If one is to burnish A Calling,
One must learn one's tenets and sacraments--
One must find one's rabbi, if you will,
(for was not the Savior Himself called by this title?)
And finally, a suitable catechism must be dispensed.
Saint Mark The Evangelist, dragged through the streets and beheaded.
Saint Bartholomew, flayed alive and crucified.
Saint Sebastian, lashed to a post and shot through with arrows.
Saint Barbara, tortured and beheaded.
Saint Peter, The Rock, crucified upside down.
Faith is not for the sissified, or the weekend enthusiast.
Behold the lecturer, at whose feet you may learn
To mold the preposterous Play-doh of your gift
Into something truly fine.
Place no stock in his appearance--
He may look untrimmed, overlooked by the campus landscaping service,
But his work has appeared in countless quarterlies.
He has thrown in with the ravening cream of his generation,
Tearing and ripping his way into the few available publications,
Subscribed to by 117,
Actually read by 44,
9 of whom read beyond their own contributions.
Let him guide you.
A hundred hours spent kneeling may yield a flashing moment in mid-air,
And it is only the very particular pigeon who may wheel,
High above the mob.
This can be you.
You can become one of His little favorites
If you keep your ears open, your mouth shut,
And avoid the unthinking spontaneous outburst,
Or any embarrassing, sick-making tiresome end rhyme.
for dverse Meeting The Bar
illustration: The Martyred Saint Sebastian by Gustave Moreau