Photo by Pavel Chichikov

A goldfinch from the sky, a golden coin
See, says God above, I purchase Earth—
Swiftly dropping this I make them join
And as the gold descends there comes a birth

My coin, My gold, the creature that I send
The land to which I send it I too made—
All is Mine and sometime it will end
The female finch, the fertile egg it laid

All is Mine, the quality of life
Color, movement, living warmth and cold
Each permanence, the peaceful and the strife,
The stillness of the soil, the dropping gold

Each purchase that I make and what I sell
The dryness and the water in the well



Yelena Cherkasova, “The Righteous Soul Enters Heaven”
Courtesy Art and Faith

In heaven there is a mirror
In which new spirits look
To see if there’s an error
And their likeness they mistook

They do seem different, odd
Not like themselves at all
But through the eyes of God
They were before the fall

No secret and no shame
No bluff and no deceit
They keep an earthly name
But not their lives’ defeat

Lovely openness
To be blessed and to bless



Victor M. Vasnetsov (1848–1926), “God of Hosts”
Cathedral of St. Vladimir, Kyiv
Courtesy WikiArt

“What do you want?” He said to us
—That I should be polygamous,
Take consort, consorts as you do,
Feel boredom, pleasure in the new?

“Play one of you against the other,
Under, over, cousin, brother?
Favor, spread disfavor out,
Whisper threat and bellow shout?

“I am that Being unconceived
And yet Son’s death was amply grieved
For He was loved as I would be
The Spirit of My love makes Three

“But none of this can be expressed
In your speaking, thought nor guessed,
But you may grasp for it in prayer
Contemplative when I am there

“Glimpse Me by the word and bone
To the poets I am known,
Saints and martyrs also know
When of Myself to these bestow,
But they must give as well as take
Which means like sleepers they awake

“You are My children, stars of heaven
The light My light we show in common
But you must, creatures, first refine
The flame of love to make it Mine—
See it in the altar candle
Perfect shape so bright and simple



A Vigil
Photo by Pavel Chichikov

What happens? What God wishes,
So fire turns to ashes—
Be it His desire
Ashes turn to fire

I see a young man ride
A motor to the side
Of a new-dug grave
Where flag and flowers wave

Dignified he kneels
It seems to me he feels
Deepest reverence
Solemn love I sense

Will the buried soul
Be resurrected whole
Life and spirit too
Which this young person drew?

Is the grave a place
Which symbolizes grace
While in a world apart
Authentic is a heart?

While here is courtesy
Desiring to can see



Man Being Attacked by Seven Devils
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

I am not the one
About whom you need worry
But there are many others
Never in a hurry

Conserving time, and having space
Concealing till they need disgrace
To spend, not theirs—
Troubles come in pairs

It was too fearsome, wrong, mistake
That will accommodation break
Anarchy like fatal venom
A dreadful chaos held in common

Too many know now to be hidden
This so long ago was bidden



George Inness (1825–94), “The Lackawanna Valley”
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Why not simply sit and gaze
As wise ones do and pass the days
Being, breathing, being one
With moon by night, by day the sun?

Unspent within, unsatisfied
I feel as if I am denied—
Denied of what, what reason, how,
What Mind will know it, not allow?

Trees are green, reflect the star
We call the sun, at just so far
That we can flourish or at least
Sometimes can see a favored feast

Of color, flower, waving field
Signs of blessing there revealed
A Mind that gives a consecration
Sends a mindful intervention

But no, I seem unsatisfied
Feel sure somehow I am denied,
But then a voice proclaims inside—
Enough of souls who reek of pride

Being is the truest health
There is no richer on the Earth
Than that you live, behold the green
Of summer leaves—say “I have seen!”

Can that be true? “Yes it is true”
Says One who has created you



Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625), “The Crucifixion”
Kunsthistorische Museum, Vienna
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes you think your love sufficed
You’d die for her if die you must—
Imagine then the love of Christ
To die for all, such love to trust

Jesus did upon the wood—
His sacrifice of piercing pity
For every spirit, might you—could
For one or two perhaps, but every?

Only He embraced us all,
Gave what only Christus might
For pitiful pathetic all—
To keep us in compassion sight

How such giving love to measure,
To weigh and count such immense treasure?