A Messenger from the Horizon

by Thomas Merton

Original Language English

Look, a naked runner
A messenger,
Following the wind
From budding hills.

By sweet sunstroke
Wounded and signed,
(He is therefore sacred)
Silence is his way.

Rain is his own
Most private weather.
Amazement is his star.

O stranger, Our early hope
Flies fast by,
A mute comet, an empty sun.
Adam is his name!

O primeval angel
Virgin brother of astonishment,
Born of one word, one bare
Inquisitive diamond.

O blessed,
Invulnerable cry,
O unplanned Saturday,
O lucky father!

Come without warning
A friend of hurricanes,
Lightning in your bones!
We will open to you
The sun-door, the noble eye!

Open to rain, to somersaulting air,
To everything that swims,
To skies that wake,
Flare and applaud.

(It is too late, he flies the other way
Wrapping his honesty in rain.)


Pardon all runners,
All speechless, alien winds,
All mad waters.

Pardon their impulses,
Their wild attitudes,
Their young flights, their reticence.

When a message has no clothes on
How can it be spoken.

-- from Selected Poems of Thomas Merton, by Thomas Merton

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