National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly
Issue Date:  May 30, 2003


A Diamond is Forever

“Scientists discover process to convert ashes from cremation into a blue diamond”
-- news item

how right,
how apt and right
a way to honor
the beloved,
to refine the remnant dross
of wrinkles and moles
and body parts that quit,
the sharp tongue, little spites,
the urgency to be right,
all boned to carbon,
compressed into a permanence
of joy unblemished --
the laughing eyes and dancing feet,
hands translating Chopin,
secret jokes and Christmases,
the bliss of touch,
all the goodness of all the moments
distilled into reduction
the size of a tear

how right and practical.
no need to choose
the plot allowed
by money or convenience
which yearning disdains,
no need for coffin
of mahogany or pine,
satin-lined or not,
no cortege to the grave
to see the loved one
settled into residence
with anonymous neighbors

none of that.
instead the true-blue love
gleams steady on a silver chain,
nestled in the throbbing
pulse of throat,
rising and falling
in the other’s heartbeat,
winking in a sudden
catch of light

-- Ethel Pochocki
    Brooks, Maine

                                                                      -- Kathleen Gunton

Would a Real Poet

curse the spring for
being cold and logy?
see ice in the bird bath
as a sign of global
warming (cooling) warming?
wear heavy sweaters till Easter
and a winter coat till May?

Would she be a sprite
and joyous
hopping over puddles
leaping to reach
clouds full of promise
spring among us


-- Sue Dwyer
    Toledo, Ohio


In the beginning Prometheus
in a physics lab in Alamogordo,
taking “Trinity,” the sacred name
for eternal, uncreated Mystery,
usurping it now for the new creation
on trial: fire stolen from heaven,
uranium in fission,
genesis of Bomb-A.

In the new primeval fall,
outsunning the sun
on a Day of the Son,
Feast of the Transfiguration,
Day of the One
who is Light from Light,
who has come to become
one with us all.

So we might become
light and salt and yeast,
come to overcome
the Beast.
And on that August Day,
from the womb of “Enola Gay,”
came “Little Boy”
and dwells among us.

-- Fr. Walter Bado, SJ
    Lexington, Ky.


I eschew the company of skeptics
Nor do they like to see me coming.

Saint Anthony did so find my glasses last week
And my Aunt Maizie’s reticule in Spain that year
The same year Bill W. took away my grandpa’s
Overnight! Turned on a dime, did Grandpa.

Then Good Saint Anne found Tess a man. He died
In her anguished arms after fifty-six years of

The Virgin wept for months in 1987 at Saint
Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church
Across the street from Brickyard Mall on the
Northwest Side of Chicago.
We know not why she grieved; only that her tears
consoled thousands.
Had she not wept, would the very bricks have

“Why, why,” the skeptics cry, “Would God stoop so
Sending silly signs and wonders for credulous fools
Great tragedies surround us?”

I don’t know. I don’t understand God.

Maybe they do.

-- Sally [Leighton]
    Elmhurst, Ill.


National Catholic Reporter, May 30, 2003 [corrected 06/20/2003]

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