Sunday, January 4, 2015


I am touched to share this poem written by my friend John Simmons in response to my poem ¨Senseless¨ yesterday.  I am so glad to think upon this great contrast - heaven & earth - and now, to share it with you.

Her eyes opened with a clarity
they had never seen before
She sees beauty unimagined;
Colors that have no name here,
because the few that saw them
and returned, could not explain.

A garden of delight with strange fruit;
Apples tasted by Euphrosynus* the cook,
and his friends but which for us are
just a description in an ancient book.

There are not many conversations
there, because silence is the mystery
of the future age, while words are just
the tools of this world and inner
knowing of the heart has replaced them.

But the music! Oh what music!
As unimaginable as heavenly colors,
Such a chorus was never heard elsewhere;
melodies that dance with dizzying melismas,
An impossible range of sound, thunder
and ever so gentle harmonies,
all in praise of the King that none could
gaze upon, were not the eyes and heart
strengthened by glory.

Every pain and sorrow are gone.
There it is only a growing reunion,
and the wait is not as long as it seems
In the dull earth and vale of tears.

There, triumph is obtained,
but here, there is yet more
sowing in sorrow and struggle
In the morning, until the evening 
brings the joyful harvest.

Tears wash the eyes and the soul,
purifying, cleansing, refining;
tears mixed with grace, already
strengthening the eyes to see
what she sees.

*Euphrosynus was a 9th century monk from Alexandria serving in a kitchen monastery in Palestine. His humility & gentle spirit were evident.  He liked to remain quietly anonymous in his devotion. His far reaching spiritual heights were unknown to those around him.  He is known for one incident.

It is told that a head monk who fervently desired to know more of heaven prayed to see it and in a vision was walking in a beautiful garden that filled him with both joy & fear.  To his surprise, he also saw Euphrosynus, the cook from his monastery.  He asked Euphrosynus how he came to be there and he simply said, ¨through the great mercy of God.¨  The priest asked if he could have something from the beautiful place.  He decided on 3 luscious apples and Euphrosynus wrapped them up in a kerchief.

The next morning, the priest initially thought his vision was but a dream but next to him on a table were the 3 apples from Paradise.  The priest found Euphrosynus in church and asked him under oath where he had been the night before.  He answered, ¨the same place as you.¨ And explained that the Lord, in desiring to fulfill the prayer os the priest had shown him Paradise and given the fruit through him, ¨the lowly and unworthy servant of God, Euphrosynus.¨

The priest shared all this with the monastery brethren but Euphrosynus fled human glory and went to a place unknown, concealed except to God.  The monks always remembered St. Euphrosynus, and knew that they, too, ¨through the great mercy of God¨ would meet their brother someday in heaven. 

The slices of apples from Paradise were reverently used for blessing and healing.

The full story of St. Euphrosynus can be found here:

Here is the song which inspired the John´s verse about the music.  It is lovely!

¨give rest to the soul of the girl that you love...¨

1 comment:

  1. John prayed for Sue and I when we visited him in San Jose two years ago, and deeply blessed us. His words are a sweet tribute to heaven's beauty and mystery that helps us shake off the bland vanilla images our culture subtly adopts. No eye has seen, no ear has heard... but now, yes, she sees!