For Giordano Bruno

(For not renouncing eight statements, Bruno was burned at the stake on this day, February 17, in the year 1600 at the Campo de’ Fiori, Rome)

I refuse to renounce my writings.
     Words revolve around worlds.
I refuse to renounce my beliefs.
     Each leans along the other.
I refuse to renounce the work of my mind.
     My teachers lived and died to shape what I know.

I affirm: the beautiful earth rounds the fiery sun.
     The light moved across my face this morning as I lay in my cell.
I affirm: the world has a soul and all matter derives therefrom.
     My mother and I screamed together when my soul-full body arrived.
I affirm: all reality is accompanied by a spirit and an intelligence.
     The breezes crossing the seven hills of Rome bring voices from Tuscany.
I affirm: the bread and the wine are bread and wine.
     Sister Paolina’s slipper-shaped ciabatta tastes of heaven.
I affirm: the earth moves.
     How many times have I injured the bare ground when falling?
I affirm: the infinity of the stars and the infinite number of planets.
     Counting the lights in the endless night sky never ends.
I affirm: the spirit and the body are one. 
     Cut by a knife, I bleed.  Cut by a word, I bleed.
I affirm: the stars are messengers and interpreters of the ways of God.
     Just look up.

“Perchance you - who pronounce my sentence - 
are in greater fear than I who receive it.”

May the fire of my burning body 
in the Field of Flowers flare 
brighter than the sun on that day.

An Experiment

An experiment: put the face 
of the quarter moon on the rising sun
to see if there really is a deck of cards
inside a cutout Bible that the holy man
after Sunday service pulls off his top shelf
with news of a bottle of the good stuff 
to pass the deal and begin again 
the game contrived from birth 
to see who crosses the start line last 
running the wrong way with one hand 
raised waving to the crowd and in the other 
holding the queen of spaced.

Is there a thing of which it is said, “See this is new?” – Ecclesiastes 1:10

Maker of all things new,
does finishing the work of creation on the seventh day
mean nothing thereafter is new?
Or, does the Teacher mean:
though the spectacle changes,
human's need for spectacle remains nothing new?
Silly, hypothetical questions aside,
some folks, creators of the wacky and the weird,
give two and two together away
as if the sum were five.
Give us an abacus for truth.
Amen.