Matter – Poem by Mary Beth


by Mary Beth Zeleznik

What does a dream possess
That weakens all aware thought?
With endless means a life is bought
And held over mounting crest
From the very height hued for rest
From steady hand, tightened tress
Dangling, with no ground, you fought
Rope around your breath, caught

Sky and sod remain firm
There is no look beyond the berm
So what is it, what is the matter?
A matter of time and its term
Across the clock face, arms squirm
Their duty could make a glass face shatter
And all the hours filled with chatter
Make the trembling ticking sadder

And in the stark, dewed light of a day
Return in tears to beg yesterday’s- to stay
To convince the invisible that you each are the same
Though they will not even tell their name
So how do you call them to come out and play?
A dream takes time as time takes a dream away
Both are shortened if we strike at their frame
And mistake their essence, then give them blame

But in the wakeful hours, you know the deal
Made without the heart’s consent
But can even the mind be content?
Thought rules the thinking and the feel
The matter around which your life is bent
Forced forward as brute scrapes your heel
From the motion of living your living reels
In the flicker of the dream glimpse what you meant:

To end this slow bodily perish, that happens too fast
And a form never leaves from where it lay
Only childhood’s sweetness for a mind to hast
To come out and play.  To stay, to stay
Make the orange of twilight to last
And linear paths are cut out of the clay
Of the ground which remains the unmoving cast
Of your home, and of the single day.

Copyright 2016 Mary Beth.

Silence Angel – Poem by Mary Beth

Silence Angel

Nightingale, you are known
For your powerful beautiful song sung
From your day or your night time tongue?
I cannot recall. But I might know your tone
your music bars in my skin, are stitches sewn
The water from your coat by the sun wrung
To grow the land, from the hand and lome
A voice from where your wings were hung.

To carry your call to little corners
Of this big place, you cover it with a knowing
Under your flying form cast no foreigners
Over all the land and it’s unknowing mourners
Your feathers never bowing and ever glowing
Immune to November’s blowing that has torn her
To the house of head you give its dormers
But wait Nightingale, where are you going?

I heard it said once somewhere
Heard it over and above the blare
penetrating my human weight and height
That beyond the warming of the sun so trite,
You do sing in the night. In the night.
Heard it out of a little tear
In the earth’s canvas pulled so tight
Though birdsong’s conversation status, rare.
And that after dark, there really exists no fright.

But tonight, your silence, angel, confounds
Thus, what is the body behind those tales of sounds?
That noise, it must be song of doubt
Pages and pages of music, bound
Friend of feathers with no pounds
Chirping, tiny in your clout
I am Silence bound, on leaf falling route
Where is your name of night in the gales about?
The mysterious heart around which I am wound.



RASP – Poem by Mary Beth

This blog is the exclusive location for great Catholic poet Mary Beth to unveil her work.  Please enjoy her latest.



I awaken from night thought to a drift of dust
Blown in from the tail of a yarn spun
Reckless, rushing to get done
By waking hour and the push of gust
Thrust from my lung, the dream hits sun

The pieces settle outside my mouth
I feel their brittleness with my cheek
As though sleeping at the edge of a creek
Then gravity speaks, northern water goes south
Try to crush a grain, my arm turns weak

I hold the little crystal up to my eye
Against the broken skin from the burn of your rasp.
In search of that particle of the answer why
Leave me to ask once more, then to cry.
As dancer, you twirl away from my grasp.

What was it tonight that gave you your fun?
A playground from the pain of my youth
Remembrance falls, from hanging from the bars, like a ton
Weighs in at nothing as out falls my tooth I have lost, but who are you to have won?

Vivid postcards spin in a vertigo head
Their pictures of now displayed in yesterday’s park spin on the wire, their pictures aptly tread
I struggle to balance for solid footing in the dark
Outside the images the land is stark.

