Poem: Walking Meditation at St. Michael's College

I We walk under a canopy of trees Whose long early morning shadows Sketch black lines on the landscape; We inhale them. Clouds accumulate their merit above; We exhale them.

The sharp cracks of rifles on the nearby firing range Enter our deep listening calisthenics; A fighter plane empowers the sky To display its amazing hues.

Smiling, a monk, Garbed in the dark brown of tree trunks Glides across the lawn, Calling us by our true names In Vietnamese.

II

We walk in the tempo of his footsteps As he holds the hand of a little child. Both lead our multitude in a choir of breath. In unison we are One silent common Holy Spirit: One step, one breath; Breathing in, breathing out; Some in shoes whose soles Crunch the sand in the path with one sound; Some with bare feet barely bend the grass beside This slowly moving conscience of peace.

A crowd gathers round a crabapple tree To hear a Finch chirping to its young. Invisible, they answer from inside The overhanging roof, where small strings of nest Spill out, caught like rain against the clouds.

The steeple chimes a ringing resonance. Our feet stop, at ease: A breeze excites a burgundy Maple tree Waving its readied bunches of full-winged seeds Waiting to let go and expand into space; The wind pulls a murmur, then a true song From the trunk where the branches grow from the center; All the trees, a congregation of choristers Are warmed by the same earth's core; All continents are moved by the same stream of oceans

That rise and fall by the same waves Of the same moon time.

We are each a particle in that transforming stream.

We resume our walk, A lazy stroll, each touching a different beat. Our movement is the movement of the moving ground.

Rosie Rosenzweig (Composed during the 1999 three week retreat)

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