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Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Hermit Crab, a Poem by Justine Lyons, RSCJ

In keeping with the theme of National Poetry Month, I found another poem on the RSCJ International site that I thought you would enjoy reading. 

The Hermit Crab
Do you not like the day, the shinning sunlit sand?
Of what are you afraid?
What has the darkness that you come to life, to search, to feed?
Once evening comes, the cool of night, none knows where to look,
the crabs are there,
each in its home, its borrowed home from whelk, from snail,
from spiral rose.
This home he does not leave behind; it is a part of him,
protection sure, until he finds that, being shell,
it cannot stretch and grow.
Is it a loss to leave one's home behind, to claim another
larger place?
Where does the crab find home? In sand? At water's edge?
In fire's debris? Or scattering of wind?
And so, in truth the crab's without a home?
How can this be when earth and waves conspire to form
a universe divine, and fire and wind burn,
breathing life?
"Mine own and not mine own."2
The heart's full emptiness
that moves in love's direction full of longing;
the heart's surrender to what is and yet to be,
for it has touched the infinite beyond the time
the mystery beyond the real
the beauty of God's face.
Perhaps it's then, and only then, that in the darkness
one can find a home.

Justine Lyons rscj
Province of the United States

2. Note: "Mine own and not mine own" from Love's Mind, by John S. Dunne, Professor at Notre Dame

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