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A scholar of the law tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”


The Complaint

White pebble
in my hand

you are fiercely

will it always be
a matter of surface
with you and me—

I am learning
to live with you

but your language
is beyond me

beyond my thinking's
noisy machinery

beyond memory’s frontier
off imagination’s edge—

I have been promised
another white stone

bearing a new name
known only to me

will it too
be impenetrable

I am beginning
to live with you

I am beginning
to see

J. Janda

J. Janda’s poems have appeared in newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and literary publications, as well as in books of his own poetry.

The present poem comes from the Janda's book, In Embrace.

Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go