Selected Poems

by William J. Rewak, S.J. |

The Egret

Fr. Rewak reads additional poems from The Right Taxi

An egret stepped warily into the trattoria
on the corner and ordered a pasta with marinara;
the clientele paused as one pauses
when cocktail chatter is broken by a belch
or as happened the previous evening when a rhinoceros
waddled in for a martini: it was getting increasingly
difficult to eat without the odd interruption.
The owner (a Neapolitan) was open-minded:
he believed meals have a spiritual flavor
relished by all of God’s kingdom,
that a table is the communal center of creation.
But his diners refused to countenance feathers
and snorts, to extend their fellowship to those
considered less favored in the chain of being.
Rumors spread about his tasteless predilection.
He lost business. The egret, though,
a snowy delight in his dark day,
chattered on about marketing, new customers,
seasoned opportunities, a unique vision
in an expanding world of gustation.
The Neapolitan—who first saw light
at the edge of a vast uncornered sea—
stood in the night and watched
the still stars, so far away.
They stayed bright, no matter
the turning of the world. He nodded,
returned to his kitchen, brushed the cobwebs,
and told the egret to open all the doors.

 

The Day

You said you wanted to die on a bright day
so you could find your way clearly to the shore;
you said noon would have no distracting shadows
to maneuver around, for you believed the lore

that the soul is haunted by them; you said the day
should be long because you never could walk fast
and you wanted not to be late; but here you are,
stretched out in dark winter, betrayed, long past

the summer’s light; but is there ever, finally, a day
perfect for what you now know? Does our world
prepare us correctly, with its colors and its din,
for the moment we all shun when we are hurled

into silence? You do not speak. No matter the day,
then, no matter the silver clouds from the west:
you’ve packed away your trinkets and lie with empty
hands, ready for what someone else knows is best.

 

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Spring 2014

Table of contents

Features

Radiant house

Building a house for the 2013 Solar Decathlon. That, and changing the world.

Américas cuisine

Telling a delicious tale of food and family with chef David Cordúa ’04.

Lessons from the field

Taut and tranquil moments in Afghanistan—an essay in words and images.

Mission Matters

Carried with compassion

The Dalai Lama’s first visit to Santa Clara.

Farther afield

Building safer houses in Ecuador. Research on capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. Helping empower girls in The Gambia. And this is just the beginning for the Johnson Scholars Program.

What connects us

The annual State of the University address, including some fabulous news for the arts and humanities. And the announcement of Santa Clara 2020, a new vision for the University.