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Monk tinks tonight
fine glasses clink
convivial banter
bubble pop blink

in breathing rooms
bit woofed and stirred
the smoke mint sound
we dare exhale

Monk swings about
a bell do ding
the huey blues
bird bops on wings

hips juicy moves
rubby mounds wet ****
slow drum rolls blow
dance steady bump

Monk rocks the house
the clock do tick
me feets be tappin
gonna busta trick

key ******* bounce
mouths all agape
we gettin down
like crazy apes

Monk’s muzik rides
a sonorous beam
levitatin hipsters
to places unseen

gosh groovy tunes
a **** good gig
we all stoked up
Monk we do dig  

Monk played alright
some swingin tunes
Happy B Day Monk
you over the moon

Thelonious Monk
(October 10, 1917 - February 17, 1982)

Thelonious Monk
with John Coltrane
Trinkle ******

Lennox Jones Dec 2014
A young man was walking along when he came across monk who was sitting on the side of the path meditating.

The young man, curiously stopped. “You are not from here? For I know everyone in this kingdom, and everyone know who I am. My name is Narcissus, son of Cephissus, and I am King of this land. Where do you come from, and what are you doing in my kingdom?

The Buddhist monk sat silently, and continued to meditate. His eyes were closed and at his side was a banana and a pale of water.

“Did you hear me? I am Narcissus and I am King of this land. If you know me like my people do, you would know that; I am honest, I am kind, and I am loving and full of compassion. I am fair and just. I am an advocate of peace, I judge no-one, and my subjects love me. And you sir, what are you?”

The monk opened his eyes, took the banana and peeled it. He halved it and offered Narcissus the King the other half, then continued meditating without saying a word.

Narcissus ate his banana, musing at the monk who didn’t speak. Why do you not speak?” asked Narcissus. I am the King and I demand to be answered when I ask a question.”

It was deathly hot, so the monk offered Narcissus a drink from his pale of water.

“I am thirsty. I will accept your offer,” said Narcissus. He drank all that was in the ladle and helped himself to another. He stood and waited for the water in the pale to become still again. Then he pitched over and looked into it, admiring his reflection, and smiled. I am still beautiful he thought. Again he addressed the monk, asking him who he was.

The monk leant over and kissed Narcissus on the feet, and bowed to him without saying a word.

Narcissus peered down at monk, smiled, and said to himself, “strange man,” and moved on.

The monk resumed his position, smiled, and whispered to himself,
“I am nothing.”
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
Angulimala chases the monk.
Angulimala collects thumbs
one from each victim;
he will collect a 1000
and this monk’s thumb will be the last

but though he chases the monk
and the monk but walks
the monk seems to elude him;
and so Angulimala shouts:
“Stop, monk!”

and the monk walks still
but his voice comes clear:
“I have stopped.
You stop too, Angulimala.”

“You have not stopped, monk;
you continue walking.
Monks do not lie –
tell me,
how have you stopped?”

“I have stopped thought;
I have stopped all violence
and hate and harm to all creatures;
I have stopped all mental-formation –
so do you stop too,

And Angulimala stops;
and he is ordained as a monk himself
even there in the wilderness
by the Buddha
Once a monk lived in a village
A bird excreted on his head
For his fury it fell dead
The monk felt very sad

He went to a house for food
The wife was at her husband’s bed
The monk cried for many a time
The woman came after some time

The sage looked at her with a great rage
She said, ”I am not a bird to be burnt
by your fury. For a wife her husband
is the best jury”. He begged her pardon

She advised the sage to meet
a righteous man at a certain place
The monk was taken aback to  see his face
He was only an ignorant butcher

The butcher said to the monk
“My profession is to sell meat
Which even for my feast I don’t eat
One should do one’s duty”

The monk had a great revelation
Which he hadn’t in a hundred years’ meditation
He learnt to control his angry emotion
And blessed the woman for his salvation
K Balachandran Dec 2013
This miraculous journey we call life,
has many strands braided together,
never forget what is expected from
the travelling monk, walking in front,
who'll break his walk to play with
stray street pups, eat, drink and sup
with men and women, of many temperaments,
who'd invite him to sit with them, even not knowing
who he is, or what mission moves him
through these dusty roads. There is something
that makes everyone not take eyes off him,
they'd say that, when he goes back on his way.
On the waves of emotions, he partake, he moves
like a paper boat navigated,  by the speed
it all create, yet unaffected, except the empathy he keeps in his heart.

Hearing  stories of this pilgrim  in rapt attention
creating worlds fantastic inside,
learning  things one never imagined before,
he travels with the wandering monk in sight.
What is more wondrous, once he thought
than  seeing one's starry eyed lover's excitement,
showing a jewel she picked
from the riverbed of her short life
in a blessed moment.
She put it adoringly in to his mind,
a gleaming ornament that'd adorn him
though time would change that too.

Every thing experienced in this journey
makes one, the words of the monk prompt to act
and see the aftermath, take in the taste,
be it sweet or bitter or both,
odors and smells, the feel of things
a complex web, the map of inner life.

Never should one fail, to lend ears
to the tales of wandering monk
he is wisdom's child, patience solidified,
every tale has its color, smell and texture,
nature spoke, he experienced,
ages in muted tones speak
to him in the voice of the  wandering monk
Beneath the weeping Willow tree
There sat a tiddly Monk
And no one knew and no one cared
Just why that Monk got drunk;
But everyday the clock struck twelve
You’d see him sitting there
Chirping cheerful ditties,
In a drunken slur.
Then one young boy, he stopped and asked,
“What troubles you my Lord?”
Ungraciously the monk replied
Or should I say, he roared!
“I have to taste the Holy wine,
It is my job you see.
But I cannot recommend it
Till I’ve tasted two or three,
And sometimes if the wine is corked
It can be five or six
So you see it’s not my fault
That I am in this fix.”
The boy said, “It’s not good my Lord
That a Holy man should be
Inebriated to the hilt
And sat beneath a tree.”
After giving one loud burp
The Monk he sat and cried,
“I’ll try to give it up my son
But many times I’ve tried.”
“The boy said Lord it’s come to me
This sudden blinding flash
My Dad would volunteer I know
But you’d have to pay him cash.”
“Your Dad would do this for me son,
Are you sure he’d volunteer?”
“It’s wine I know, but I think so
Although he’d prefer beer.”
“Is he a man of God?
Is he climbing Jacob’s Ladder?”
The boy said, “I don’t know
But he loves the ‘Bull and Bladder’.”
“Bring him to me soon my son
You’re the answer to my prayers
I thought I was forsaken
But now that someone cares,
I’ll walk the straight and narrow
And really sort my life.
Now what other sins have I?
Oh yes! I shouldn’t have a wife.
Do you think he’ll take her too?
This Father of yours son.”
“Well yes, he’s only human,
When all is said and done.
But that will cost, I’m sure you’ve guessed,
These things they don’t come cheap.
My Dad is sensible I know
And a robbing little creep.”
“That’s it then son.  Go forth.” He cried.
“Bring your Father here.
It will be worth it this I know
Even if it costs me dear.”
The boy pushed forth his hand
He expected a large tip
But the Monk pulled out a bottle
And he offered him a sip.
“I’m too young to drink my Lord,
You should be ashamed.
Although I know it is the wine
So you cannot be blamed.
But if you don’t cough up right now
And offer cash to me
You can sit there drunken all your life,
Beneath the Willow tree.”
A monk was concentrating upon God
In front of a vamp’s house
Whenever a visitor came
He would pick up a stone and threw it

Years rolled on and the stones piled up
The monk became old and the vamp sick
There was a huge heap of stones
The monk would look at it in surprise

The dooms day arrived
The monk was sent to hell
And the vamp to heaven
What a Paradoxical judgement!

The monk asked God
“Why did you send me to hell
And  the vamp to heaven”?
God replied,” you concentrated on her fraud
But she concentrated on God.
She dedicated her soul to me
And only her body to the visitors”
monk jumps
trinkle ****** trane
criss crossin time
aboard idiocentric planes

whacky Hackensack moods
near my mysterioso home
round bout midnight gleaning
brilliant corner poems

hummin blue monk blues
i surrender dear
Bemsha swing cast away
Friday the 13th fears

melancholy ruby swigs
straight no chaser shots
just let's cool one
at the red hot 5 Spot

rollins and griffin jammin
hudson riverside house
Weehawken royalty bows
to a spiffy charlie rouse

we remember mintons
a vast creative flood
monk be boppin on stage
when in walked bud

red rooster clucksters
raising town hall roofs
consecrating spaces playing
Monk's hallowed tunes

"pianos don't play no wrong notes"
we heard Thelonious once say
his utterances on the upright keys
ingenious music maestro on display

Music Selection:
Thelonious Monk:
In Walked Bud

Marking Thelonious Sphere Monks Centennial
10/10/17 - 10/10/17
The centennial of the birth of  Thelonious Sphere Monk, master musician and composer, creative giant in the creation of modern music is 10/10/17
Mitchell Duran Dec 2013
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez's room. It was not a heavy frost that spread across the paralyzed lawn, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.

He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.

"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "*****, Betria, and Johnny Cash."

Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.

Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.

Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his *** would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was  that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.

Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.

Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.

"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.

Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"

"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.

"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.

"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.

"That's good, that's good."

"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.

"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, ***** dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.

"Take the dogs out to ***," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."

"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.

"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."

Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to ***. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.

"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.

Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.

A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.

On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.

There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.

After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."

He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.

"Who're you?" the dreaded girl asked.

"I'm the roofer," Henry told her.

