Profession

For years, Love, I professed belief in You,
expressing faith in You to everyone,
to people whom I didn’t know or knew,
yet looking back at all the things I’ve done
so few reflect the faith which I professed,
and I have often lived as though with none,
as if I’d not advanced but just regressed.
But now I want professing to be more
than merely words that I can write or speak
and shown in ways that I am working for:
to plant some deeds for you is what I seek.
Professing becomes profession—the work I do—
for actions best profess a faith in You.

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Mario A. Pita

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Advisers

We love to tell each other what to do
and offer, like a treasure, our advice,
or talk about our elevated view
that, unlike any other, should suffice
to tell a person where they are and where
they’ve been and should be going in the future,
because we are so blessedly aware
and qualified to be another’s tutor.
But I must here acknowledge I feel lost
as often, or more so, than I am found,
and though I often have advised or bossed,
I still don’t really know my way around.
Let’s share our journeys but resist the vice
of turning them to orders or advice.

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Mario A. Pita

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Valentine Ashes

Since young men who weren’t wed made better soldiers,
an emperor banned marriages for them.
An empire’s weight fell squarely on their shoulders,
their blood worth more than any engagement gem.
Yet Valentine, a priest, in secret, wed
men to brides, becoming patron saint
of lovers, for whose sake his blood was shed,
though some now see his holiday as quaint.
But this year it will fall when many crosses
are drawn on foreheads with a palm-frond ash,
recalling all Love’s suffering and losses,
of far more worth than jewelry or cash:
a love’s not just someone of whom you’re fond—
of blood, and ash, and sacrifice, its bond.


Franz Marc, In the Rain, 1912

Mario A. Pita

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Laughter Planter

Each day, I gather things that I found funny,
collecting them like seeds to plant for you,
and whether your mood then be gray or sunny,
I hope some make your laughter blossom too.
It may be small, unlike a giant oak,
a single-panel comic that you read,
yet if your laughter blossoms from its joke,
it’s not far-fetched to see it as a seed.
But while a planted crop’s growth may be slow
so months elapse before it’s ripe for harvest,
it doesn’t take much time for what we sow
to bloom as laughter even when life’s hardest.
In life on Earth and then in Love’s hereafter,
I hope to plant what blossoms into laughter.

Laughter Planter

Mario A. Pita

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Sanctity Obsession

Like someone who’s afraid of getting dirty,
I feared the things I thought would stain my soul
and spent my days in horror and in worry
of all the sins that kept me from my goal
of sanctity as of a saint or monk
who wouldn’t sully soul and let it spoil,
and I detested lows to which I’d sunk,
as deep as worms that burrow in the soil.
But when I planted deeply with a friend
some bulbs we hoped would blossom in the spring,
it dawned on me it’s terrible to spend
a life in constant fear of sullying:
I loved to plant and shed the insanity
of fearing a soiled soul lacks sanctity.

Deer in a Monastery GardenDeer in a Monastery Garden, Franz Marc, 1912

Mario A. Pita

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Droplet Self

A droplet born one day inside a cloud,
began its fall to Earth and was afraid
of freezing into snow that would be plowed
and wished that in the cloud it could have stayed.
While wind tossed it all through its long descent,
it feared its death on land or sea below,
and most of its brief falling time was spent
in horror of a fate it didn’t know.
I’ve been like this—a droplet awfully scared,
since from a heaven I felt I was falling,
hoping that I somehow would be spared
my future fate—apparently appalling.
But falling in love while falling, I don’t hate:
I’ll join the sea, or might evaporate.

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Mario A. Pita

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Grocery Story

for Courtney

As I laid out my groceries to buy,
the cashier commented that my things were
some favorite things of hers, and quickly I
recalled the famous song and said to her
that my things didn’t rhyme as in the song.
She took this as a challenge and began
to speak in rhymes and prove that I was wrong,
not knowing I’m a sonnet-writing man.
The instant lyrics for the things I got
were so delightful—such a fun surprise—
for never in my life for things I bought
had I received song lyrics with my buys.
I paid, but cash was not enough to pay.
I add this sonnet, since she made my day.

Mario A. Pita

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