Sonnet #21: trapped between the fool and monk

Sonnet #21

O, I am trapped between the fool and monk
and though I jump and laugh and reel, I am
conservative though none would understand
Instead like Christ, accused of being drunk

Perhaps ’tis true that I am just a skunk
Or could this reek of Death be a fragrance?
the best of Aaron’s herbed and spiced incense?
To one a treasure to another junk

And so behind the veil my prayer intense
I seek not who i am but the I Am
and where there was a hermit a clown stands
until I trace my steps back to the tent

And so I hope ’tis godly lest I’m sunk
Like Judas or like Alexandra’s monk

Rhyme scheme: abba acca cbbc aa

Spiritual and historic references: this is the second sonnet on the tension between my sense of mission and the solitary life of prayer, meditation and study.

The tension of being a holy fool is highlighted by lines 2, 3 and 4. Wildness, and anarchic instability are assumed to be indicative of an unholy life like Christ Who was accused of being a drunkard.

Paul reminds us of this tension in 2 Corinthians 2:16 “To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?”

“…not who i am but the I Am” is the ultimate expression of the self negating element of the search for completeness.

Alexandra’s monk = Gigorio Rasputin, one of history’s darkest religious figures.

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