The girl looked puzzled and disinterested. Henry leaned back on his heels and wondered if the whole thing was lemon. She looked beyond him, down on the street, awkwardly annoying Henry's gaze. The tools in Henry's hands began to grow heavy, so he put them down on the deck with a thud. The noise seemed to startle the girl out of whatever haze her brain was in and she looked back at Henry. Her eyes were dark brown and her skin was smooth and clear like lake water. She couldn't have been more then 20 or 21 years old. Henry realized that he was staring and looked away at the various potted plants near the rocking chair. He liked them all.

"Do you know who called you?" She took a drag from her joint.

"Brett, " Henry told her, "But they didn't leave a last name."

For a moment, the girl looked like she had been struck across the chin with a brick, but then her face relaxed and she smiled.

"Oh ****," she laughed, "That's me. I called you. I'm Brett."

Henry smiled uneasily and picked up his tools, "Ok."

"Nice to meet you," she said, putting out her hand.

Henry awkwardly put out his left hand, "Nice to meet you too."

She took another drag and exhaled, the smoke rolling over her lips, "Want to see the roof?"

The two of them stood underneath a five foot by five foot hole. Henry was a little uneasy by the fact they had cleaned up none of the shattered wood and the birds pecking at the bird seed sitting in a bowl on the coffee table facing the TV. The arms of the couch were covered in bird **** and someone had draped a large, zebra printed blanket across the middle of it. Henry figured the blanket wasn't for decoration, but to hide the rest of the bird droppings. Next to the couch sat a large, antique lamp with its lamp shade missing. Underneath the dim light, was a nice portrait of the entire house. Henry looked away from the hole, leaving Brett with her head cocked back, the joint still pinched between her lips, to get a closer look. There looked to be four in total: Brett, a very large man, a woman with longer, thick dread locks than Brett, and a extremely short man with a very large, brown beard. Henry went back
Timothy Oct 2012
Here bygynneth the Book of the tales of Caunterbury*
Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licóur
Of which vertú engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye,
So priketh hem Natúre in hir corages,
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.

Bifil that in that seson on a day,
In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay,
Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage
To Caunterbury with ful devout corage,
At nyght were come into that hostelrye
Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye
Of sondry folk, by áventure y-falle
In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle,
That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.
The chambres and the stables weren wyde,
And wel we weren esed atte beste.
And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste,
So hadde I spoken with hem everychon,
That I was of hir felaweshipe anon,
And made forward erly for to ryse,
To take oure wey, ther as I yow devyse.

But nathelees, whil I have tyme and space,
Er that I ferther in this tale pace,
Me thynketh it acordaunt to resoun
To telle yow al the condicioun
Of ech of hem, so as it semed me,
And whiche they weren and of what degree,
And eek in what array that they were inne;
And at a Knyght than wol I first bigynne.

A Knyght ther was, and that a worthy man,
That fro the tyme that he first bigan
To riden out, he loved chivalrie,
Trouthe and honóur, fredom and curteisie.
Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre,
And thereto hadde he riden, no man ferre,
As wel in cristendom as in hethenesse,
And evere honóured for his worthynesse.
At Alisaundre he was whan it was wonne;
Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bigonne
Aboven alle nacions in Pruce.
In Lettow hadde he reysed and in Ruce,—
No cristen man so ofte of his degree.
In Gernade at the seege eek hadde he be
Of Algezir, and riden in Belmarye.
At Lyeys was he, and at Satalye,
Whan they were wonne; and in the Grete See
At many a noble armee hadde he be.

At mortal batailles hadde he been fiftene,
And foughten for oure feith at Tramyssene
In lyste thries, and ay slayn his foo.
This ilke worthy knyght hadde been also
Somtyme with the lord of Palatye
Agayn another hethen in Turkye;
And evermoore he hadde a sovereyn prys.
And though that he were worthy, he was wys,
And of his port as meeke as is a mayde.
He nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde,
In al his lyf, unto no maner wight.
He was a verray, parfit, gentil knyght.

But for to tellen yow of his array,
His hors weren goode, but he was nat gay;
Of fustian he wered a gypon
Al bismótered with his habergeon;
For he was late y-come from his viage,
And wente for to doon his pilgrymage.

With hym ther was his sone, a yong Squiér,
A lovyere and a ***** bacheler,
With lokkes crulle as they were leyd in presse.
Of twenty yeer of age he was, I gesse.
Of his statúre he was of evene lengthe,
And wonderly delyvere and of greet strengthe.
And he hadde been somtyme in chyvachie
In Flaundres, in Artoys, and Pycardie,
And born hym weel, as of so litel space,
In hope to stonden in his lady grace.
Embrouded was he, as it were a meede
Al ful of fresshe floures whyte and reede.
Syngynge he was, or floytynge, al the day;
He was as fressh as is the month of May.
Short was his gowne, with sleves longe and wyde;
Wel koude he sitte on hors and faire ryde;
He koude songes make and wel endite,
Juste and eek daunce, and weel purtreye and write.
So hoote he lovede that by nyghtertale
He sleep namoore than dooth a nyghtyngale.
Curteis he was, lowely and servysáble,
And carf biforn his fader at the table.

A Yeman hadde he and servántz namo
At that tyme, for hym liste ride soo;
And he was clad in cote and hood of grene.
A sheef of pecock arwes bright and kene,
Under his belt he bar ful thriftily—
Wel koude he dresse his takel yemanly;
His arwes drouped noght with fetheres lowe—
And in his hand he baar a myghty bowe.
A not-heed hadde he, with a broun viságe.
Of woodecraft wel koude he al the uságe.
Upon his arm he baar a gay bracér,
And by his syde a swerd and a bokeler,
And on that oother syde a gay daggere,
Harneised wel and sharp as point of spere;
A Cristophere on his brest of silver sheene.
An horn he bar, the bawdryk was of grene.
A forster was he, soothly as I gesse.

Ther was also a Nonne, a Prioresse,
That of hir smylyng was ful symple and coy;
Hire gretteste ooth was but by seinte Loy,
And she was cleped madame Eglentyne.
Ful weel she soong the service dyvyne,
Entuned in hir nose ful semely;
And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly,
After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe,
For Frenssh of Parys was to hire unknowe.
At mete wel y-taught was she with-alle:
She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle,
Ne wette hir fyngres in hir sauce depe.
Wel koude she carie a morsel and wel kepe
Thát no drope ne fille upon hire brist;
In curteisie was set ful muchel hir list.
Hire over-lippe wyped she so clene
That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene
Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir draughte.
Ful semely after hir mete she raughte.
And sikerly she was of greet desport,
And ful plesáunt and amyable of port,
And peyned hire to countrefete cheere
Of court, and been estatlich of manere,
And to ben holden digne of reverence.
But for to speken of hire conscience,
She was so charitable and so pitous
She wolde wepe if that she saugh a mous
Kaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.
Of smale houndes hadde she, that she fedde
With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel breed;
But soore wepte she if oon of hem were deed,
Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte;
And al was conscience and tendre herte.

Ful semyly hir wympul pynched was;
Hire nose tretys, her eyen greye as glas,
Hir mouth ful smal and ther-to softe and reed;
But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed;
It was almoost a spanne brood, I trowe;
For, hardily, she was nat undergrowe.
Ful fetys was hir cloke, as I was war;
Of smal coral aboute hire arm she bar
A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene,
And ther-on heng a brooch of gold ful sheene,
On which ther was first write a crowned A,
And after, Amor vincit omnia.

Another Nonne with hire hadde she,
That was hire chapeleyne, and Preestes thre.

A Monk ther was, a fair for the maistrie,
An outridere, that lovede venerie;
A manly man, to been an abbot able.
Ful many a deyntee hors hadde he in stable;
And whan he rood, men myghte his brydel heere
Gýnglen in a whistlynge wynd als cleere,
And eek as loude, as dooth the chapel belle,
Ther as this lord was kepere of the celle.
The reule of seint Maure or of seint Beneit,
By-cause that it was old and som-del streit,—
This ilke Monk leet olde thynges pace,
And heeld after the newe world the space.
He yaf nat of that text a pulled hen
That seith that hunters ben nat hooly men,
Ne that a monk, whan he is recchelees,
Is likned til a fissh that is waterlees,—
This is to seyn, a monk out of his cloystre.
But thilke text heeld he nat worth an oystre;
And I seyde his opinioun was good.
What sholde he studie and make hymselven wood,
Upon a book in cloystre alwey to poure,
Or swynken with his handes and labóure,
As Austyn bit? How shal the world be served?
Lat Austyn have his swynk to him reserved.
Therfore he was a prikasour aright:
Grehoundes he hadde, as swift as fowel in flight;
Of prikyng and of huntyng for the hare
Was al his lust, for no cost wolde he spare.
I seigh his sleves y-púrfiled at the hond
With grys, and that the fyneste of a lond;
And for to festne his hood under his chyn
He hadde of gold y-wroght a curious pyn;
A love-knotte in the gretter ende ther was.
His heed was balled, that shoon as any glas,
And eek his face, as he hadde been enoynt.
He was a lord ful fat and in good poynt;
His eyen stepe, and rollynge in his heed,
That stemed as a forneys of a leed;
His bootes souple, his hors in greet estaat.
Now certeinly he was a fair prelaat.
He was nat pale, as a forpyned goost:
A fat swan loved he best of any roost.
His palfrey was as broun as is a berye.

