Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a writer and Trappist monk at Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, a Roman Catholic monastery in the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance. He is the author of more than 70 books that include poetry, personal journals, collections of letters, social criticism and writings on peace, justice and ecumenism.
There is some sentry at the rim of winter
Fed with the speech the wind makes
In the grand belfries of the sleepless timber.
He understands the lasting strife of tears,
And the way the world is strung;
He waits to warn all life with the tongue of March’s bugle,
Of the coming of the warrior sun.
When spring has garrisoned up her army of water,
A million grasses leave their tents, and stand in rows
To see their invincible brother.
Mending the winter’s ruins with their laughter,
The flowers go out to their undestructive wars.
Walk in the woods and be witnesses,
You, the best of these poor children.
When Gabriel hit the bright shore of the world,
Yours were the eyes saw some
Star-sandalled stranger walk like lightning down the air,
The morning the Mother of God
Loved and dreaded the message of an angel.