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Poetry by Jonel Abellanosa: "Ode to the Holy Spirit"; "Mary of Bethany"

Holy Spirit/Peace

Ode to the Holy Spirit

As devotee of the divine, I desire to have the

Baptist’s eyes, belief a benevolent sky. The

Christ rose from the river of obedience. As

Dove of the sacred you rested on his crown,

Emblem of peace, caretaker of the venerable

Fire. To your poet you reveal the sempiternal,

God’s deepest sighs, wind that assures the

Hearing cry. Reduced to the least, I implore

In depths, pliant as water, uttering the name

“Jesus” as salve. I’m the man born blind,

Keeping to myself. I’m the roadside beggar,

Lazarus who died, the centurion’s servant, the

Man with leprosy. I’m the cripple on Sabbath Day,

Nicodemus who at last is born of the spirit.

Of sentiency I’m the human partaker. To the

Paraclete, prayer: let comfort be a starry night,

Quietness a dawn drizzle. I’m more broken,

Rippled with pains, because I’m everyone, all

Silences becoming my self-negating voice.

Teach that I may endure. Unfold that I may

Understand. Grace as the new bloom, light the

Verity to my heart’s pond, a pebble like

Wisdom. Rest is a rainforest fountain, an

Exaltation beautiful as the flight of swans. I

Yearn for your gifts to vision, seeing your

Zeniths with humilities of the anointed

Mary of Bethany

I was returning to Bethany when the procurator

Shouted ecce homo! But I saw him who gave us

Back from the dead our brother, Lazarus.

I’d sit at the rabbi’s feet when he visited

From Capernaum, listening to stories of love’s

Miraculous power, stories of reconciliation

Opening to nightlong feasts. He ate with

Overflowing life, his laughter touching.

Yet he could slip into stillness in the midst

Of drinking, drums, praise and singing.

He said the perfume I poured on his head

Was for his burial. I bathed his feet in tears,

Drying them with my hair, joyful to have anointed

Him, knowing my life’s purpose that night.

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