Sunday, January 22, 2017

A brief return to the aviary

I'd have to check my notes: it was either in 1999 or 2000 when I wrote this. I copied it from one of my small portable notebooks into my more durable hardcover notebook of selected fair poems, (Opposed to those that are either crass, garbly, indescernable or unfinished).

It was while I was in the monastery knowing I'd be going back. Either that or just after I got back. I was inspired by Br.Rene with whom I'd discuss the upkeep of the aviary. First time I'd seen an aviary. I was also inspired by Kathleen Norris' rare volume of poetry entitled How I came to drink my Grandmother's piano and her style of using science 
to explain that theres stuff more science can seek to explain.......

We the birds of the aviary

Friction occurs
as objects move through time
and space,
though our desire
is to stay at rest.

As there is time, there is motion
as there is motion, pain
Ah the ache of the spiritual growth
that comes with our decay!

Oh but that we were among
"the million spiritual creatures / that walk the earth unseen
singing their great creator" !  -- Milton

Though not to embrace our material states to the full
would be a sin of ingratitude
to others than our God
who stand by so near
as to peer over our shoulders
and dream of lips, tongues
and taste
while we eat our daily bread.

Our gift
Our glory
is that with our clunky clay feet
trodding upon the base of this valley of tears
amidst the midsts of our follies and infirmities
we may
with our dirty hands raised to the clear blue sky
sing
with all the wisdom of the birds in the aviary
that know
one day
they will all fly free.


The below is the later Latin version (it took awhile, but I translated it into Latin a few months after the monastery). I have recently made a few changes and the below is the latest version. As with myself in life I find I am in need of constant revision much like that of my poems.

Some in the now less garbly kNOW may get the idea that I'm using 'life' in a broad sense like those of whom in the kitchen of life use spray colouring for their cakes (of the chrome variety). It is my opinion that God I believe sometimes runs his dishes through the dishwasher twice or well, more than once to get them all proper shiny in good rightful time.


Ad similis prima nivis (Like the first snow
caderemus (we fall
subungulam bisculam (under the hooves

Ad similis nonsapientia arborus   (like the unwise tree
in hortum deus,  (in God's garden
saepe ad similis avii in aviarim, (sometimes like the birds in the aviary
omnis gentes caderamus (all peoples fall
saepe (sometimes

O Deo Sanctus
O Deo Misericordius
Rex Tremendae Majistasis

Principae Pacem

Nunc cumque carmena et hoc angelis panem, (now with this song and bread of angels
consurgeramus de profundis (we rise from the depths
ad cantaramus:             (to sing

Cum avii in aviarium    (with the birds in the aviary
quod cognitant haberant (who have the knowledge / who know
unum dies avolarabimus, omnis liberum (one day we will all fly , all free

Cum avii in aviarium  (with the birds in the aviary
avolarabimus omnis liberum...    (we will all fly-free
--Matthew Thivierge fin 7:29 Sun Jan 27/2000

P.S. I learned Latin in an uncompleted half-credit course at LU before attending the monastery.
The monks at Blue Cloud did not use Latin at all, to my knowledge except Br.Chris who was into music in a big way.

Here's two videos that I find bring back my fond memories of working in the monastery library and archives with Fr.Odilo. Both put me wonderfully beyond the mere winter frame of mind and into a broader more positive winter solsitcy spirit. All the best this year for we all seem to be finding ourselves in restructure city these days. Like in a library when Weedin' a collection and reshelving the sections to fine tune things a bit. Speaking of tunes here's Lindsey Stirling's Song of the Caged Bird and a few tunes from Thomas Tallis.


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