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Healing Ministry 1

Volume 15, Number 3, Summer 2008

P oetry page

Escarpment

Some things wear you down Like the rock held deep in the earth,
a deep aging in your center, erosion and time pull at the dirt from
an erosion of your soul around the stone. Alterations.
or maybe your heart. They pull the dirt from this
piece of you, they move the pebbles
It does not kill you, but
from your side, they move the sand
it lays you bare,
from behind and you are revealed
open - exposed.
by the violence of change.
This wearing down becomes clear
This need not be a horrid violence -
in the middle of life - in the middle of our days.
the great unleashing slide of
One thing comes along
the glacier as it tears away from it's
maybe a death, an accident, a final straw that
millennial nest - pushing
lights the mind's sky; and,
with a crashing speed.
all at once you see what
A simple, negotiated shift
has been there all along -
is enough. A slow movement
that which has undone you,
back and forth, to and fro,
that which has worn you away.
earth and weather,
There it is. drifting and decaying and just
Don't be shy. It goes against simply washing away.
your earliest hopes, your youthful
There is a silent consent in
ideals, your grand theories. There it is,
this negotiated shift -
a piece of you; one that was
a collusion of innocence and tiredness -
left exposed as if
as what is left
it were something new.
2 Healing Ministry
Volume 15, Number 3, Summer 2008

deposits her minerals below the scarp, below the slope.


in the scarp foot and basin. I can hear the fiddleheads
bathing in the minerals and
There is an inner nod
the robust loam built from
and assent to this erosion.
tearing. I can hear them grow.
This tearing apart is for the whole, for
the whole of the earth From where I stand, I cannot hear
not ours alone. my own loss as food for the growing. As
food for others. When I am able to
We sense the need to compromise. We
let this dirt slip from me
feel the coming change. We agree and a slow,
without complaint,
violent change occurs. Bit by bit,
then I will have become a hill,
I stand here
a scarp,
looking at the scarp
a glacier.
exposed on the hill
Bit by bit.
and feel the pain
of all the death Some things wear you down
that has torn at me, and a deep aging in your center,
layed me open - layed me bare. an erosion of your soul
Bit by bit. or maybe your heart.

I see the deep rich soil below

—Father Dn. Thomas Johnson-Medland, CSJ, OSL