Thomas Merton

T
Thomas Merton
Advice to a Young Prophet
Keep away, son, these lakes are salt. These flowers
Eat insects. Here private lunatics
Yell and skip in a very dry country.

Or where some haywire monument
Some badfaced daddy of fear
Commands an unintelligent rite.

To dance on the unlucky mountain,
To dance they go, and shake the sin
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At This Precise Moment of History
1. At this precise moment of history
With Goody-two-shoes running for Congress
We are testing supersonic engines
To keep God safe in the cherry tree.
When I said so in this space last Thursday
I meant what I said: power struggles.

2. You would never dream of such corn. The colonials in
sandalwood like running wide open and available for
protection. You can throw them away without a refund.

3. Dr. Hanfstaengel who was not called Putzi except by
those who did not know him is taped in the national
archives. J. Edgar Hoover he ought to know
And does know.
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Aubade-Harlem
for Baroness G. de Hueck Across the cages of the keyless aviaries,
The lines and wires, the gallows of the broken kites,
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Birdcage Walk
1

One royal afternoon
When I was young and easily surprised
By uncles coming from the park
At the command of nurses and of guards,

I wondered, over trees and ponds,
At the sorry, rude walls
And the white windows of the apartments.
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Fable for a War
The old Roman sow
Bears a new litter now
To fatten for a while
On the same imperial swill.
The cannibal wolf will dig
And root out Spanish bones beside the pig.

Germany has reared
A rare ugly bird
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How to Enter a Big City
I

Swing by starwhite bones and
Lights tick in the middle.
Blue and white steel
Black and white
People hurrying along the wall.
”Here you are, bury my dead bones.“

Curve behind the sun again
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Hymn of Not Much Praise for New York City
When the windows of the West Side clash like cymbals in the setting sunlight,
And when wind wails amid the East Side’s aerials,
And when, both north and south of thirty-fourth street,
In all the dizzy buildings,
The elevators clack their teeth and rattle the bars of their cages,
Then the children of the city,
Leaving the monkey-houses
of their office-buildings and apartments,
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Proverbs
For Robert Lax 1. I will tell you what you can do ask me if you do not understand what I just said

2. One thing you can do be a manufacturer make appliances
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Song
(From Crossportion’s Pastoral) The bottom of the sea has come
And builded in my noiseless room
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Untitled 1. Now you are all here you might as well know ...
1. Now you are all here you might as well know this is America we do what we like.
2. Be spontaneous it is the right way.
3. Mothers you have met before still defy comprehension.
4. Our scene is foggy we are asking you to clarify.
5. Explains geomoetry of life. Where? At Catholic Worker.
6. Very glad you came. With our mouths full of cornflakes we were expecting an emergency.
7. Cynics declare you are in Greece.
8. Better get back quick before the place is all used up.
9. The night court: the mumbling judge: confused.
10. Well-wishers are there to meet you head on.
11. For the journal: soldiers, harbingers of change.
12. You came just in time, the score is even.
13. None of the machines has yet been broken.
14. Come on we know you have seen Popes.
15. People have been a little self-conscious around here in the emergency.
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