1975-1978: Monastery

Theotokos (Mother of God)

89[36] Theotokos (Mother of God)





For Mike





The shadows from our narrow wood

have disappeared beneath these first low clouds.

The white fall

muffles to silence all but

the call and scurry of several dozen quail feeding near-by.

They are dark, nervous patches on a crystalline field of white.

The snow is only somewhat thicker where it has fallen

than where it is falling.





Saint Andrew’s Priory
Valyermo, California 1975




Awaiting Satori



White, gray, milky blue-gray.

White, undulating around animal tracks

and single, yellow stalks of wild oats.


It covers a plateau: smooth, particled,

over a hidden path, over a plateau, to the edge

to a fall.



apples trees bare in their orchard,

crotch full.


Then translucent white, not so very, but gray and black also. Slick, hard above flowing water, and willows, frozen in the stream.



before the first sighting of the sun

after the first light.


It has been a long freeze, a long wait.


I am silent

The snow touches all things bare to the sky.




Satori II

The Desert





Dry Branches.


A hilly path of crumbling rock.

Long silent days.



hot to touch.


The brush is dry,

seeming dead.


Here, a flower

tiny beneath its bush



a miniature meadow

of moist repose and glory.


This warm stone



beneath its dry tree.



Valyermo, California 1975




Silver swift behind the rock,

beneath the water,

sliver quick, and slipped

beneath the surface of a cloud.

Splicing between particles

is the Word,

a field, unified to completion,

peeled to a seed of fig.




undiscovered is the Name

before and now the same,

beyond sight and angel’s measure

man of sorrow

tears of blood,

transmuted in the clay,

from the first breakage by time

from that arrogant first moment

to an intimate mingling

of clay and light…

St. Andrew’s Priory
Valyermo, California 1975

Day at the Beach
First Series: c. 1977/78
Day at the Beach



For Mike




For mike, on the occasion of his mother’s passing.



In each melting moment

we might face the inevitable

loss of anything held dear

or everything or one

precious person whose presence we thought

held firm against transient

time and space.

Whose being conjured

screens of love for our nurturing

and held us sweet in their concern.


Some moment as it passes

will take our waiting love

and leave us sometimes empty,

robbed and incredulous at the loss.


(moments melt and flow

forms change

the sea beats the land to beach

becomes rain

carries land

by river to the sea)


Tangible form is so only as it passes

–and what remains?

The well-loved form?

The loving sigh?

The sigh, then

since it issues from a cohesive force, an eternal realm.

The tie in binding

binds for good.

Love once given is not like energy that can dissipate

in empty space

but rather it remains

waiting sometimes–


in-between somewhere

forming heart

shaping vision



beyond each melting moment

above the flood of time,



In light

in love

for you—



Venice, California, 1978




(Written while living in a Trappist monastery..)

Red-leafed maples

have cried the death of this year’s green delivery.

Hills are

mottled gray

beneath the waiting

of a cloud-shaded day.

It’s as if something had changed or was about to change…

within the silence and the dying,

within the creation of fall and spring,

like a worship of holy things,

still in the singing of Godly things,

a rising,

a stepping-over,

beyond earth and Fall

to spring without the Fall

and that brothers sisters all, is all…

and All.

Steve Frost
Abbey of the Holy Trinity
Huntsville, Utah. 1977




As I wait

leaves fall glorious dead

magenta red

blood, magenta red.

As I wait

squirrels, nearly falling, hide their forage

nearly fall in the dance

before quiet rhythms of winter waiting.



Mother of pearl sky

above gentle, clattering, blood-red leaves

Mother of sky

speechless in magnanimous largess.

Cities of steam

clouds blown up to blossoms

congeal down thunder dark,

shake our puny particulars to the point of pleasing God?

in humility.




As I wait

decadence dies

fresh blooms open sky wide.

In the in-between (oh yes, between feast and fast)

I wait

for that last vision

that lasts…

that is

as now/before

for labored whore

as well

the monk in solitary cell.



So, in Central Park, trees no longer grow green

rather gray before our jagged horizon

beneath movements of clouds blown high against crystal blue.

So, in Central Park,

on my way by,

the woods fill with damp-trodden leaves

bruise red, glorious dead upon the damp ground.

Fragrance reaches with hands to caress…

It’s time

It’s time to set time on the shelf,

to set sail in conestoga wagons drawn by the wind.


To where?

Where else, but the waiting. Or…

Perhaps that’s not quite the word



A leaf turns yellow red

red to pure light…


right as waiting was the word

It wasn’t my waiting though,

but ‘other’ I heard


… from the start, you’ve waited

and you’ve waited

for the turning

for the turning of my heart …

 …Unfinished, 1978


Macros I

43. [12.] Macros I


 Macros I Oil on Hung Canvas 9′ x 4′ 1976 See captions #s 1-9 above.