Hark, who is there? I thought I heard
The small sound an animal’s animate word
From the woods at the edge of the childhood field
At the base of a tree, a solitary bird
Turns into a rock at which i kneeled

And reeled at the sight of the momevent lost
Where does it go, but in my memory recovered
Faceoff with the past pulls my face off, and hovered
Over the spot is the collector of cost A still, bleeding child, still unmothered.

Ask the dream, once it is complete
When do you sleep? How do you work?
Look overhead, to see the flying muffled fleet
There is the answer, in their engine’s murk
As it covers your sky like an oiled sleet.

And through the weight, of the rainy sign
That waters every growing care I devise a plan from under the White Pine
To escape the rasp from whittling bare
All of the past on this earth that binds

I could stay awake tonight and wander this park
As I can’t find the gate, since you mentioned her name
Night comes, I swing to the sound of the Meadowlark
Who calls us to be, both of us tame
Running on cool grass, we play in the dark.


Degree Bought – Poem by Mary Beth

Degree Bought

Looking into cloud of white
All of living’s fight
Made up of memories dressed
Up in finest gold, guessed
To be the one old friend
Who left their mind, left mind to fend
Alone with rows of falling, renewing thought
Of degree, strongest, thick and bought
With the too steep price of now
Wrangling thief, take a bow

Answers do ignore questions
Open to all mean suggestion
Hewing at hint of ordinary day
Vague chances observed from far away
Their movements seem to celebrate
Exclusion of your little weight
Dead eye, looking back on dead eyes
Memory lives, in the heart where it dies
Climbs out for inkling of air
Succumbs again to the wont of care

Inquiry, whispers, louder than talk
Keep their voices down, up the walk
Leaves swirl around their path
Then settled nervously in the wake of wrath
Close the door, against the lot
The plank, a landscape carved of knots
A chair in the corner to prop against,
Means letting go of the door from whence
The voice threat has quieted to lull
the host to peer outside his hull

Cross it out with a cross of string
Tighten till the tether wrings
Water from the vapor, grey
Carry it back to backyard bay
The field of thought, watered and plowed
A fight to the finish, of punching a cloud.


Gable – Poem by Mary Beth

by Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz

Ordered for life, a blue little place,
The only on the block in darkened space, grown by the sun and held by the moon.
My flying home, I’ll see you soon.

Dwellers have told of, since I was a child, The human weather, as something mild.
At the very first able to hear a fable,
Under the covers, beneath her sum gable.

A mind jarred by wonder, in springs from her bays, Made speechless by her free giving and taking days.
As soon as I caught one, it was gone
As grass grew, I grew, smaller on my lawn.

The atmosphere of this place, and her conditions, are not at all like the human renditions!
Their tale of this world is plastic to the touch, molded by small hands, a place I fear so much.

With a gathered grip, they hold on to small sand, Though breath bequeathed them a fertile land.
I nest in the hour that is hers,
They kick the moments with their spurs.

And pound their stakes into monotony’s rhyme, As though it were theirs, in their mimic and mime.
But allow me to fasten my little bird wing, To your minutes, though they fly, made up of seconds that sing.

I will hold on, though I weep for each drop, Of our time passed in duty to beauty the mop.
It startles my system with how quickly it flees, But the only meaning is from the sight that bleeds.

The scented air chokes a reminder still, Of the senses I try to bind with the will.
The picket bares the name of birth,
that there is still mourning to be had in the earth.

So do settle back and tell me your hurt, I will listen and you will girt.
With those old fleeing hours, that
We will keep under the span of our hats.

Mine is much less significant in size,
Than yours, past the clouds an unseeable rise.
Perhaps there is no top to your arcing dome, You extend beyond our planting loam.

But mine fits under yours in a little stack, Beyond us, stars, in a fabric of silken blue black.
Will the old gold days hurt us the same, up there?
Will we be able to, for once, just sit and stare?

