Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk, writer and mystic. My friend Emily introduced me to his writings through a contemplative living group that centers on his work and encourages contemplative dialogue. It’s a beautifully grounding and refreshing part of my life these days.
Emily now lives and works at the McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains. So a couple weeks ago we decided to take our Merton and our dialogue to West Texas. Our incredible retreat to the stars inspired a little poem and I’d like to share it with you. (Plus, methinks I’d like to see it illustrated and made into a book, hehe. Any illustrators out there?)
There are mountains in Texas
Let no one tell you otherwise
Davis and his brethren
Have held me as I’ve cried.
Their stones have let me catch my breath
Their winds have whistled truths
Their trees run races down the slopes
With javelina hooves.
The Davises know the heavens well
They meet at storytime
When Sun slumps down with weary eyes
They peek skyward and recline
Like boyhood friends up after bed
They snicker and shush ‘fore the show
While the twinkles tiptoe into place
To retell stories of old.
Snug in bed, Sun shakes his head
Hillbillies never tire
Of Andromeda’s rescue by Perseus
While Zeus hurls spears of fire.
The hills roll ’round in laughter
When Davis claims aloud
“With a buckle like that on his belt
Orion must be Texas proud!”
Jupiter leans in to hear
The last tale of the night
With a belly growl he turns to dream
Of bacon at daylight
I have loved our stay among the stars
With Davis and his gang
I pray this trek not be my last
For I’ve a home out on this range.