A Frere ther was, a wantowne and a merye,
A lymytour, a ful solémpne man.
In alle the ordres foure is noon that kan
So muchel of daliaunce and fair langage.
He hadde maad ful many a mariage
Of yonge wommen at his owene cost.
Unto his ordre he was a noble post.
Ful wel biloved and famulier was he
With frankeleyns over al in his contree,
And eek with worthy wommen of the toun;
For he hadde power of confessioun,
As seyde hym-self, moore than a curát,
For of his ordre he was licenciat.
Ful swetely herde he confessioun,
And plesaunt was his absolucioun.
He was an esy man to yeve penaunce
There as he wiste to have a good pitaunce;
For unto a povre ordre for to yive
Is signe that a man is wel y-shryve;
For, if he yaf, he dorste make avaunt
He wiste that a man was répentaunt;
For many a man so hard is of his herte
He may nat wepe al-thogh hym soore smerte.
Therfore in stede of wepynge and preyéres
Men moote yeve silver to the povre freres.
His typet was ay farsed full of knyves
And pynnes, for to yeven faire wyves.
And certeinly he hadde a murye note:
Wel koude he synge and pleyen on a rote;
Of yeddynges he baar outrely the pris.
His nekke whit was as the flour-de-lys;
Ther-to he strong was as a champioun.
He knew the tavernes wel in every toun,
And everich hostiler and tappestere
Bet than a lazar or a beggestere;
For unto swich a worthy man as he
Acorded nat, as by his facultee,
To have with sike lazars aqueyntaunce;
It is nat honest, it may nat avaunce
Fór to deelen with no swich poraille,
But al with riche and selleres of vitaille.
And over-al, ther as profit sholde arise,
Curteis he was and lowely of servyse.
Ther nas no man nowher so vertuous.
He was the beste beggere in his hous;
[And yaf a certeyn ferme for the graunt,
Noon of his brethren cam ther in his haunt;]
For thogh a wydwe hadde noght a sho,
So plesaunt was his In principio,
Yet wolde he have a ferthyng er he wente:
His purchas was wel bettre than his rente.
And rage he koude, as it were right a whelpe.
In love-dayes ther koude he muchel helpe,
For there he was nat lyk a cloysterer
With a thredbare cope, as is a povre scolér,
But he was lyk a maister, or a pope;
Of double worstede was his semycope,
That rounded as a belle, out of the presse.
Somwhat he lipsed for his wantownesse,
To make his Englissh sweete upon his tonge;
And in his harpyng, whan that he hadde songe,
His eyen twynkled in his heed aryght
As doon the sterres in the frosty nyght.
This worthy lymytour was cleped Hubérd.

A Marchant was ther with a forked berd,
In motteleye, and hye on horse he sat;
Upon his heed a Flaundryssh bevere hat;
His bootes clasped faire and fetisly.
His resons he spak ful solémpnely,
Sownynge alway thencrees of his wynnyng.
He wolde the see were kept for any thing
Bitwixe Middelburgh and Orewelle.
Wel koude he in eschaunge sheeldes selle.
This worthy man ful wel his wit bisette;
Ther wiste no wight that he was in dette,
So estatly was he of his gouvernaunce,
With his bargaynes and with his chevyssaunce.
For sothe he was a worthy man with-alle,
But, sooth to seyn, I noot how men hym calle.

A Clerk ther was of Oxenford also,
That unto logyk hadde longe y-go.
As leene was his hors as is a rake,
And he nas nat right fat, I undertake,
But looked holwe, and ther-to sobrely.
Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy;
For he hadde geten hym yet no benefice,
Ne was so worldly for to have office;
For hym was lévere háve at his beddes heed
Twénty bookes, clad in blak or reed,
Of Aristotle and his philosophie,
Than robes riche, or fíthele, or gay sautrie.
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre;
But al that he myghte of his freendes hente
On bookes and on lernynge he it spente,
And bisily gan for the soules preye
Of hem that yaf hym wher-with to scoleye.
Of studie took he moost cure and moost heede.
Noght o word spak he moore than was neede;
And that was seyd in forme and reverence,
And short and quyk and ful of hy senténce.
Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche;
And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.

A Sergeant of the Lawe, war and wys,
That often hadde been at the Parvys,
Ther was also, ful riche of excellence.
Discreet he was, and of greet reverence—
He semed swich, his wordes weren so wise.
Justice he was ful often in assise,
By patente, and by pleyn commissioun.
For his science and for his heigh renoun,
Of fees and robes hadde he many oon.
So greet a purchasour was nowher noon:
Al was fee symple to hym in effect;
His purchasyng myghte nat been infect.
Nowher so bisy a man as he ther nas,
And yet he semed bisier than he was.
In termes hadde he caas and doomes alle
That from the tyme of kyng William were falle.
Ther-to he koude endite and make a thyng,
Ther koude no wight pynche at his writyng;
And every statut koude he pleyn by rote.
He rood but hoomly in a medlee cote,
Girt with a ceint of silk, with barres smale;
Of his array telle I no lenger tale.

A Frankeleyn was in his compaignye.
Whit was his berd as is the dayesye;
Of his complexioun he was sangwyn.
Wel loved he by the morwe a sop in wyn;
To lyven in delit was evere his wone,
For he was Epicurus owene sone,
That heeld opinioun that pleyn delit
Was verraily felicitee parfit.
An housholdere, and that a greet, was he;
Seint Julian he was in his contree.
His breed, his ale, was alweys after oon;
A bettre envyned man was nowher noon.
Withoute bake mete was nevere his hous,
Of fissh and flessh, and that so plentevous,
It snewed in his hous of mete and drynke,
Of alle deyntees that men koude thynke,
After the sondry sesons of the yeer;
So chaunged he his mete and his soper.
Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in muwe,
And many a breem and many a luce in stuwe.
Wo was his cook but if his sauce were
Poynaunt and sharp, and redy al his geere.
His table dormant in his halle alway
Stood redy covered al the longe day.
At sessiouns ther was he lord and sire;
Ful ofte tyme he was knyght of the shire.
An anlaas, and a gipser al of silk,
Heeng at his girdel, whit as morne milk.
A shirreve hadde he been, and a countour;
Was nowher such a worthy vavasour.

An Haberdasshere, and a Carpenter,
A Webbe, a Dyere, and a Tapycer,—
And they were clothed alle in o lyveree
Of a solémpne and a greet fraternitee.
Ful fressh and newe hir geere apiked was;
Hir knyves were chaped noght with bras,
But al with silver; wroght ful clene and weel
Hire girdles and hir pouches everydeel.
Wel semed ech of hem a fair burgeys
To sitten in a yeldehalle, on a deys.
Éverich, for the wisdom that he kan,
Was shaply for to been an alderman;
For catel hadde they ynogh and rente,
And eek hir wyves wolde it wel assente,
And elles certeyn were they to blame.
It is ful fair to been y-cleped Madame,
And goon to vigilies al bifore,
And have a mantel roialliche y-bore.

A Cook they hadde with hem for the nones,
To boille the chiknes with the marybones,
And poudre-marchant ****, and galyngale.
Wel koude he knowe a draughte of Londoun ale.
He koude rooste, and sethe, and broille, and frye,
Máken mortreux, and wel bake a pye.
But greet harm was it, as it thoughte me,
That on his shyne a mormal hadde he;
For blankmanger, that made he with the beste.

A Shipman was ther, wonynge fer by weste;
For aught I woot he was of Dertemouthe.
He rood upon a rouncy, as he kouthe,
In a gowne of faldyng to the knee.
A daggere hangynge on a laas hadde he
Aboute his nekke, under his arm adoun.
The hoote somer hadde maad his hewe al broun;
And certeinly he was a good felawe.
Ful many a draughte of wyn hadde he y-drawe
Fro Burdeux-ward, whil that the chapman sleep.
Of nyce conscience took he no keep.
If that he faught and hadde the hyer hond,
By water he sente hem hoom to every lond.
But of his craft to rekene wel his tydes,
His stremes, and his daungers hym bisides,
His herberwe and his moone, his lode-menage,
Ther nas noon swich from Hulle to Cartage.
Hardy he was and wys to undertake;
With many a tempest hadde his berd been shake.
He knew alle the havenes, as they were,
From Gootlond to the Cape of Fynystere,
And every cr
Alone in isolation
Away from all known civilization
There lived a monk
Personal reflections with the sacraments
Devotion to Jesus Christ
He hides in humble seclusion
Works in the garden
Strawberries with nectar of honey
He never had a greed or a thirt for money
Lover of life and love for the arts
Wearing long robes with a cross
The monk had a secret place he used to go
Under his bed there was a secret passage way
inside was filled with beautiful paintings and writings
He was a secret artist and poet
The monk would paint until his hearts content
Alone by himself in his own hermitage
He would rise only for dinner
To visit the other monks go figure
No one knew of his fantasy world excursion
One day a petition was made
The holy monk order would allow people to visit
They would also be allowed inside the monks room
A young lad crawled under the monks bed
He took out a scroll with very ancient writings on it
The elder monk was then questioned by his superiors
The scroll was based upon a forbidden city
Near the gate of hell
Inside were demonic beings let loose
Creatures to invade your very reason
The monk in question was deeply ashamed
but instead of leaving he was very brave and stayed
Said he would be on his best behavior & behave
The secret scroll would leave a chill down your spine
For now the monk wallows in his locked in memories in his mind.
mark john junor Jan 2014
utter the truth only in whispers
is what she wrote in small letters on the wall
and each morning she would pass the spot it was written
and would run her fingers gently over them
and she would say his name is a passionate voice
full of heat and longing
like the miles and years could just be wiped away
if she had enough courage
if she wished hard enough

he stood in the rushing rain
his long grey coat blended him into the background
his placard was written some phrase
meant to catch the eye
but not a single face paused in the busy street
it would have taken only a word from him
and they would have all stopped in their tracks
and enthralled they would seen...
but nothing would ever come of it he knew
he knew that someday he would have to pay for what he done
it was only a matter of time

the monk grinding his eye
against the hard truth of his thread bare life
the world teaches to take your rest with the moons tides
the world teaches to mix your loves with the wines of fortune
but the monk dances in the middle of summer night
to the weary horses delight
he sees a bright jewel in the eye
that others consider naught but a bauble
but the monk knows a smile is worth a thousand golden chariots
and will lift you higher

all of us on these ***** streets
the noble and the strange
stand and look at the rising tide of light
and marvel at the crisp colours
and wondrous visions
of dawns light
even the most hardened of souls
can still see beauty
even if they can find nothing in it
the monk turns away
and limps slowly back into the shadows
first of all i unblock the reading block.
then i unblock the writers block,
that i feel heavy in my chest
the rest is the monk in me exposed
to write dailies on all sorts of matters.

