Monasteries of the Heart

Old Monk's Journal: Journal Entry 241

Here is the poem for Tuesday, April 13. To celebrate National Poetry Month, I am posting a short poem, a question and prompt every other day during the month. Mostly they will be poems by my daily companions, the ancient Japanese and Chinese poets. I will do the prompt myself, either in prose or poetry, and invite you to join.

The mare’s vigilance:
watchful while her foal drinks
deeply from the spring

Do you like this poem? Why or why not? How does it make you feel?
Prompt: Imitate Issa’s first line by naming another vigilant part of creation:

The moon’s vigilance
The morning star’s vigilance
The mother’s vigilance:
The blue heron’s vigilance…etc.

The monk’s vigilance:
watchful in the monastery chapel
only a full moon
and a flickering candle
for company
--Old Monk

To view or make comments you must be logged in to Monasteries of the Heart. If you are not yet a member, you can create a free membership account at now. A real person authenticates each new member account to avoid spam accounts so you will not have immediate access. As soon as your account is verified you will receive an email with further instructions.

A blog by Mary Lou Kownacki
A personal journal captures what’s in the heart. Most of my adult life I’ve recorded my notes, brief reflections, poems, reactions to daily events in a journal. It is an ongoing source of monastic formation; the rich and raw material of life that helps shape my Monastery of the Heart. About a year ago, Old Monk began to appear on my journal’s pages. Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, is the Monasteries of the Heart coordinator.

Previous Posts Posted