No. 4 & 5


Marie Tonkin  

Abouna Bishoy

”We have forsaken the world to follow Christ!”

It’s abuna Bishoy 
with a rainbow of grace around.
Somewhere during the journey through,
the wind erased his claims, it happened
that the memory flashed
like a lizard in the sand,
of a wanderer’s feet in the pail,
Now the visitors eat olives in the tree shade;
after those words a gesture 
towards the black monk’s frock
what is more to be said…

Monastery of Saint Macarios, Wadi Natroun 2002


Pale sunset that evening
and the heart’s dovecote so silent.
What remains, what ground,
for her who gave her voice 
as an offering for the wedding night.
Long before the morning she hurries out,
covering with the veil a love
that began that time
that time when Jacob rolled away the stone by the well
for his uncle Laban’s sheep.

Pyramids in Paradise

Before we have emptied our coffee cup, you write,
death might come:
dusty trophies
in the closed biological museum

But this is a patch of paradise
small pyramids by the horizon
and a sandy motor way
Yes, we will consent
to the unpredictable,
to the honey becoming sun

Or when the ship is rigged out
and you already see the harbour –
a piece of paper left on the table when everyone is gone

Your prayers burning in the lanterns
– you are so warm, and they are out of clay
with cut-out stars,
they will be my eyes’ nights.



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