this aspiration i am declaring
will be re-written by monks hand
i can feel flow of the monk,
like Geoffry  Chaucer reincarnated
modern day Canterbury Tales, i will write
on my poetry pilgrimage  .

i am an aspiring poetry monk
i foresee a poetry monk,
who will invent and reinvent words
for poetic stories to be told infinitely
like numbers.
WHEN that Aprilis, with his showers swoot,                       *sweet
The drought of March hath pierced to the root,
And bathed every vein in such licour,
Of which virtue engender'd is the flower;
When Zephyrus eke with his swoote breath
Inspired hath in every holt
and heath                    grove, forest
The tender croppes
and the younge sun                    twigs, boughs
Hath in the Ram  his halfe course y-run,
And smalle fowles make melody,
That sleepen all the night with open eye,
(So pricketh them nature in their corages
);       hearts, inclinations
Then longe folk to go on pilgrimages,
And palmers  for to seeke strange strands,
To *ferne hallows couth
  in sundry lands;     distant saints known
And specially, from every shire's end
Of Engleland, to Canterbury they wend,
The holy blissful Martyr for to seek,
That them hath holpen, when that they were sick.                helped

Befell that, in that season on a day,
In Southwark at the Tabard  as I lay,
Ready to wenden on my pilgrimage
To Canterbury with devout corage,
At night was come into that hostelry
Well nine and twenty in a company
Of sundry folk, by aventure y-fall            who had by chance fallen
In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all,           into company.
That toward Canterbury woulde ride.
The chamber, and the stables were wide,
And well we weren eased at the best.            we were well provided
And shortly, when the sunne was to rest,                  with the best

So had I spoken with them every one,
That I was of their fellowship anon,
And made forword* early for to rise,                            promise
To take our way there as I you devise
.                describe, relate

But natheless, while I have time and space,
Ere that I farther in this tale pace,
Me thinketh it accordant to reason,
To tell you alle the condition
Of each of them, so as it seemed me,
And which they weren, and of what degree;
And eke in what array that they were in:
And at a Knight then will I first begin.

A KNIGHT there was, and that a worthy man,
That from the time that he first began
To riden out, he loved chivalry,
Truth and honour, freedom and courtesy.
Full worthy was he in his Lorde's war,
And thereto had he ridden, no man farre
,                       farther
As well in Christendom as in Heatheness,
And ever honour'd for his worthiness
At Alisandre  he was when it was won.
Full often time he had the board begun
Above alle nations in Prusse.
In Lettowe had he reysed,
and in Russe,                      journeyed
No Christian man so oft of his degree.
In Grenade at the siege eke had he be
Of Algesir, and ridden in Belmarie.
At Leyes was he, and at Satalie,
When they were won; and in the Greate Sea
At many a noble army had he be.
At mortal battles had he been fifteen,
And foughten for our faith at Tramissene.
In listes thries, and aye slain his foe.
This ilke
worthy knight had been also                         same
Some time with the lord of Palatie,
Against another heathen in Turkie:
And evermore *he had a sovereign price
.            He was held in very
And though that he was worthy he was wise,                 high esteem.

And of his port as meek as is a maid.
He never yet no villainy ne said
In all his life, unto no manner wight.
He was a very perfect gentle knight.
But for to telle you of his array,
His horse was good, but yet he was not gay.
Of fustian he weared a gipon,                            short doublet
Alle besmotter'd with his habergeon,     soiled by his coat of mail.
For he was late y-come from his voyage,
And wente for to do his pilgrimage.

With him there was his son, a younge SQUIRE,
A lover, and a ***** bacheler,
With lockes crulle* as they were laid in press.                  curled
Of twenty year of age he was I guess.
Of his stature he was of even length,
And *wonderly deliver
, and great of strength.      wonderfully nimble
And he had been some time in chevachie,                  cavalry raids
In Flanders, in Artois, and Picardie,
And borne him well, as of so little space,      in such a short time
In hope to standen in his lady's grace.
Embroider'd was he, as it were a mead
All full of freshe flowers, white and red.
Singing he was, or fluting all the day;
He was as fresh as is the month of May.
Short was his gown, with sleeves long and wide.
Well could he sit on horse, and faire ride.
He coulde songes make, and well indite,
Joust, and eke dance, and well pourtray and write.
So hot he loved, that by nightertale                        night-time
He slept no more than doth the nightingale.
Courteous he was, lowly, and serviceable,
And carv'd before his father at the table.

A YEOMAN had he, and servants no mo'
At that time, for him list ride so         it pleased him so to ride
And he was clad in coat and hood of green.
A sheaf of peacock arrows bright and keen
Under his belt he bare full thriftily.
Well could he dress his tackle yeomanly:
His arrows drooped not with feathers low;
And in his hand he bare a mighty bow.
A nut-head  had he, with a brown visiage:
Of wood-craft coud* he well all the usage:                         knew
Upon his arm he bare a gay bracer
,                        small shield
And by his side a sword and a buckler,
And on that other side a gay daggere,
Harnessed well, and sharp as point of spear:
A Christopher on his breast of silver sheen.
An horn he bare, the baldric was of green:
A forester was he soothly
as I guess.                        certainly

There was also a Nun, a PRIORESS,
That of her smiling was full simple and coy;
Her greatest oathe was but by Saint Loy;
And she was cleped
  Madame Eglentine.                           called
Full well she sang the service divine,
Entuned in her nose full seemly;
And French she spake full fair and fetisly
After the school of Stratford atte Bow,
For French of Paris was to her unknow.
At meate was she well y-taught withal;
She let no morsel from her lippes fall,
Nor wet her fingers in her sauce deep.
Well could she carry a morsel, and well keep,
That no droppe ne fell upon her breast.
In courtesy was set full much her lest
.                       pleasure
Her over-lippe wiped she so clean,
That in her cup there was no farthing
seen                       speck
Of grease, when she drunken had her draught;
Full seemely after her meat she raught
:           reached out her hand
And *sickerly she was of great disport
,     surely she was of a lively
And full pleasant, and amiable of port,                     disposition

And pained her to counterfeite cheer              took pains to assume
Of court,* and be estately of mannere,            a courtly disposition
And to be holden digne
of reverence.                            worthy
But for to speaken of her conscience,
She was so charitable and so pitous,
                      full of pity
She woulde weep if that she saw a mouse
Caught in a trap, if it were dead or bled.
Of smalle houndes had she, that she fed
With roasted flesh, and milk, and *wastel bread.
   finest white bread
But sore she wept if one of them were dead,
Or if men smote it with a yarde* smart:                           staff
And all was conscience and tender heart.
Full seemly her wimple y-pinched was;
Her nose tretis;
her eyen gray as glass;               well-formed
Her mouth full small, and thereto soft and red;
But sickerly she had a fair forehead.
It was almost a spanne broad I trow;
For *hardily she was not undergrow
.       certainly she was not small
Full fetis* was her cloak, as I was ware.                          neat
Of small coral about her arm she bare
A pair of beades, gauded all with green;
And thereon hung a brooch of gold full sheen,
On which was first y-written a crown'd A,
And after, *Amor vincit omnia.
                      love conquers all
Another Nun also with her had she,
[That was her chapelleine, and PRIESTES three.]

A MONK there was, a fair for the mast'ry,       above all others
An out-rider, that loved venery;                               *hunting
A manly man, to be an abbot able.
Full many a dainty horse had he in stable:
And when he rode, men might his bridle hear
Jingeling  in a whistling wind as clear,
And eke as loud, as doth the chapel bell,
There as this lord was keeper of the cell.
The rule of Saint Maur and of Saint Benet,
Because that it was old and somedeal strait
This ilke
monk let olde thinges pace,                             same
And held after the newe world the trace.
He *gave not of the text a pulled hen,
                he cared nothing
That saith, that hunters be not holy men:                  for the text

Ne that a monk, when he is cloisterless;
Is like to a fish that is waterless;
This is to say, a monk out of his cloister.
This ilke text held he not worth an oyster;
And I say his opinion was good.
Why should he study, and make himselfe wood                   *mad
Upon a book in cloister always pore,
Or swinken
with his handes, and labour,                           toil
As Austin bid? how shall the world be served?
Let Austin have his swink to him reserved.
Therefore he was a prickasour
aright:                       hard rider
Greyhounds he had as swift as fowl of flight;
Of pricking
and of hunting for the hare                         riding
Was all his lust,
for no cost would he spare.                 pleasure
I saw his sleeves *purfil'd at the hand       *worked at the end with a
With gris,
and that the finest of the land.          fur called "gris"
And for to fasten his hood under his chin,
He had of gold y-wrought a curious pin;
A love-knot in the greater end there was.
His head was bald, and shone as any glass,
And eke his face, as it had been anoint;
He was a lord full fat and in good point;
His eyen steep,
and rolling in his head,                      deep-set
That steamed as a furnace of a lead.
His bootes supple, his horse in great estate,
Now certainly he was a fair prelate;
He was not pale as a forpined
ghost;                            wasted
A fat swan lov'd he best of any roast.
His palfrey was as brown as is a berry.