I’d rather, I must, hold fast to your static flight, Where you will lead me into the mildest of nights.
With no threat to interval, under the rise, Will I find that you have been my wild blue in thin disguise?

Then I can finally have you, and all of our days, and my eyes will at last be sufficient to take in your ways.
In lushest green and clearest blue, I will call earthly bluff, back in time when all of your beauty for which my senses weren’t enough.

Copyright 2015

The Thrilling Truth in 25 Easy Steps

The below was written for a friend that is struggling with their faith.  It is a 25 step progression proving God’s existence and that he created the Catholic Church for our salvation. It is beautifully written.

Please share with everybody you can.


Let’s look at the most basic facts of the case, in 25 steps.

1. We are here. You are, in fact, here and exist.

2. None of us put ourselves here, not you, not I. This is true of all humans.

3. Someone else did.

4. That “someone” is so profound, intricate and mysterious a being that we call him God.

5. God came to us as man in nature, yet still divine in his being, in Jesus Christ. We know this by the Resurrection.

6. As the Son of Man, he performed miracles, taught, obeyed, was raised, befriended, loved, spoke the Truth. But he spent not nearly as much time on these as he did one other thing: Establishing his Church through the Apostles. The sole purpose of Christ’s coming was to display to us what it means to become fully human, fully ourselves in our intended purpose, thereby achieving eternal paradise.

7. The reason this is done through His Holy Catholic Church only: God created one church. Words and teachings and examples are noble, good and necessary. But as we are weak and flawed and material too, establishing an actual concrete flesh and blood MEANS to follow him is crucial to our return. (This is flesh and blood means is accomplished literally in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.)

And since we are mere human beings, we are bound by the soul and yet persuaded by the body. This is the why of the Sacraments, the supernatural graces flow from these physical signs.  To physically speak your sins and your remorse for them, and to physically hear absolution. There is not a single substitute for the Sacrament of Confession in existence, no matter how great your faith and prayer life.

8. What are we returning to? To our origins in God. Without which we will never be good or OK. Not in this life and certainly not the next. This material world will never suffice to ease our inherited restlessness and confusion and incompleteness. And he wants desperately to ease this, just as you would move an ocean to ease any of your children’s pain.

9. We all were given minds with which we are free to seek this truth or to not. But truth is not ever dependent upon our belief in it.

10. We often think, with these minds, that we are smarter than to believe in a Creator. But the ability to be able to think this, or anything, in the first place comes not from ourselves.

11. We were all given minds to think. This must be reiterated because it is in itself, completely inexplicable. That this organ, a mushy lump of tissue, can cause us to “be” who we are, is a mystery. How can mere cells cause this fact of animated being? A physical organ that causes a mostly non-mechanical function. (The function of every other organ IS mechanical.)

12. This is because there is also something else at hand. That mystery that we will never be able to fully comprehend, but can contemplate in endless wonder through His Holy Mother Catholic Church. This he, and not a human, established as the method.

13. We merely need to “consult that which is” according to Fr. James V. Schall to see that there is an undeniable order in all that surrounds us, from the smallest to the largest. From the acorn to the cosmos.

14. External Order: No form of order can be either an accident nor an evolutionary product of time. True meaningless accidents do not have logical and beautiful outcomes. And no amount of time can create something out of nothing. Inanimate objects as well as living things without logic and intelligence cannot create themselves, nor the order to which they belong. Nor can those with reason and intelligence.

15. Internal order: Animals do not provide themselves with instinct. It is simply present. (Did the chipmunk give himself the idea to store nuts in his cheek to be consumed later during the hard months of winter?)

Nor can the most intelligent of the living creatures, man, give himself his internal order and the ability to reason. This reason can and should be constantly tended to, but man cannot and did not create this ability. Indeed, while man can make things, he has created nothing.

16. On the unimportance of the material: Everything you currently posses or have in your life, including other humans, can be removed from you in an unforeseen instant. Every single thing. But for one.

