Friday, November 12, 2010

A Leper on Molokai, 1880

Depicted next to Pope Pius XI and below Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, is Bishop Stephen Alencastre who was the fifth Vicar Apostolic of the Hawaiian Islands.
The following poem appeared in the 15th November 2010 issue of ‘America’ magazine. 
A Leper on Molokai, 1880

To the Father and to the sea
I confess my gross being,
embrace with withered arms
our rank God
here at Kalaupapa.
My eyes dull moons,
I know the sun by its smell.
More corrupt than Lazarus
I live this death before death,
live the reciprocity of flesh.
The death of our death stuns even the sky,
wailing birds reel in the unclean air.
The cemetery at Kalawa’o
vomits our pitted bones,
and the blind sun stares.
Kalaupapa is an open tomb—
three walls of water, one of rock.
When Lazarus died, Jesus wept.
With corrupt voices we sang
Mozart. The bishop wept.

J O S E P H  S O L D A T I

JOSEPH A. SOLDATI, of Portland, Ore., has published numerous poems and essays, most recently in New Millennium Writings.
(Note: Under the direction of Father Joseph Damien de Veuster, the patients sang a Mozart Mass for the visiting bishop (vicar apostolic) on June 8, 1875)
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise. 

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