A FRIAR there was, a wanton and a merry,
A limitour , a full solemne man.
In all the orders four is none that can
So much of dalliance and fair language.
He had y-made full many a marriage
Of younge women, at his owen cost.
Unto his order he was a noble post;
Full well belov'd, and familiar was he
With franklins *over all
in his country,                   everywhere
And eke with worthy women of the town:
For he had power of confession,
As said himselfe, more than a curate,
For of his order he was licentiate.
Full sweetely heard he confession,
And pleasant was his absolution.
He was an easy man to give penance,
There as he wist to have a good pittance:      *where he know
K Balachandran Nov 2012
Under the open sky's benevolent eyes,
when everyone in the caravan
was in deep slumber,
                                   his  lonely heart was on fire,
when he felt, someone touching his forehead.
The past he could tell, was catching up with him,
a venerable monk,  a divine presence
with his white, long flowing beard
stood leaning on his long, strong, staff
peering at his face, those eyes, the light of grace,
"Make peace with your past,
make the bats hanging upside down, vanish,
with deep repentance, cleanse your turgid soul,
its in your hands, then see what happens"
rang the Guru's words in his ears.

He rocked all his dark loves to sleep and bid
good bye for ever to his weeping wounds,
Eyes raised skywards, he sought forgiveness
to everyone he did wrong, in silence.
He heard the guru's words repeatedly booming in the wind
"Repent, it would absolve you for ever"
He meditated, till his cloak from black to white transformed.

At the day break, he woke up to a new life,
the ground, was deserted, silence reigned, expectently
No trace of any caravan, did they vanish in to thin air?
The rhythmic pounding of the staff, of the monk,
was it just an illusion of mind, a visitor
at moments of darkness and doubt, bringing light?

To some questions, we don't really expect answers,
the very questions are the answers we look for.

The valley was full of flowers,  and sky
was crowded with robust white clouds, portentous!

**As he was walking down the rocky path,
a woman looked at his face and asked:
"Monk, where did you come from?
aren't you the one they told, would come, no doubt!"
He smiled.Understood.
Yenson Nov 2018
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his 

The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”
holding onto resentments when the only person we are really hurting is ourselves.
Bob B Mar 2018
They say a secluded monastery
High in the mountains was very strict.
How long a monk could withstand
The rigid rules was hard to predict.

Maintaining a vow of silence was part
Of the monastery protocol.
Every ten years the monks were allowed
To utter TWO WORDS. That was all.

After his first ten years, a monk
Went to his master and bowed his head.
His master asked to hear his two words.
"Bed…hard" was all that he said.

"I see," the head monk replied.
The young monk bowed, left the room,
And then returned to finish his tasks--
The grounds as silent as a tomb.

Ten years later the young monk appeared
At his master's door, eager to say
Two more words. "Food…stinks"
Was all that he could say that day.

"I see," the head monk replied.
Ten more long, silent years passed.
The no-longer young monk returned
To utter his words at long last.

This time he said, "I…quit!"
"Well," said the master with a look of disdain,
"I understand why you'd want to leave;
All you ever do is complain."

-by Bob B (3-6-18)

°A story (source unknown) often told in Zen Dharma talks, retold here in verse
Terry Collett Jun 2016
I went for an early morning shower
thinking the bell
in the abbey clock tower
had struck four
but after the shower
it tolled again four times
and I had got up too early
and so went back
to bed until five,

tempus et tempus,

the French monk weeded
the beds in the garden
his broad back bent
almost in two
I spoke but he looked
at me with his peasant eyes
and smiled,

take me from the rear she said
so I did and she said
her husband didn't understand
neither did I,

man is justified by faith
without the deeds of the law
said saint Paul
I read it in that Bible
I'd bought in my home town,

bell tower so tall
and we rang the bells
to learn the way it was done
release the ropes
or you'll go to the top
Dom James said smiling,

amare Dio ed essere salvati
the Italian monk said
as we worked in the sacristy
before Sext and lunch,

the reader in the refectory
read about ****** Mary
he read in a monotone voice
his voice alone in the air
and we just sat there,

the higher one is placed
the more humbly one should walk
Gareth said quoting Cicero,

Dieu voit dans le cœur
the French monk told me
he was old and came over
from a French abbey in exile,

we made love as she wanted
to be loved her husband
was on a long trip with his lorry
and wouldn't be back until late,

loqui ad vos Deus scit
a monk said and George
who Latin told me
what he had said
while waiting
for Vespers to begin,

the huge table napkins
we wore during mealtimes
could have covered a bed
which made George smile
as we tucked them
around our necks,

fühlen Gott hier
a German monk said
pointing to his chest
then to his tonsured head,

that old monk Dom James told us
whom we helped last week
is no more
he is dead.
A monk sips morning tea,
it's quiet,
    the chrysanthemum's flowering.
Terry Collett Dec 2015
The bell tolled
for the office of None,
I walked down the stairs

from my cell,
a monk walked past me,
he said dedúxit me super

sémitas iustítiæ,
she seemed dissatisfied
with *** not enough of it

she had said,
Dom Peter was standing
by the wall of the cloister

gazing at the garth
and green grass,
the bell ceased tolling,

monks came along
from all directions
like black crows for a feast,

He has lead me
onto the paths of justice
I thought the monk

on the stairs had said,
you may slipper me
she said

that sometimes does it
gets me going,
we entered the church

monk by monk,
fingers in the stoup,
holy water,

crossing making
the sign of the Cross,
Hugh, thin faced,

looked at me,
his eyes searching,
vovéte et réddite

Dómino Deo vestro
a monk said,
she had me time after time,

afternoon sun shone
through high windows
warming my head,

fulfil your promises
to the Lord God
a monk whispered,

incense from Mass
in the air,
smell of men's bodies

too close,
I saw her naked
and did as she asked,

bell rope in the cloister,
still unmoving
looking like a donkey's tail,

after None we went
to the garth for tea
and cakes and chat,

Dom Matthew smiled
beside me
like a milk licking cat.
a young man in an abbey in 1971 haunted by a woman
Terry O'Leary Sep 2013
NOTE TO THE READER – Once Apun a Time

This yarn is a flossy fabric woven of several earlier warped works, lightly laced together, adorned with fur-ther braided tails of human frailty. The looms were loosed, purling frantically this febrile fable...

Some pearls may be found wanting – unwanted or unwonted – piled or hanging loose, dangling free within a fuzzy flight of fancy...

The threads of this untethered tissue may be fastened, or be forgotten, or else be stranded by the readers and left unravelling in the knotted corners of their minds...

'twill be perchance that some may  laugh or loll in loopy stitches, else be torn or ripped apart, while others might just simply say “ ’tis made of hole cloth”, “sew what” or “cant seam to get the needle point”...,

yes, a proper disentanglement may take you for a spin on twisted twines of any strings you feel might need attaching or detaching…

picking knits, some may think that
    such strange things ‘have Never happened in our Land’,
    such quaint things ‘could Never happen in our Land’’,
    such murky things ‘will Never happen in our Land’’…

and this may all be true, if credence be dis-carded…

such is that gooey gossamer which vails the human mind...

and thus was born the teasing title of this fabricated Fantasy...

                                NEVER LAND

An ancient man named Peter Pan, disguised but from the past,
with feathered cap and tunic wrap and sabre’s sailed his last.
Though fully grown, on dust he’s flown and perched upon a mast
atop the Walls around the sprawls, unvisited and vast -
and all the while with bitter smile he’s watching us aghast.

As day begins, a spindle spins, it weaves a wanton web;
like puckered prunes, like midday moons, like yesterday’s celebs,
we scrape and *****, we seldom hope - he watches while we ebb:

    The ***** grinder preaches fine on Sunday afternoons -
    he quotes from books but overlooks the Secrets Carved in Runes:
    “You’ve tried and toyed, but can’t avoid or shun the pale monsoons,
    it’s sink or swim as echoed dim in swinging door saloons”.
    The laughingstocks are flinging rocks at ball-and-chained baboons.

    While ghetto boys are looting toys preparing for their doom
    and Mademoiselles are weaving shells on tapestries with looms,
    Cathedral cats and rafter rats are peering in the room,
    where ragged strangers stoop for change, for coppers in the gloom,
    whose thoughts are more upon the doors of crypts in Christmas bloom,
    and gold doubloons and silver spoons that tempt beyond the tomb.

    Mid *** shots from vacant lots, that strike and ricochet
    a painted girl with flaxen curl (named Wendy)’s on her way
    to tantalise with half-clad thighs, to trick again today;
    and indiscreet upon the street she gives her pride away
    to any guy who’s passing by with time and cash to pay.
    (In concert halls beyond the Walls, unjaded girls ballet,
    with flowered thoughts of Camelot and dreams of cabarets.)

    Though rip-off shops and crooked cops are paid not once but thrice,
    the painted girl with flaxen curl is paring down her price
    and loosely tempts cold hands unkempt to touch the merchandise.
    A crazy guy cries “where am I”, a ****** titters twice,
    and double quick a lunatic affects a fight with lice.

    The alleyways within the maze are paved with rats and mice.
    Evangelists with moneyed fists collect the sacrifice
    from losers scorned and rubes reborn, and promise paradise,
    while in the back they cook some crack, inhale, and roll the dice.

    A *** called Boe has stubbed his toe, he’s stumbled in the gutter;
    with broken neck, he looks a wreck, the sparrows all aflutter,
    the passers-by, they close an eye, and turn their heads and mutter:
    “Let’s pray for rains to wash the lanes, to clear away the clutter.”
    A river slows neath mountain snows, and leaves begin to shudder.