17. That one thing: It’s your soul. Your inevitability toward the everlasting.

18. The only thing in this life we can control is our souls. And not coincidentally, this happens to be the only thing that matters and the only thing that is lasting.

19. On eternity and that soul: Heaven and Hell are both God’s fulfilling of his promise to us to give us what we desire. If you desire and choose your Maker, you will have him for all eternity. If you consistently choose yourself without remorse, then that too is what you will have for all eternity. Allow your soul to be purified, receive the divine grace of actual forgiveness in frequent confession thereby bringing yourself steps closer to the Beatific Vision that awaits.

So, here are the two options: An eternity in beauty with the One who created all beauty, or an eternity with your confined self, surrounded by others who pursue the same. This is a state in which you are never able to benefit from or even feel remorse, and so you will never be cleansed of all that is wrong in you.

20. It is indeed true that God is all merciful. But he will not give us something we do not want. We must ask for mercy for ourselves and others.

21. Ask for truth and you will not be denied.

22. This truth you seek will be revealed through the most powerful and sacred of communications with God. The Extraordinary Form of the Latin Mass. Attend one and you will find not a single human fingerprint on it. It was created by God and so God is who you will find there; in the words of an uncorrupted language, in the smell of the incense, in each carving and color, in every note, every echo of each note. In the protective authority. In the Sacrament. It is the home he gave us here.

23. Ask yourself; What is love? Why do I have it, how is it that I can give it?

24. Ask yourself; Why all this beauty…..?

25. If we think we have it all here, we must remember that we will have none of it when we die. But we will retain the best of these, the highest things, if we choose to, through the supernatural power of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. The next life is much longer than this one. Use your reason, then apply it to your will. Which do you choose?

Each breath in your lungs is a gift. From whence and whom does it come? Ask the One who knows all, what it is he wants you to know. If you don’t want to know it, ask him for the gift of wonder. It the greatest of gifts, it reveals a boundless beauty, and love, and it gets us back home for good.

Is it a fantastic explanation for all of this? Yes. And it is still the one that makes the most sense.

The mystery that is the magnitude and power of our Creator, revealed in the endless array of his creation, is one you will not soon grow weary of contemplating. In a place where most things readily slip from our worldly grasp, thoughts on the highest things will never run out. Truth is thrilling.

Use your reason, then apply it to your will.

– by Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz; 13 May 2015, The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Cover Dust – Poem by Mary Beth

Cover Dust

By Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz

Stranded home, ill at rest on the shore, colored grey by the dwellers she bore.
Inches closer to the waterline each year.
Inside, forced so quiet by the silence in the mirrors.

Now no breath warms her walls to plaster bones, closed windows and forever silent phones.
What happened in there? For even she hardly knows, her cold company; the November wind warns as it blows.

Sheets to cover dust, strangle the couches and chairs.
Indelible dents, left by bodies and their cares, while the beds are stripped, bare and exposed.
Now filled with questions in their repose.

The end to dreams, of driftwood roiling around.
In cold water wash, your burning form wound, pull it up onto your shore then push it out, into the extract of the greater thought about.

Forced by the wet onto the dry of sand,
What you see of this mind is in the movement of the hand.
In the days hence, more trees broken from their soil.
But your heart to the wave, still, persists loyal.

I can take over, push them to their drench.
I stay here, I fight for them from muddied trench.
Yours and mine now, they’re mine now in number, For my slanted home they are the lumber.

What will fill this house when the mind has shot?
Trust the marksman as he aims through dark galaxy, for the dot.
Up, hanging dearly to the end of Heavenward’s quill.
Wire pulled, taught in the fragility of the will.

When water covers dust and timber soaked, Water’s edge no longer provoked.
When body covers dust, gust will move,
The unfailing heart, water will prove.

