Posted by: Mark Nielsen | July 27, 2009

Hunting the Host – an original poem

Below, a second draft of one of the poems that came out of my experience in Italy. It refers indirectly to a prayer service with communion that I attended at St. Peter’s in Rome. Theologically, the poem is sorta more Roman Catholic than I actually am these days, but whatever. As symbol, it works. Though I did not stay to eat, those fifteen minutes were closer to true “communion” than anything I’ve experienced in years.

Hunting the Host                                    by Mark Nielsen


To stalk or float or smilingly crawl

through the holy mud of another day,

what helps most

is having first glimpsed some divine secret,

even though the curtain

was drawn open only for a moment,

so that all I saw was the sparkling, sunlike,  

mysterious, timeless host in His holder,

right there in the chapel for prayer at St. Peter’s,

seductively calling me inside:

“come see the hidden Bread God in His imperial home

just shy of the center of the universe!”

I listened to my inner Carnival Barker and went in.

But shush.

All this is a secret,

one only to be spoken or chanted

back to the host Himself.



you need not go there to know the Way.

Just draw back the curtain before the altar of your heart,

enter in silence,

speak Truth,

serve and eat the Life. 


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