    The jungle teems, a siren screams, the air is filled with ****.
    The Reverent Priest and nuns unleash the Holy Shibboleth.
    And Righteous Jane who is insane, as well as Sister Beth,
    while telling tales to no avail of everlasting death,
    at least imbrue Hagg Avenue with whisky on their breath.

    The Reverent Priest combats the Beast, they’re kneeling down to prey,
    to fight the truth with fang and tooth, to toil for yesterday,
    to etch their mark within the dark, to paint their résumé
    on shrouds and sheets which then completes the devil’s dossier.

    Old Dan, he’s drunk and in a funk, all mired in the mud.
    A Monk begins to wash Dan’s sins, and asks “How are you, Bud?”
    “I’m feeling pain and crying rain and flailing in the flood
    and no god’s there inclined to care I’m always coughing blood.”
    The Monk, he turns, Dan’s words he spurns and lets the bible thud.

    Well, Banjo Boy, he will annoy with jangled rhymes that fray:
    “The clanging bells of carousels lead blind men’s minds astray
    to rings of gold they’ll never hold in fingers made of clay.
    But crest and crown will crumble down, when withered roots decay.”

    A pregnant lass with eyes of glass has never learned to cope.
    Once set adrift her fall was swift, she slid a slipp’ry ***** -
    she casts the Curse, the Holy Verse, and shoots a shot of dope,
    then stalks discreet Asylum Street her daily horoscope -
    the stray was struck by random truck which was her only hope.

    So Banjo Boy, with little joy, he strums her life entire:
    “The wayward waif was never safe; her stars were dark and dire.
    Born midst the rues and avenues where lack and want aspire
    where no one heeds the childish needs that little ones require;
    where faith survives in tempest lives, a swirl within the briar,
    Infinity grinds as time unwinds, until the winds expire.
    Her last caprice? The final peace that no one could deny her -
    whipped by the flood, stray beads of blood cling, splattered on the spire;
    though beads of sweat are cool and wet, cold clotted blood is dryer.”

    Though broken there, she’s fled the snare with dying thoughts serene.
    And now she’s dead, the rumours spread: her age? a sweet 16,
    with child, *****, her soul dyed red, her body so unclean.
    A place is sought where she can rot, avoiding churchyard scenes,
    in limey pits, as well befits, behind forbidding screens;
    and all the while a dirge is styled on tattered tambourines
    which echo through the human zoo in valleys of the Queens.

    Without rejoice, in hissing voice, near soil that’s seldom trod
    “In pious role, God bless my soul”, was mouthed with mitred nod,
    neath scarlet trim with black, and grim, behind a robed facade -
    “She’ll burn in hell and sulphur smell”, spat Priest and man of god.

    Well, angels sweet with cloven feet, they sing in girl’s attire,
    but Banjo Boy, he’s playing coy while chanting in the choir:
    “The clueless search within the church to find what they desire,
    but near the nave or gravelled grave, there is no Rectifier.”
    And when he’s through, without ado, he stacks some stones nearby her.

The eyes behind the head inclined reflect a universe
of shanty towns and kings in crowns and parties in a hearse,
of heaping mounds of coffee grounds and pennies in a purse,
of heart attacks in shoddy shacks, of motion in reverse,
of reasons why pale kids must die, quite trite and curtly terse,
of puppet people at the steeple, kneeling down averse,
of ****** tones and megaphones with empty words and worse,
of life’s begin’ in utter sin and other things perverse,
of lewd taboos and residues contained within the Curse,
while poets blind, in gallows’ rind, carve epitaphs in verse.

    A sodden dreg with wooden leg is dancing for a dime
    to sacred psalms and other balms, all ticking with the time.
    He’s 22, he’s almost through, he’s melted in his prime,
    his bane is firm, the canker worm dissolves his brain to slime.
    With slanted scales and twisted jails, his life’s his only crime.

    A beggar clump beside a dump has pencil box in hand.
    With sightless eyes upon the skies he’s lying there unmanned,
    with no relief and bitter grief too dark to understand.
    The backyard blight is hid from sight, it’s covered up and bland,
    and Robin Hood and Brother Hood lie buried in the sand.

    While all night queens carve figurines in gelatine and jade,
    behind a door and on the floor a deal is finally made;
    the painted girl with flaxen curl has plied again her trade
    and now the care within her stare has turned a darker shade.
    Her lack of guile and parting smile are cutting like a blade.

    Some boys with cheek play hide and seek within a house condemned,
    their faces gaunt reflecting want that’s hard to comprehend.
    With no excuse an old recluse is waiting to descend.
    His eyes despair behind the stare, he’s never had a friend
    to talk about his hidden doubt of how the world will end -
    to die alone on empty throne and other Fates impend.

    And soon the boys chase phantom joys and, presto when they’re gone,
    the old recluse, with nimble noose and ****** features drawn,
    no longer waits upon the Fates but yawns his final yawn
    - like Tinker Bell, he spins a spell, in fairy dust chiffon -
    with twisted brow, he’s tranquil now, he’s floating like a swan
    and as he fades from life’s charades, the night awaits the dawn.

    A boomerang with ebon fang is soaring through the air
    to pierce and breach the heart of each and then is called despair.
    And as it grows it will oppose and fester everywhere.
    And yet the crop that’s at the top will still be unaware.

    A lad is stopped by roving cops, who shoot in disregard.
    His face is black, he’s on his back, a breeze is breathing hard,
    he bleeds and dies, his mama cries, the screaming sky is scarred,
    the sheriff and his squad at hand are laughing in the yard.

    Now Railroad Bob’s done lost his job, he’s got no place for working,
    His wife, she cries with desperate eyes, their baby’s head’s a’ jerking.
    The union man don’t give a ****, Big Brother lies a’ lurking,
    the boss’ in cabs are picking scabs, they count their money, smirking.

    Bob walks the streets and begs for eats or little jobs for trying
    “the answer’s no, you ought to know, no use for you applying,
    and don’t be sad, it aint that bad, it’s soon your time for dying.”
    The air is thick, his baby’s sick, the cries are multiplying.

    Bob’s wife’s in town, she’s broken down, she’s ranting with a fury,
    their baby coughs, the doctor scoffs, the snow flies all a’ flurry.
    Hard work’s the sin that’s done them in, they skirmish, scrimp and scurry,
    and midnight dreams abound with screams. Bob knows he needs to hurry.
    It’s getting late, Bob’s tempting fate, his choices cruel and blurry;
    he chooses gas, they breathe their last, there’s no more cause to worry.

    Per protocols near ivied walls arrayed in sage festoons,
    the Countess quips, while giving tips, to crimson caped buffoons:
    “To rise from mass to upper class, like twirly bird tycoons,
    you stretch the treat you always eat, with tiny tablespoons”

    A learned leach begins to teach (with songs upon a liar):
    “Within the thrall of Satan’s call to yield to dim desire
    lie wicked lies that tantalize the flesh and blood Vampire;
    abiding souls with self-control in everyday Hellfire
    will rest assured, when once interred, in afterlife’s Empire”.
    These words reweave the make believe, while slugs in salt expire,
    baptised in tears and rampant fears, all mirrored in the mire.

    It’s getting hot on private yachts, though far from desert plains -
    “Well, come to think, we’ll have a drink”, Sir Captain Hook ordains.
    Beyond the blame and pit of shame, outside the Walled domains,
    they pet their pups and raise their cups, take sips of pale champagnes
    to touch the tips of languid lips with pearls of purple rains.

    Well, Gypsy Guy would rather die than hunker down in chains,
    be ridden south with bit in mouth, or heed the hold of reins.
    The ruling lot are in a spot, the boss man he complains:
    “The gypsies’ soul, I can’t control, my patience wears and wanes;
    they will not cede to common greed, which conquers far domains
    and furtive spies and news that lies have barely baked their brains.
    But in the court of last resort the final fix remains:
    in boxcar bins with violins we’ll freight them out in trains
    and in the bogs, they’ll die like dogs, and everybody gains
    (should one ask why, a quick reply: ‘It’s that which God ordains!’)”

    Arrayed in shawls with crystal *****, and gazing at the moons,
    wiled women tease with melodies and spooky loony tunes
    while making toasts to holey ghosts on rainy day lagoons:
    “Well, here’s to you and others too, embedded in the dunes,
Terry Collett Jan 2017
The French peasant monk
scythed the tall grass
by the drive to the abbey
he spat
on his creased palms
before work,

Dio è lontano
ma vicino
the Italian monk said
after Mass
clearing the items away
and I aiding him,

deep bell tolling
from the tall bell tower
echoing across
the surrounding area
to the seashore,

sans nous Dieu
ne nous sauvera
pas sans Dieu
nous ne pouvons pas
the French monk said
quoting someone religious
from some book,

in the air
with baked bread
and cold stones aged,

I gazed at the cloister
felt along
the waist high
orange brick wall
musing on the flower bed
where a monk
on his knees

la confiance en Dieu
et non votre
propre faiblesse
the French monk
chided me
as I peeled potatoes
for lunch,

silence after Compline
deeper than an ocean's depth
more profound
than Plato's musing,

pale moon
casting shadows
in the cloister's hold,

I hugging myself
during Vespers
against the harsh cold.
Terry Collett Dec 2015
Some monk with a cissy girl's haircut
showed me how to pick apples
in the orchard of the abbey,
fingers held so, he said,
gazing at me through
thick lens spectacles,

the clock tower
chimed a quarter,

the sun was warm,
cloudless blue sky,

take me from the rear,
she said, be a dear and I did,

place the apples gently
in the basket, the monk said,
do not drop them in
that will bruise them, he added,

the French peasant monk
wheeled dung in a huge
wheelbarrow, head down,
eyes on the path,
God blessed no doubt,

turneth mine eyes
from frivolous things,
Dom Henry said, that day
I mowed the lawn by the church,
away from following
the path to wealth,
he added, eyeing me,  

she sighed deeply
her arms about me,
kisses on my mouth,
my ears, my neck,

later we will wrap
the apples in newspaper to store,
the monk said, ******* an apple,
turning it slowly around
and around, no bruises,
no marks, that's how
they're meant to be,