Copyright 2015

Other Side of the Hearth – Poem by Mary Beth

by Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz

Wooden pieces of past beyond the hearth of a home, lying flat with the same chipped face.
Wind hisses lament, under sky’s dalliance dome, funneled through flue to relight embers haste.

Fire, sudden, as recall’s breath stirs every air, and assembles the olden town to come to call.
Face down your enemy, memory dares,
Open your eyes, but gone is the light in the hall.

Glowing red reminiscence at the foot of your bed, Were the flames and your burns only a dream?
Show your hands to your face! Reveal pyre’s treads, for things are precisely as they seem.

Watering can on the stone, half full and meant for flowers, Little Thing, stand up, make your way to that site.
Water’s choice, of where to set your bowers, in growth to the living, or in death to a fright.

Stumble through the charge, most known mode of travel, arms outstretched try to block the air.
Step on your own loose threads, gown begins to unravel, bareness, under smoldering remains’ glare.

Fall into the gathered water,
it spills around your feet,
Kick it into the flame of your foe.
Wind gone out of you by remembrance tarted treat, of barefoot splashing puddles from long ago.

Springs spring life, back into your limbs, standing silent in the pond of That old gold day.
Your natural world dampens on anything but whim, your head moves up out of its wilted way.

And though the heat and hue and hour you fought,
listen, for they whistle a song of childhood light.
On the other side of the hearth lies the fire of thought, as cinders like lightning bugs make their flight into the night.

Copyright 2015

Old Arc – Poem by Mary Beth

Old Arc

by Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz

O relevant arc of age, forgotten and abraded, works that once labored to assert height.
For ease and advantage, your carved braiding traded, with verdant valleys and hills, now planed in our sight.
Old arc, your reverberation has never faded, though we are too caught up in the fighting to engage in the fight.
But upon you our inevitable is fiercely weighted.

And we waited, solemn, for our weights transference, a load to be borne by your crowning stone.
Look up after a forest’s worth of breaths endurance, and down to the threshold, though you may look alone.
With the will to chew through earthly bridle durance, to look so alone with your senses honed.
Where you made not just the entry but the entered known.

Old arc here is where your mortar is dried to sand, by those who sprinkle it into their eyes.
Flaming wounds are dowsed and fanned, powder, the substance of former ties.
Subdued mind built for the unseen, subverted craft of hand, and a heart’s foregone pounding of the several tries.
The early fire extinguished by indifferent sighs.

Tried and sentenced to a love unrequited, threshing the hold for an uncrossed form.
Candles with clean wicks, but yearning lighted, shrouds to our insides are curtains torn.
To your stone, a false friendly fire short sighted, exposes your many faces worn.
Ricochet felt at your beauty shorn.

But old arc, we can still hear the sounds you made, by pain of chisel smoothed over by intent.
We play them in our heads in sleep haunted and frayed, come down to us by the sharp top point over which you’re bent.
And lent our ears to your unyielding, crying aid, our welded armor your hail song dents.
Like Crickets to soothe us, you sing on the blade.

But allow your children one last sweeping motion, this time, not to walk by, but swirl beneath.
To dust off the crumbs we cast at your feet, with feathers from a dove, in the shape of wreath.
Now the tears of regret come home as the cleaning devotion, of our roped off rooms of our own notion.
Upon the cord we will draw our swords, unsheathed.

And sword of paint to cut at our behest, we are hollowed by the same tools to which you gave way.
Flooded by steep mournings painted crest, as interior waits for light, like torch to a cave.
Hues deepen across the canvas of Our Lady’s pierced vest.
What you did to our voices in the gold of your nave.
Old Arc you crowned us with a glimpse of the Infant’s rest.

Copyright 2015

Tin Can – Poem by Mary Beth

Tin Can

by Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz

In the darkened wood grows a fern, its whips as light as breezes.
In a soil feeding not, cracked and mean.
A home to reject water, clutches and seizes.
From the natural world, the planting is coerced to wean.

