Poem – The Apartment House

Severe against the pleasant arc of sky

The great stone box is cruelly displayed.

The street becomes more dreary from its shade,

And vagrant breezes touch its walls and die.

Here sullen convicts in their chains might lie,

Or slaves toil dumbly at some dreary trade.

How worse than folly is their labor made

Who cleft the rocks that this might rise on high! 
Yet, as I look, I see a woman’s face

Gleam from a window far above the street.

This is a house of homes, a sacred place,

By human passion made divinely sweet.

How all the building thrills with sudden grace

Beneath the magic of Love’s golden feet! 

Poem – Thanksgiving 

The roar of the world is in my ears.

Thank God for the roar of the world!

Thank God for the mighty tide of fears

Against me always hurled!

Thank God for the bitter and ceaseless strife,

And the sting of His chastening rod!

Thank God for the stress and the pain of life,

And Oh, thank God for God! 

Poem – Stars

(For the Rev. James J. Daly, S. J.) 
Bright stars, yellow stars, flashing through the air,

Are you errant strands of Lady Mary’s hair?

As she slits the cloudy veil and bends down through,

Do you fall across her cheeks and over heaven too? 
Gay stars, little stars, you are little eyes,

Eyes of baby angels playing in the skies.

Now and then a winged child turns his merry face

Down toward the spinning world — what a funny place! 
Jesus Christ came from the Cross (Christ receive my soul!)

In each perfect hand and foot there was a bloody hole.

Four great iron spikes there were, red and never dry,

Michael plucked them from the Cross and set them in the sky. 
Christ’s Troop, Mary’s Guard, God’s own men,

Draw your swords and strike at Hell and strike again.

Every steel-born spark that flies where God’s battles are,

Flashes past the face of God, and is a star. 

Poem – St. Laurence 

Within the broken Vatican

The murdered Pope is lying dead.

The soldiers of Valerian

Their evil hands are wet and red. 
Unarmed, unmoved, St. Laurence waits,

His cassock is his only mail.

The troops of Hell have burst the gates,

But Christ is Lord, He shall prevail. 
They have encompassed him with steel,

They spit upon his gentle face,

He smiles and bleeds, nor will reveal

The Church’s hidden treasure-place. 
Ah, faithful steward, worthy knight,

Well hast thou done. Behold thy fee!

Since thou hast fought the goodly fight

A martyr’s death is fixed for thee. 
St. Laurence, pray for us to bear

The faith which glorifies thy name.

St. Laurence, pray for us to share

The wounds of Love’s consuming flame.