I tried to sneak a bite of apple
but he was too close
and his eyes would have seen,
but in my mind I took a big bite
and tossed an apple at his head,

she lay there stark naked
on her big double bed
welcoming me,

turneth my heart
towards your degrees,
Dom Henry said,
prayer like, that time
I sorted weeds
by the monk's graves,
molehills, tombstones,

the bell tolled,
the monk said
I could go to prepare
for the office of None,

I sneaked an apple
in my pocket him not seeing,
he unaware
giving him
the friendly stare.
Terry Collett Dec 2015
We gathered on the grass
of the garth
surrounded by

the cloister's low wall,
there was a trolley
with a tea urn

and cups and saucers
and sugar and milk
or a jug of French coffee,

the clock tower
chimed a quarter,
a monk sipped tea

and spoke in French to another,
I sipped tea
and Dom Kenneth

passed me some cake
on a plate,
you can kiss me

wherever you like
she said and so I did,
birds sang from

the tree in the garth,
I ate cake watching
the French peasant monk

pour himself
some black coffee,
exspéctans exspectávi Dóminum,

et inténdit mihi
Dom Henry said,
Hugh stood talking to George

about what I knew not
and cared not a jot,
she allowed me

to undress her
my hands shook
with excitement,

I waited for the Lord
and He heard me
Dom Henry said,

I put the plate on the trolley
and sipped my tea
watching Gareth discuss

Wittgenstein with an Austrian monk,
the abbot sipped coffee
conversing with the monk

with the cissy girl haircut
who showed me how
to pick apples,

take me, she whispered,
here and now,
the bell tower tolled

and the monks dispersed
placing cups and plates
on the trolley,

the peasant monk
pushed the trolley
back to the refectory,

head lowered, eyes downcast,
conversing with God no doubt,
spank me as foreplay,

she uttered soft,
I walked the cloister,
smell of blossoms,

the bell tolled,
bird song,
Dom James said

about learning Latin,
search the high road,
Dom Henry said,

the lower path
to sin.
niall sheehy Feb 2013
I dreamt once of a monk;
Who put paddle to water and wandered over oceans.

My dream;

My dream dreamt of women,
Draped in towels
Dripping their sweet sweat on his brow.

My dream;

My dream leaves me empty,
I dream of celibacy.

My dream?

I dreamt of ancient monasteries
Filled with mausoleums
And gravestones to great men,
A shattered core;
Where monk fearfully
Utter panic sing,

There is a pure thing.
Terry Collett Mar 2017
or so it was
meant to be
time spent
in the monastery
more like self deception
one of the worst

the Italian monk said
as we walked across
the field to the abbey,

amour de Dieu
the French monk said
I watched his lower lip
large and indulged looking,

smell of incense
in the church after Mass
light from high windows
on the flagstone floor
especially at lunch time
during Sext,

extra ecclesiam nulla salus
Augustine said
no salvation outside
the mystical body
of Christ,

tall thin monk
planing wood
in the workshop
shavings falling
to the floor
curled up
I swept up after
wondering who swept up
in St Joseph's
carpenter's workshop,

corpo di Cristo
held up by the Italian monk
during Mass
no longer bread,

I ate in the refectory
the monk reading
about Mary Tudor's life
light through window
onto the features of the monk
opposite as if blessed,

Dom James teaching us
about the plainsong
the notes and how long
to hold the notes
in unison all together
no harmony he said
and under the above lamp
his tonsured head
seemed red.
Sai Baba is the most Popular Hindu monk
And mother Teresa is the most beloved Christian nun
Both of them almost reached the state of divinity
by serving the humanity And with a lot of religious piety

Some may think Sai Baba is just a magician
And Mother Teresa is merely a nun
Their arguments sound quite fun
because All the nuns and magicians can’t serve the world
on such a grand scale unless they have divine charisma

Both of them have disciples all over the world
They were treated and revered almost like living gods
As humans they might have suffered from some human follies and foibles
But they proved to the world that SERVICE TO HUMANITY IS SERVICE TO GOD
Let us all pray for the two noble souls
Keeping our religious faiths aside
Terry Collett Feb 2016
I walked down the drive
from the abbey
to stand near the road
and listened to the traffic
pass by before the office
of Compline began,


moonlight in the dark sky
and stars sprinkled like sugar,

smell of incense
in the church
after Mass overwhelming,

a monk with a black patch
over one eye like a pirate
stood facing me in the choir
book in hand
head lowered,

begin doing
what is necessary
then what is possible
and suddenly
you are doing
the impossible
Francis said,

Dieu est ici
the French monk said
pointing a bony finger
towards his chest
as we trod up the drive
from our weekly walk,

Gott ist überall
an Austrain monk said
not just in the heart and soul,

George hoed the abbey gardens
and said the sun is so hot
it's like a desert out here
and it was
and we were thirsty,

Hugh thin and gaunt said
to be a saint one must do
the ordinary extraordinary well
which he never did
or so seemed,

give the apples a twist
so the monk said
do not pull them off
and I watched his fingers
touch and twist,

and she lay there naked
as the day she was born
and asked me
to shaft her
so I did
and her husband
was driving on a long haul,

wise men talk
because they have
something to say
fools because
they have to
say something
Gareth said quoting Plato,

the abbot tapped
his small hammer
on his bench
and the meal was over
and the reader stopped
mid sentence
reading from the book
and the refectory
was in silence
before prayers were said,

I lay with her
and she mouthed me whole,

cercare di essere salvati
the Italian monk said
to me as I weeded
the flowerbeds
in the cloister garth,

try and be saved
listen to the word,

some days I wished
to take flight and begone
like some wild
flapping wings bird.
Terry Collett Feb 2016
I sat in the refectory
for the first time
a monk was reading
from some book
on Queen Mary Tudor,

Deus videt in corde meo,

visitors sat in the center table
surrounded by monks
and no one spoke
except the monk reading
from a high platform
his voice in monotones,

and she spread herself
on the bed
legs wide
and said
enter my port,  

Hugh  talked of singing
in unison as if I wasn't
as if he hadn't chanted
like a cow in labour,

he should knoweth that
whoever undertakes
the government of souls
must prepare himself
to account for them
Benedict said,

I watched the monk
limp along the cloister
head bowed
and carrying a *****
head to one side,

bell rang from bell tower
God's voice Dom Charles said
picking apples
in the abbey orchard,

she spoke in that soft tone
she had velvety silky
and kissed me over and over,

Dieu ne se trompe pas
the French monk said
clipping the hedge
by the garden wall
and passing me
the clippings,

tolled bells rang out
across the cloister garth
and George spoke
of priesthood at some time,

the scent of incense
as I entered the church after Terce
and sunlight in the high windows,

Gott im Mauerwerk
the Austrian monk said
rubbing fingers down
the brickwork in the cloister
feel Him he added
and I did,

it is not enough to possess
a good mind but to use it well
Gareth said by the abbey beach
quoting Descartes,

Dom Joseph(dear Bunny)
smiled his broad smile
like a sun rising at dawn,

the abbot tapped
on the table
and the reader
ceased reading
and prayers were said,

after Lauds
I made my way
for black coffee
and brown bread.
a youth in an abbey in 1971 haunted by a woman.
Terry Collett Jul 2016
I opened the shutters
of  my room
and the 5am morning
welcomed me
with dawn chorus,

the bell tower stood
like a giant in the mist
viewed from my window,

Deus movet me,

the abbey toilet was empty
and I filled my basin
with cold water
for ablutions,

lavabis me sunt
alba sicut nix,

my cup runs over
she said and laughed
after *** and so did I,

Dom James spoke
of learning Latin for plainsong
and to practise reading
aloud in church
and I dreaded such,

nous avons un Dieu écoute
the French monk said
as he showed me
how to lay out
the vestments for Mass,

George talked of the way
the dawn light
brightens up the abbey
in mornings and I said
I had seen,

kiss me here she said
and pointed with her finger
and I did
and did again,

ohne Gott gibt es nichts
the Austrian monk said
as we walked back
to the abbey after
our walk on the Thursday,

I brushed my hand along
the brick wall
in the cloister
sensing the roughness
and the smoothness,

Hugh said the Scottish monk
had funny ways
liked knitting in his
spare time and once
played the bagpipes
so I heard,

why must we suffer?
because here below
pure Love cannot exist
without suffering
said St Bernadette
so I read some place,

un peccatore pentito
the Italian monk said
lo siamo anche noi,

I tolled the bell
for the office of Sext
my stomach rumbling,

we are what we repeatedly do
excellence is not an act
but a habit Gareth said
quoting Aristotle
as we sat on the beach
in the abbey grounds
watching the tide roll in,

I counted her ribs
with my tongue
and she was pleased,

the monk reading
in the refectory read
on Mary Queen of Scots
in monotone
his eyes scanning
the pages of the book,

see this she said
as she undressed
and I turned around
and had to look.
Terry Collett Jan 2016
Off a room of the cloisters
I met Dom Andrew
bookbinding in silence
bearded and white cowled,

in silentio sit Deus,

Mancunian he said
saw picture in book
of monastic cell
and that were it,

I sensed the coldness
of the room
body shivered
ears felt pained,

il avait de la neige à l'extérieur
the French monk said
huddled in his black habit,

saw the snow on trees
and purity of it,

she took my hand
warm it was
and promised ***,

Dom Charles tonsured
dark haired gazed at me
through thick lens glasses
eyes like ***** holes
in snow,

