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May Student Spotlight: Matthew Crane


Matthew Crane

Saint John Vianney College Seminary Student

Major:

English with a Writing Emphasis

Poetic Interests:

storytelling, teaching, languages, mythology and ethics

Poetic Inspirations:

Lepanto, by Chesterton; God's Grandeur by Hopkins;
and The Pelagian Drinking Song by Belloc



 

The Needle and the Night Sky

I hold my sister up,
to see Jupiter,

 

yellow, against the black
expanse of starlit dome
that holds apart the waters.
The stars are pinpricks
that let heaven's light;
or so the story goes . . .

 

The little bear is led
by his Mothers stately walk.
His tail is tacked to
The dim, the northern star;
or so the story goes . . .

 

The stars as plots, as pages,
Turn to be what men's
Imaginations say.

 

But why? Why should three stars
become a hunter's belt?
Why should a jagged line
Become a queen? What if
each point is just
a holocaust of gas
within the void of space?
And it is all space.
That's all it is.

 

With this the dome comes down
around us like plastic
on freeze-dried food.
I pull my sister close.

 

No! I push a poem,
like a needle, through
the plastic limit of
the infinite, and through
the gaps I spy the light . . .
or so the story goes

 

Some Observations of Post-Modern Scholastics at a Conference

 

The lady ladling useless punch
For woolen coats and spectacled eyes
Slowly begins to form the hunch
That Ph.D.'s and silken ties
Are livery on empty bowls
Scraped clean like gourds - no guts, no souls.

 

Each plastic glass and silent face
She ladles for but doesn't ask
If pulp and ruby water tastes
Or senselessly runs like a broken cask.
"Will there be wine? Perhaps for lunch?"
"No," she sighs and ladles punch.

On Viewing a Monstrance Made of Gold from the Slave Trade

 

Oh monstrous, oh gold of dark, oh sunspot
One thousand worlds wide! You are a failing,
A mark upon the scroll of time, a blot,

A decadent of precious rocks on deck
Good Peter's barque, acquired by trade of men,
Of souls, in galleys rank and dark. The check

On him in Peter's chair, the hand on his
That guides the helm, can be denied because
The Hand is love. Yet, there's no tryst

That's cast the boat upon the sand, or sent
The keel to crush against the reef and slip
Beneath the spray. What's more, and a grace,

The Hand squeezes muck that gathers in the cracks
Of Peter's planks with salt spray, perhaps
Tears, and seeds can spring from impossible. That's

The Hand. And this, the rex malorum, and foul shoot
Is wrought by blows into the not so
Monstrous monstrance whose center, like the Churchship
He enters, the Hand, that hammers thirty pieces silver
into a blaze of life.

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Copyright © 2004 Renee Kelly