(Photo Credit: Peter Novinski)

Photo Credit: Peter Novinski

Cistercian BraveArtists: Ayden Kowalski – “The Pen”

October 12, 2020

The Pen

When I pick you up off your smooth, chestnut-colored bed,

And grasp you within my two fingers,

Alternating between holding you up to my lips

And plunging you into the ocean,

When I order you to dive into that uncharted infinity below,

Force you to run for me within that great white snowfield,

When I make you trace upon the seabed or frozen grasses

My exact commandments so that the very earth may know my mind,

Then I feel like I am truly a son of God.


I feel as if it were I who lay upon my back tracing the divine countenance upon the ceiling,

As if it were I who was imbued with the spark from the Creator to shine like Him,

To shimmer like Her, to reveal Her to the entire world,

To proclaim to the universe what Her, what His chosen people can accomplish.

I think then that She may choose me as an ambassador for Her people,

That I should set off in a golden chariot from this Canaan to sweep the entire arm of Sagittarius,

That I should dance among the stars in strange and foreign lands,

Telling women made of light of the beauties beneath our oceans and the fire signs of God in our skies,

Playing pieces of Mozart and reciting in somewhat slippery English some words of Kanye West.


Yes, I feel, with this little vial of ink, that I am transcendent,

That I belong not on this earth but on the spheres above,

On the skies beyond ours where the clouds turn to faraway candles and the blues fade to black,

Yes, there, that is where I shall live,

Beyond these mortal coils and outrages that encircle me now,

Beyond the pains of life, the pains of leaving it, of having it slip out of your hands like a serpent

And having to wrestle it to the ground in some vain attempt to control it for just a little while longer.

Like a bluebird I will be free, like a comet I shall streak across eternity, like a sailboat I shall ride

Her waves until She calls me back to my shore, where the Fishermen wait.


I let go of you for an instant,

Just an instant,

And then I am no longer a Michelangelo,

But a man, a boy, sitting in a lonely room,

Watching girls come and go

Whom I am scared to talk to.

I leave my body, seeing my vision fade before me;

I try to run and catch it, but just as I see my hand extend,

Just as I see my fingers stretch out to reach that fleeing flash of light,

It vanishes, and I am left alone.

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