WWMD – What Would Merton Do?

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Uncategorized
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It must be like Thomas Merton, I’m sure
when he outgrew the confines of community
and moved into the little hermitage
solitude his only room mate

And I in my makeshift shack
doing things spiritual
morning devotions

First some scripture
a few readings from the masters
silence and contemplation
and the fly

He buzzed incessantly
his flight pattern taking him
from this lamp shade to that
an interruption to any good retreat

It was the lemon pledge first
sprayed on his paper wings
so that he could only walk
like a drunk late at night

Unable to escape
he was squashed with the paper towel
and I, looking over my shoulder
hid the body in the trash

Satisfied, I resumed
the Mertonesque moment
wondering what he did
with uninvited visitors

(Tim Carson, August 2011)

  1. Ah, fly! Death to you so I can enjoy being peaceful and serene.

    I love this piece and can relate to it. It makes me remember a housemate who spent a lot of time in India. When he came back to the U.S., he still killed flies that annoyed him but would say a prayer and light incense after he killed one.

    A quote, “A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying [God]. It “consents,” so to speak, to [God’s] creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree.” — Thomas Merton (New Seeds of Contemplation)

  2. Gloria Beranejk says:

    Excellent! Stick this in your stack for future publication . . .

  3. namillermo says:

    Do you suppose Merton might see this as freeing that fly from the limitations of its earthly form?

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