Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda

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In the Poet's Spotlight for October 2006:  Br. Rick Wilson

Dr. Rick Wilson (Br. Didacus) TOR is a Franciscan friar in the Immaculate Conception Province. He was born in a military family in Verdun, France in 1954 but was raised in Virginia. He has degrees from George Mason University ('77, '80) and a doctorate from The Catholic University of America in Literature with a certificate in Rhetoric ('96). He also trained at St. Elizabeth's Hospital for two years (Washington, DC) in the Bibliotherapy Program and is seeking to become a Registered Poetry Therapist. His dissertation was on "The Mysticism in the Poetry of James Wright." Br. Rick is the author of two collections of poetry, a chapbook titled Off the Backroads (Hard Cider Press, 1979) and Between a Rock and a Heart Place (Scripta Humanistica, 1987). His poems have appeared in over 100 publications, including The Other Side, Poet Lore, Poets On, Gargoyle, St. Anthony Messenger, to name a few. His poetry has also been anthologized in Whose Woods These Are, Hungry As We Are, The Odd Angles of Heaven. He has read poetry throughout the Washington, DC area--at George Mason University, The Folger Shakespeare Library, Catholic University, the Art Barn, the Writer's Center, and for the Fairfax County (Virginia) School System. In 1978, Br. Rick received George Mason University's Poetry Award and received The Kreeger Award from Catholic University in 1990. He has served as Adjunct Professor at The Catholic University of America since 1991 in the Adult Education (Metropolitan College) Department. Br. Rick presently teaches British and American Literature at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

St. Francis & the Leper


"Once we understand the natural history of leprosy,
it becomes clear that a diagnosis of tuberculoid
leprosy best accounts for Francis' illness. His
stigmata can be understood as the wounds of a
man who became a leper precisely because of his
love for the Crucified Leper. "

               SCHAZLEIN & SUMASY


The leper that I've shunned
Is the Christ I'm asked to face
On this journey I've begun.

The stench had left me stunned,
His countenance I debased,
This leper that I've shunned.

My world has come undone
By the miracle of His grace
On this journey I've begun.

For the riches that are won
Are gathered in embrace
From the leper that I've shunned.

With wounds that leave me numb
Brother Ass is laid to waste
On the journey I've begun.

So I no longer run
Or live my life in haste
Fearing the leper I once shunned.

Though I burn with Brother Sun
It's His passion that I trace
In the hug, that kiss, His face:

See the leper I've become
As I live a life displaced
On my journey to the Son.

© copyright All Rights Reserved Wilson, Richard S.


Time on Its Side

Hunger crawls in a crooked line.
Hunger stalks from here, to there, to nowhere.
Hunger speaks in small mouths of rice.
Hunger counts backwards like a patient anesthetized.

Hunger growls regardless of its leash.
Hunger is a straw-empty cage of lies.
The lens of its stare ready to ignite,
Hunger sprawls patiently in the sun.

Hunger knows its whims, is terminal.
Hunger never asks, "Am I my brother's keeper?"
Hunger is sloppy, skin-taut and navel protruded
like a series of ellipses.

Hunger breaks no bones.
Hunger, nothing less than a corpse's masque,
is visible, lonely,
Consecrated with flies that hover like dirt angels

Praying over their victims.
And here no lilies smolder at the edges,
Putting on airs---
Hunger waits with time on its side.


© copyright All Rights Reserved Wilson, Richard S.


"Pain is a carrier pigeon.  Read the message it brings you,
then set it free. Don't make a pet out of the bird "

                            Kathleen Chesto

I've freed
that grey bird
from its marrowed
cage but kept
a plucked feather
for a quill:
to write these poems,
these words that
seed the furrows
of this page,
(as I listen to
that place between
the muffled rumors
of the heart and
yr. still, small voice.)
This is how I find my way:
all the way to You
my lonely, distant God.

© copyright All Rights Reserved Wilson, Richard S.

Kilroy Was Here


On the Sinai peninsula it has been reported the rocks
bear at least 263 inscriptions that -are Greek, Latin
and Nabatean versions of (“ Kilroy was here " ).
                       The Washington Post

He was born, bright, and bald
during an eclipse
and peek-a-booed over his crib
like a helium balloon gone sour
watching the world rush by.

He spent his adult life
skulking around outhouses
docks and subways--
always a bit shy but
hanging on for life.

As patron saint of loiterers
graffiti artists and GI's
he's been around: from Palestine
to Manila, Saigon to Kuwait.

He's the voyeur whose eyes roll like a tongue
He's the witness who won't get involved
He's the outsider who doesn't fit in
He's the bad habit you can't shake.

Imagine a frown or smirk
as he lives on in the dirty joke
told in mixed company
this cartoon gargoyle pondering
the parenthesis of our lives.

© copyright All Rights Reserved Wilson, Richard S.

The Mortician

(for Tim)

It's bright in the prep room.
The mortician walks into
this tiled and stainless steel
mausoleum with his trocar,
while the afternoon dissolves
softly as a cough drop
on the tongue.

Standing in the cold
above a waxy corpse
he works intently,
with a sort of reverence,
gazing up into the lamp ...
he could be  druid
staring into the moon
presaging futures
performing sacrifice.

At the wake, when the relatives
return to own their grief,
(borne aloft on shoulders
and whispers), he stands
at the guest book working
the room with his eyes,
taking note: of the gout,
the smoker, the hypertensive,
the triple by-pass ...

His smile—a crack
spidered across a headstone
his hands—cool and patient
as nesting scalpels.

© copyright All Rights Reserved Wilson, Richard S.

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