Dave Parsons

In Issue 6 on April 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

Inscaping The Storm

For Fr. Hubert Kealy (1938-2010), after Paul Mariani’s Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life

He once said to me, if the Christ
splendor had not seduced him,
he would have given himself
to the Lady Literature, his mind
to happily spin in the sweet Irish
gyre of his genes—his heart of mind
is still and forever will be pierced
by Gerard’s grandeur, his body joyfully
churning with the oceans of inscapes
filled with blessed blood, propelling,
priming life’s profundities through
the ardent aspect of a saintly eye,
and just as now, I remember him

standing tall on the very anniversary
of Hopkins’s vows, a stormy Feast Day
of the Assumption, he is at the wheel
of the holy galleon, Sacred Heart Church
and he—is— the eye in pandemonium,
like that bold lioness nun of the doomed
Deutschland, he centers himself
in the Mass, our majestic main mast
cloaked in the sails of his creed,
flying our colors proud, despite
the keening cancerous plague,
the waves of chemo nausea,
the agonizing baneful babble—all
landings within his sight fraught
with the wrecking rocks of ruin, yet
he stands amidst the brunt of it, his frail
alb-clad jib raised—strong on high, chevying
chaotic, chthonic born winds, proclaiming
against all darkness, to all above, all below
and to us huddled around on hallowed deck,

This is my body…this is my blood….


Dave Parsons is recipient of an N. E. H. Dante Fellowship to SUNY, the French-American Legation Poetry Prize, and the 2006 Baskerville Publisher’s Prize/TCU for an outstanding poem published in their literary journal, Descant. His three books: Editing Sky (Texas Review Poetry Prize), Color of Mourning, and Feathering Deep (forthcoming 2011) all by Texas Review Press/TXAM Univ. Press) He was elected to The Texas Institute of Letters in 2009. He Teaches at Lone Star College.

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