Our Aleph-Bets

To the sounds of our twenty-six;
to the sounds of our aleph-bets,
we’re sounding our lives
‘round our sounds.

And all our soundings
press us into what we are.

So I give thanks to Wycliffe, Webster, and Will
for still I hear them sounding their depths.
I am deeper because they willed words,
words that are pressed into my every cell,
words that speak to my soul, words that call,
words that stall the beating of my heart.

Start, if you recall
the first you heard of Juliet
and her dead Romeo;
and that bachelors may marry yet,
and of the night that our dead Hero
was from death recalled.

Start, if you recall
the beginning of beginnings,
when nothingness was formed
into rib and woman formed,
when the first light of dawn spilled
from Word and Wind,
when from fire, God did call.

Start, if you recall
finding Noah’s book
laid upon a table faire,
of spelling words like fare and hair,
of all the varied tongues that form
our England and America,
and of how large it seemed all.

And because of this I wonder still:
symbols making sounds,
sounds making meaning,
meaning making men.

© rl busséll 2019 – All rights reserved



I move in widdershins;
my gains ever loses.
Would that were the
other way ‘round,
then there would be never loses.

Then I could have a plan,
then I could follow the salmon;
one last pitch at lasting measure,
one last throw across the plate,
one last stroke at persistence.

Which way is time’s turning?
Is forward not behind?
Which hand holds the Bashful Royal?
Are all the cards stacked and shuffled?
Oh, come and deal another hand.
Oh, come and deal another hand.
Are widdershins turning ‘round?

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved

poetry, sonnet

My Shibboleth

Hang it all, let it melt into my season.
Season it all with spice and let it rest.
This is not the summer to emblazon
crimson slashes across my quiet nest.
Now it’s time to rest, to take a breath,
purse my crimson lips and kiss my only.
I’ll make sure I make love my shibboleth.
For there will be time enough for lonely
days when my eye can see no lover,
when the light of summer fades and my
hardened bones feel nothing but harsh hiver.
I’ll take residence in the now, making sure
that I save not my joy and sorrow
for another time, another one, another morrow.

© 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”