I am being killed by millions of beaks of words pecking at my brain.
Heaven is a place where words are few and soft—but heaven is man’s bane.

No matter how much I desire a quiet life, I know it is escape;
The vine is not fulfilled in its leaf, but in its grape.

Perpetual drunkenness is the only sane way of living,
The only way out of recurring hoping and grieving.

The road to the divine wineshop skirts heaven and ploughs through hell—
Even that of built-in-obsolescence and the fast sell.

There is no place left where a man can build a quiet home.
Noah has built a Shelter to save a few from the Bomb.

Because of the state of the world I once wept a great flood
Which I had to cross to come to my Beloved who is my God.

Now love-weeping has weakened my will and I cannot ward off the voices
Which utter no words at all, but are dull hard wood-pecking noises.


Heaven no doubt is a place of predominant silence but when people chatter about it, it becomes their bane or poison.

These are not easy times though for a life of quiet contemplation. Some sort of production seems called for, the fruit of effort. To escape the horrors of the world we are driven to an intoxicated frenzy. We are all sharing an apocalyptic scenario.

Francis is only too aware of his emotional involvement in all this. There is no way we can be calmly superior. Who can be impervious to the horror? Words fail, meanings collapse, feelings sweep us away from God. We are having to plough our way through hell. We are skirting heaven because indulging in ecstatic experiences is not the direct way to the tavern.

Can be read in conjunction with 130.

Words are a torment we can share.

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