Get close enough to feel if it plated itself with thorns,
A curious life, I was curious about it not a little.
The unrecognized left alone, meekness adorns.
The small beauty, the dirty air, and me in the middle.

So alone, alone taking in this thing of being,
Something in the tiny leaves would leave me unsettled.
Passers by invade with vacancy, no senses meant for seeing,
Invaded home, I am not sorry I meddled.

Your fronds like wings, kindly and cute,
But none can glean this from afar.
For what can be known when we walk like a brute,
Not the feeding field below nor the upward star.

To put you in that place  where you can thrive,
Suddenly an urge to take you from this ground.
But to go searching holds the chance we won’t survive,
Paradise may not be lost in the lost and found.

I begin to act still, wrap my hands around you,
And in the stillness of that instant I am lent.
I look up and see It matters not to the undisturbed sky of blue
I look back to see my choking fingers, your spine is bent.

A constant weighing of odds as this odd life weighs,
Why do we have to continually decide?
How can one be trapped, motionless by fleeing hours and days,
Begging more from the clock as we hurry our breath to subside.

Dirt under my skin as I worked this over,
And overworked my head once more.
A mind’s constant hunger is a hunter and a rover,
Within the folds you choose an answer and a score.

And in this fleeting moment of a lifetime of thought,
The fern has faded at the tutelage of my hand.
What I have learned, is that what I have taught?
All she wanted was her stake of this embittered land.

The face of beauty falling, across her imperfect lines,
Pack the dirt around her again, frantically I work.
Fight the gross weight pushing you, and read the signs,
Though death appears perfect where life does lurk.

I feel something sharp, but it also shines,
The created is supple, what is made can only hurt.
But which substance will it end up being that binds?
There on my knees, pushing down the crumbling dark earth.

The thing has pierced my flesh as I try to save a life,
A sting in an instant, then follows, a  longer flow of blood.
Pulsing out a code, forced to read what is rife,
The liquid life within blends with the dirt to make a mud.

There beneath the shine is a rusty old tin,
A jagged and buried home in which she grows.
The gleaming rim in the ground, it gashed my skin
As I balance on this greater rim, searching an explanation to expose.

And grateful for my wound, my friend to be, the fern,
Her face of beauty asks and rises tall.
Somehow, I want to thank her in turn,
She is the countenance of sadness, at rest in the restlessness of the fall.

And then in the fall, she withdraws from us and from living,
Where will she go, those months when she hides from our sight?
A mystery supreme in the thanks  and the giving,
Lucky little fern, she escapes the ballast and the blight.

A notion that cannot seem to leave me alone,
that she is somewhere, even when she goes away.
And like those that others hoard in their homes,
leaves me alone to play hide and go seek with a day.

And most hours and minutes I do not know,
this mud of blood and dirt, I do what with it?
They reap and so I sow and I sow,
Disarm my arm, the instrument of failed physics.

But now I know the friend who gives the very breath to my lungs,
And strange to learn my breath goes back to her in the thicket of the wood.
A mother doesn’t rest until she finds her young,
Our deal struck in nature is for good.

Oh so many leaves that line that spine of those long whips,
you search for your rare and dire drink, but are left as pulp.
For another planting has but one leaf on a stem that slowly sips,
your multitudes demand multitudes of breathless gulps.

But do not fear the aloneness amidst the company of your leaves,
there is friendship you have forged inside your waking slumber.
Can you observe the tireless builder who plans, lifts and heaves?,
Count your leaves and compare with His, your end number.

And even though you go unnoticed still,
You were at some time planted by someone, into that can.
A corroded container holds the whole of a moment’s perfected will,
A refusal of meaninglessness, a meeting of beauty and man.

Is it that the rate of survival is to be slow indeed?
Your ever near death on this ground to give your life it’s ever after?
The planter works not on whim, nor just the easy growing seed,
But the delicate, and the deluge of tears to water the final laughter.

Copyright 2015