I have been all things unholy
and if God can work
through me Francis said
he can work through anyone,

I mowed the grass by the church
and Dom Frederick said
you've done well,

qui tutto sono fratelli
the Italian monk said
as he helped me dry up
the dishes,

beyond her dark hairs
lay the Kingdom of Eve
and joyousness,

bell tolled in the bell tower
by George or Hugh
or both for Terce,

a monk read in the refectory
from a book on Oliver Cromwell
as we sat and ate in silence,

bonitátem fecísti
*** servo tuo Dómine,

the old monk opposite
ate with gusto
spooned food as if
he may never eat again,  

nog steeds sneeuw buiten
the Danish monk told me
coming in with vegetables
from the garden for lunch,

indeed snow still there
trees covered and fields
that I saw,

if you want to you can
she said so I did,

Dom Bruno said later
that Dom Andrew had cancer
and was silent on it,

Deus meus libera me,
and we licked our cutlery clean
between meals and put away
under our tables
in a large napkin
and George said unhygenic
but we did,

there is no great genius
without some touch of madness
Gareth said quoting Aristotle,

sunlight on flagstones
in the church
warmed by midday,

Compline bell told
of the end of day.
Terry Collett Feb 2015
The French
peasant monk
pushed a wheel barrow

along by
the abbey church;
the squeaky wheels

echoing through
the nearby wood
and throughout

the silent cloister;
his tonsured head

back bent,
prayers simple
maybe said.

I tended
the dying monk,
aged and fragile

as an ancient script
of yesteryear;
I recalled how

she tongued me
my inner thighs,

bringing tears of joy
into my hazel eyes.
Dom Gregory prepared

the altar for mass,
laying the altar cloth,
preparing the priest monk's

robes and gowns,
making sure
the candles were ready;

his footfalls
like echoes  
on a deep deep sea.
JP Sep 2018
Just to tease
I called my Monk Friend
to accompany to a party.
he never refused,
loud music and dance
I danced with my friends
and came back to monk
Do you enjoyed the party?
Monk replied, " Yes!"
I asked, "How come, you never
Monk smiled, " No, I danced inside and dancing outside is
Terry Collett Jan 2017
l'uomo creato per
renderlo partecipe della
sua vita beata
said the Italian monk
sitting in an old armchair
in the guest's room
facing me,

created man to share
in His blessed life?
I said
speaking of God
an image far removed
from the old man
in the clouds idea,

si è giusto
he said
eyeing me
his thin eyebrows
like straight black lines,  

bell tower
orange brick
reaching over
des arbres
deep bell sounds,

I stood watching
rain fall on black tiles
from the window
grey skies
moving dark grey clouds,  

Ich bin immer mit dir
the Austrian monk said
over coffee
in the guest's parlour
after lunch,

indeed he is
the colonel said
eyeing the monk
with aged eyes,

the monk tapped
his chest
to indicate
where God lay,

I watched them both
adding nothing
just listening half heartedly
taking in the colonel's
knuckly hands
time aged,

in His image made us
the old boy said,

I sipped my coffee
like one
lost at sea.
Robin Carretti Apr 2019
Your the one son being rebellious little darlings here comes
the sun drenching delicious but wait those cloudy days
watch out the hunters run ducking our heads like babies
wetting and water squirting beds getting too saucy
  ten O clock playpen the daring duck gourmet sauce
Orange you glad all her rich creme spread across
her penpals
Do you trust those gals too country slick on Newsweek

Getting paid he is the longest laid egg all grilled we are
not thrilled here is the "Chuckie Duckie" doll those *****
barbie collectors they are sitting duck Graphic Artist
Not one quack doll plastic surgeon duck lips she thinks
shes the hot stuff romantic "French" lips up the
"Eiffel Tower" splash splash she is out of cash
Those hot items presidential poll what a lost soul

Too much blue yes attention swan dancers Springtime
Not  the red attention yellow instead ****** please
I need a  journey not the "Attorney" such a ****** case
When you need them they always duck
When they have a new quack case they are ruining
my image
Duck tapesty Carol Kings youve got a friend

I'm feeling yellow homesick on your feather duck pillow
The same yellow tie a different atmosphere Go- Spa
She's flirting do you know where your going how is
life treating you he's giggling way too wild on her
goose chase
  Losing our grip down to her chicken bone hip
Duck season not much time for love being hunted

The Spa  la la ha have Merci' oh la la 'Disco Duck"
The wild ones the only ones quack- quack the
lonely ones
At the waterfront trip to "Chinatown" they let
them hang to dry but why Dad? They are better
like the delicacy shark finn soup we need a Spa
lucky green group Irish eyes are smiling stories
of ducks

I am  not buying do you see duck climb the
          "Eiffel Tower" yellow as a canary
All talk-talk is cheap lets talk French Mom walks
With her pretty duck handle umbrella we waddle
The penquin what a beauty swan feather pen
  But she's the"Prima Donna" look out!

The slingshot Marilyn Monroe wiggles out
                  The "Spa- Ma"
                 Don't  Scramble me darlings
                    Breakfast eggs cagefree
                     *          *          
My little chickadees organic brown on my gown
Spa duckies traveled the whole Atlantic town
The longest pond sleeping like "Rip Van Winkle"
twinkle twinkle
doublecrossed the street you get one dermerit
Sesame street Big bird how many words in duck
vocabulary quack- quack who get's the duck star

Mars from Men women go to the Spa like the bad
omen and they don't leave tap tap chop chop
I want it now!! Its now or never why does she always
get ugly duckling book delivered
Lazy goose she is the spoiled rotten egg how
do we love those  I apples
Carrots are for the eyes Mom always gets bird eyes

My little chickadees the Alaskan cute puppies
Big salute to the cutest duck feet "God Bless America"
  Visa  American Express Daffy Duck in Disney mess
the real picture "Mona Lisa" getting the duck
         Prime  chop minister
"Parliament Spa" prices so sinister
"Eat Duck and Pray" the  southern biscuits
more recruits

My cute rookies those duckier cookies another Spa day
So prim and proper teatime with "Queen deck"
  Alice in rabbit hole-Santa candycane poles cute chick
is homesick you better sent her money quick
The ducky bib the Chinese duck soup won ton
The feather fan she loves her Sushi roll Hollywood
Style California all duck drama
The best treatment duck made carpet

On the "Disney Hollywood" deck "Epcot"
On the futon what diction for a duck "My Fair lady"
Got the whole fortunes bed
The duck on the hill what a fool but the monk
Is the whole spiritual existence
The peacock's longest wait for lobster tails
centerpieces red bird Robin fly Robin Fly

Disco ball fancy tails she ended up up up to the sky
Her duck sunglasses a dozen ***** spin's the disco
The Duck Pop singer wants him back
High price or a short mack duck shooter attack
Food for thought homesick all saucy duck tie waiter
Cinderella rags to ducklings I went to "Woodstock"
Imagine me the teenager chick the duck split

Fill wing concert sky made a hit
The blues love is strange chick-lets are yellow
Like clock work what a duck work out orange          
        Duck handle umbrella               
 Duckies I pledge to you College Preppies
The chick feeder Ain't nothing but a hound dog
      Elvis heart breaker bird-brain feeder

  Moms duck sugar cookies
******* Jack one prize quack quack
 Huckleberry Finn paper boat old billy goat
  In the drowned mans eye holy ducks he delivered
I will blow you down duck horn the day you
were born
Having a third eye one duck Wendy 4 for a 4

Notre Dame church tragic but saved
   The  Easter yellow chicks

To Rome lend me your feathers no secret ears
Sticky Fingers she lost her writing finger in the
pond  OH! look whats beyond so kind
With her duckling apron dress he ducked
The chatty cat "City Dr Seuss"

Wearing duck boots those duck lips played her
like the fancy feast
The teachers pet the ducklings cute darlings
Spa cream she quite the flabber belly dancer
The ballet swan achiever "Spa One Day tripper"
The ugly duckling changed to beauty witch
Holy-land or duck pond Mickey's ears

Stand up daffy duck comedian Las Vegas
Godiva Peking duck soup flapping swishing
The Big Ben red whose been sleeping in my
duck wing bed
The car stops he hiccups cute bebops
The guardian angel quack quack any luck
Yummy raspberry pie someone delivered

Christmas Scrooge all tears
New York lights camera I love my
        Serendipity chandeliers
Those duck tear drops last stop
Or you die__your still quacking
       Just in time said I
           Fly Robin Fly

     Saved my baby chick lovely
     Cradled her to love her
          Dr Seuss read
Its about all speculation dreaming need of a nature cool environment ;our eyes up get your cafe favorite cup my baby chicks  words will give flight and I hope you will feel just perfectly right with her duck lips  Quack Quack
Gavin Barnard Oct 2016
I never liked talking to people.
It’s not fear or contempt,
Just they cause so much drama
And chaos it ****** me off.

Which is unfortunate for me
Because I’m the strongest fighter
And the wisest teacher here,
So they invade my privacy.

They come to me when a creature
Is attacking their peaceful village,
Or when their curiosity beckons
Wisdom from a monk of the mountain.

All I want is to tend my garden,
Watch my turtles and feed the birds.
That's how the wind is blowing,
And I fear it will soon turn violent.

*So long as I remain fluid like water,
No demon will infiltrate my soul;
And as long as I am flexible like the wind,
No stick or stone will break my bones;
And as long as I keep inner peace,
No darkness will break my mind.
Was supposed to be a short story but oh well.

— The End —