Archive for April 11th, 2018

National Poetry Month 2018


After Vespers by John Gibson


The mist calls them forth
from Vespers into evening.

Prayers echo like bells,
rising like incense before them.

Brother Anselm hums Hodie
holding tones with his breath.

Together they pray, again and again
invoking blessings, psalms, forgiveness

for a world in peril, a world outside the mist,
a world released from her sins.

Now, Lord, let your servant depart in peace.

This drawing is set at St. Joseph’s Abbey near Covington, LA. where my father’s best childhood friend, Billy, was a Benedictine monk.  Brother Anselm, as he was named in the Abbey, is the short one in the drawing. I remember fondly visiting him there.  He was a musician, organist and cantor, so I can imagine him humming after the service.  He also had a hilarious, ironic wit that I couldn’t capture in this poem.  Brother Anselm died a few years ago, but his spirit lives on in the music of St. Joseph’s Abbey.

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