I had the opportunity to read some of my poetry and other writing at an event the other night. Pretty sweet. This is one of the poems I read, Pilgrims’ Shoes. After we returned from a day trip in Assisi during my Italy trip last summer, our professor had each of us write a poem beginning with the line: “I put on pilgrims’ shoes.” So here’s mine. Below that is a truly amazing video that my friend John Lui made from our trip there…I’d been meaning to put up both the poem and the vid…better late than never! Enjoy, amici.
I put on pilgrim’s shoes
But they don’t fit.
My feet pinch and blister
As I study frescoes and question Francis.
Did you hurt yourself so God would show up?
I can’t relate
Because when I’m with him
He takes the whip out of my hand
And he heals.
Break open the doors of this cavernous cathedral,
Lead me off the dusty streets of Assisi.
I’ll kick off my sandals and run on wet grass
into the sun,
jump over the moon,
dive into the flashing sea—
how deep does this go?
If you see him, tell him I am sick with love.
Push me to the edge of the earth
I’ll sing to the morning sky, radiant in the East,
As the sunrise speaks of his faithfulness
with a dozen golden roses.
Rumi said there’s a thousand ways
To kneel and kiss the ground.
I know there are also a thousand places.
Let me wander the world and
discover the walking temples,
Take their faces in my hands
And say, Tell me about the one I love,
I see you love him too.
I am sick with love
I ache with desire
My journey begins and ends in him.
Saints set aside: this is my pilgrimage.
And now, for the video…