one that gets the pun,
the one that dances in the frame.

for the one with the funny name

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved.


Sonnet Two

Clouds carry whisper colored memories
And soft lightnings — flashes like sentinels
Against a darkened pane, thick memories —
Impasto hammered pains sharp with angles.
These clouds, these ever turbulent mists,
Listen not to small voice or Thor’s hammer,
They are blind to mouse, blind to pugilist,
Blind to the pleas of the eyeless seer.
For these mists, these airy kaleidoscopes
Of reflected light, live outside hist’ry.
They dwell there e’er in the eternal tropes.
For these mists led my fathers from the sea.
These solid mists, these son-born billows,
Billow an’ dance, lifting all from sorrows.

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved


Lavrans’ Day

”Life is held in flowered holds”

Slender tapers’ light
flickers, sputters, splashes and holds
his dying might
in the evens’ hold.

His life’s loves
and griefs:
a child crushed
beneath barreling bark,
another throws
herself against the ark,
another tied
to sister’s lark,
another sputtered with ne’er
a spark.

All his life spent
‘neath starry expanse,
spent lifting, warring
with word and blade,
is worthless now;
only breath beneath the brow
matters now.

Halberd’s glory, hoary head,
watchers watching
and the priest beside their bed
fade in the light of viaticum;
manna from heavens’ head,
life from life, bread from bread.

Oh, to borrow time instead,
instead of fading,
slipping from
flesh to bed,
from life to dead.

Oh, to forget not
and be not forgotten,
to spin the wheel
and leave some spark,
to leave a fire,
to leave some part,
to be given over
and leave a mark.

the taste of life,
the taste of sorrow,
the taste of tears,
the taste of blood
upon the spear.

”Life is held in flowered holds”

His gold-haired beauty
pierced his heart
where blade could never stray;
blood poured from open wounds,
open sorrows, open swoons.
Anger flashed and held too long
broke what ne’er before was
broken long.

No matter now,
bridges mended;
babe was loved,
even if his spark
did flash before
the promise sworn.

”Life is held in flowered holds”

Sprinkle life
upon the spent
and with water
mend the rent.


© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved.

Dedicated to Sigrid Undset.

Few novels have an impact beyond the ink and paper, Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset, is one of those novels. If you need a novel to read and you don’t want to waste your time with fluff, read Kristin Lavransdatter.

Links to purchase “Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset” Tiina Nunnally (Translator) from Audible, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble:

Barnes and Noble

Sigrid Undset as a young girl - Photographer Unknown

Sigrid Undset as a young girl – Photographer Unknown

Interested in learning more about Sigrid Undset, here are a couple of posts to wet your whistle:

Fascinating Facts about Sigrid Undset, Author of Kristin Lavransdatter
Modern Mrs. Darcy’s short post on Kristin Lavransdatter

From Sam Guzman Catholic Gentlemen’s Site Kristin Lavransdatter and Your Nordic Medieval Catholic Heart by Tyler Blanski

The Thomistic Institute Podcast Father Snyder “The Drama of Grace: Sigrid Undset and the Narrative of Conversion”

Catholic Stuff Podcast “Kristin’s Resentment”


Kick the Goad

Face façades force me to face
the clay that clings to my flesh;
that clay that shapes itself
depending on the crowd,
depending on the shroud.

I just want to kick the goad.

I’m angry at death,
angry that the stain
still clings and reigns,
angry that death’s not done
wreaking havoc, gaining gains.

I should speak in tense-past,
when discussing death’s out-cast.
I should light where Light
has dealt death to death.

death’s death is shrouded,
hidden from my unseeing eyes;
blind I stand and blind I rise.
I refuse to wash my muddy eyes.

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved.

for my friend KW

A reflection on James 1:23, Acts 26:14, Hebrews 2:14-15, and John 9:6-7 and the too soon passing of a friend; may light perpetual shine upon her.