The Servers

Heaven and Earth will pass away,
but my words will never pass away.
                           The Gospel of Matthew

Imagine this apocalyptic scene:
a future where all books were digitized
on servers with a bright, metallic sheen,
descendants of the ones we have devised.

Through some catastrophe, the servers crash,
destroying all the books that they contain.
One server, luckily, preserved its stash.
At least in it, the volumes could remain.

This server too, though, is in jeopardy:
the building where it’s housed has caught on fire,
but you are there, and suddenly you see
a way to save it and its power wire.

The problem is that someone needs your help
or they will be engulfed in flames by when
you finish saving books from blazing hell.
You need to make a split decision then.

The server houses every holy book,
the final copies that exist on Earth.
Is not the person just about to cook,
no matter what, more infinite in worth?

Is not the person too a sacred text,
that’s written in a chromosomal script,
though we don’t know the sequel that comes next
once their genetic textbook has been ripped?

Which server would you save if you could choose;
the server made of metal and of plastic
with sacred texts we would forever lose
unless you took a measure that was drastic

and let the other server – who served love –
be swallowed by the flames as sacrifice
in that apocalyptic scene that I speak of?
Would you let someone pay their life as price?

You could recall and write some things you read
but can’t remember all: much would be lost –
whatever wasn’t stored within your head –
unless you made that person pay the cost.

If I could save the words that Jesus said
from such a fate, I feel that I would not,
if it meant someone else would soon be dead
from flames that felt infernal, licking hot.

What would become of words of Jesus then?
I think they would – like He did – rise again.

Threshold Profile

Mario A. Pita

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Unspoken Speech

Today I wished that You would speak to me
with speech that I could hear as plain as thunder,
but when the sunlight flickered through a tree
that in my lunch break I was passing under,
I felt that You have other ways to talk
though I have not tuned in to them and listened
as then when I was going for a walk
and felt You speak in sunlit leaves that glistened.
Your voice is everywhere that I may seek:
through everything, not merely words, You speak.


Mario A. Pita

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We broadcast to each other on a site
and hope there will be people who will like
the things we photograph or things we write,
the trip we took by plane, or train, or bike.
So each of us is like a broadcast station,
transmitting not through air but on a wall
about our work or maybe our vacation,
though it won’t be of interest to all.
We thought that this connected us, and yet
grow tired of this virtual transmitting
but still return for more in hopes we’ll get
communion from the time we are committing.
Transmissions cross the depths of cyberspace,
but they can’t beat our talking face to face.


Mario A. Pita

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Each year a tree trunk makes another ring
but not the kind of ring heard from a phone;
a circle that a year of growth will bring,
defined by wood of slightly darker tone.
The ring that every year a tree will make
is not the kind of ring that people give
when love and longing cause their souls to ache
to be together through the lives they live.
A tree won’t won’t have a ring as would a planet
that’s made of icy rocks like rings of Saturn,
and it just happens though the tree won’t plan it
to add to its concentric circle pattern.
The rings reveal how long the tree has grown,
when it’s been cut. It’s best they be unknown.


Mario A. Pita

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Striking Experience

The bird who struck the glass did not believe
in what could not be seen – a windowpane –
nor could, before he crashed, even conceive
of what his view of life did not contain.
You too may not believe in what’s unseen
by senses, reasoning, or tools of science;
no spirit realms or glass that’s in between,
because you place in them your full reliance.
But after a striking experience, you might
find your former skeptic views will shatter
and see the cosmos in a different light,
sure of realms beyond the realm of matter.
A striking experience – as of a windowpane –
might show the truth of what you deemed insane.

Avian Sovereign

Mario A. Pita

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Bay Windows

Basilica colonnades that curve like arms
and seem to hold you in a warm embrace
are wonderful, but home too has such charms
in walls not square but bending at their base,
like walls of my bay windows turn to me
at angles as of arms instead of straight,
so in them as in colonnades I see
this welcoming, delight-inducing trait.
A wall can act as more than ceiling brace:
the curves of architecture can embrace.


Mario A. Pita

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Some days I feel that all I need is You
for being full of happiness, fulfilled,
delighting that I have the chance to do
as You for my brief time on Earth have willed.
But other days I hunger and I thirst
for earthly things, and in me there are fights,
so that I feel I am about to burst,
devoured by my worldly appetites.
O, Love, I have a large menagerie
within my mind – a veritable zoo,
the human and the beastly parts of me
all mixed up in a soul that cries to You.
Help me live, though I am partly beast,
more for You every day, with love increased.


Mario A. Pita

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