What song should I sing
when I have not a word to say,
when full of emptiness
in wordless prayers I pray
toward formless forms and heatless burnings
toward Flyers In The Heaven without wing
and know – it is not You! You are not these!
O! (Whom shall I address?)
To what bright center shall I press,
and truly say: Ah, it is You! At last?
Strong enough to grip you fast.

Should I form pictures in my mind?
And say: this homely glow upon these yellow leaves,
this pale pink fuse of dawn like frosted glass
these vast upswelling sheets, bright on the lake –

all these I have loved in loving You;
yet You are none of these.

Where art Thou, Lord?
A Child I cry –
and teacher to my soul, reply:
closer than I.


Jesus. There’s a name in which my mind can rest.
O beautiful and gentle son of Mary,
Your face here framed is long and brown;
You have her eyes.
This beard is full of dignity;
This mouth is firm and wise.
Where did you find your knowledge,
peasant’s son?
Where did you find your meekness,
son of kings?
How did your tired body learn to walk
with such persistent tread
on waves that melt beneath all other feet?
Why are you so beloved, who once was dead?
In desert loneliness you prayed for forty days
(two ages past)
and the world cannot forget you ever since.

Receive me today
O Son of God.
Your mother shall be mine;
I’ll listen at her knee.
I’ll taste your bread and wine.
Oh plant me as a willow tree,
And in your temple make me sprout:
I shall never more go out.

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