I live with my two dogs on the edge of the university research forest, where I walk everyday and think and pray. I have taught at Oregon State University since 1986 and have been a Catholic deacon since 1987. I have written a number of books, including two books of poetry. My second book of poems, THE NEXT THING ALWAYS BELONGS, was published in 2011 by Airlie Press. For more, see www.deaconchrisanderson.com.
Solitude and Gentleness
In a recording I heard of Thomas Merton lecturing
about peacefulness and prayer,
he talks fast and keeps saying see? see? at the end of sentences
like Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar.
I’m going to get you, see? I’m going to make you pay, see?
Finally, they let him move into a cinderblock house in the woods
a mile or so from the monastery and the other monks.
At night as the stars blazed down he’d wake up and pee off the porch,
then go back inside and write in his journal. Pray the Vigil prayers.
For me it’s always the morning stars
as I walk up the driveway for the paper.
Early September and already the sharpness in the air
and the wood smoke. The brilliant black sky. The stars, wheeling.
I just can’t get over this.
The owl I hear hooting from somewhere in the trees
sounds just like a man blowing on a beer bottle.
A tall man, with a hat made of leaves.
©2016 Chris Anderson
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