Homage to Borges / Fr. Gabriel Rochelle

When the years lengthen you return ad fontes

To the sources where the heart first fluttered
at the music of the soul. Fire! Within the words
flat and stark and cold upon the open page
the spark leaps across the chasm of years.
An incandescent arc of meaning shoots off.

Perhaps it is Caesar’s omnia Gallia
or the brekakakkex koax koax of Aristophanes
or “Now is the winter of our discontent”
as whole worlds connect up noisily within.

Drink from these forgotten pools of fire
and Yes and Amen to all that flickers forth.
So many little torches illumine the path of memory.
Pale sconces in the mind richly enlightened.
Shafts of light like skewers pierce through
the palimpsests of your soul connecting
long narratives by the shortest of phrases
unlatching, by the turn of a word, the door of nearness.

The Poet

The Very Reverend Gabriel Rochelle is pastor of St. Anthony of the Desert, Las Cruces NM, a mission of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. Beyond his undergraduate studies in classics and philosophy, he holds degrees in theology (M.Div.), biblical languages and literature (Th.M.), theology and literature (Ph.D.), and Celtic Studies (M.A.). Fr. Gabriel has taught in colleges and seminaries for over four decades and currently serves as professor of Biblical Studies at St. Sophia Theological Seminary, South Bound Brook NJ, and in the Honors College of New Mexico State University. Fr. Gabriel served as an editor for several theological journals and has published many articles, reviews, and nine books. He has had an ongoing podcast series, “Musings from the High Desert,” on AncientFaith.com. Selected Bibliography: Create and Celebrate (1971), Spiritual Care by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (translation and introduction; 1985), What Wondrous Love (1997), Bread for the Wilderness (2001), A Staff to the Pilgrim: Meditations on the Way with Nine Celtic Saints (2017). His work is featured in Clearing Paths: A Darkly Bright Anthology of Verse (2021). 

Homage to Borges: Copyright 2006, 2021 by Fr Gabriel Rochelle. All rights reserved.

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