Fr. Isaac Kalina, O.S.B.
Angels, demons, fairies, creatures from heaven, hell, or Magonia: they inspire our strangest dreams, shape our destinies, steal our desires….But who
a young monk
living in the High Mojave,
I awaited the advent of God,
and the arrival of alien UFOs.
I had the same nervous hope
of intersidereal epiphany and healing
that leavened my heart, when
in the stone simple chapel,
our pentecostal guests were filled
with the Holy Spirit.
I too wanted Immanent Mystery:
for the Spirit to enter and speak
in angelic alien tongues
that swell into song rising,
and fall, and comforting
as a warm Caribbean sea.
Yet in the watches
of winter long nights,
I never saw aliens
and never found God.
NOW fifteen years later
I am still anxious with
And so much more in need
of knowing God.
But both seem bred in wish, not fact;
both seem incarnate in hope, not faith.
An interpenetration of dreams
AND yet, there is still Magonia.
I learned of such a place when,
as that young monk
I wanted more than desire.
I had read that in the Middle Ages,
Magonia, a celestial region,
was thought to exist; inhabited
by extraordinary and wise beings
traveling in cloud ships,
abducting humans, only to return them,
as the skeptical Agobard, Archbishop
of Lyons wrote, to speak
of wonders beyond comprehension.
I savored the name, and
gave in to the mystery.
I hoped Magonia existed
though every rational fiber
of my mind scoffed
at faith nurtured by sensation.
But I knew I did not feel,
and feared, because of this,
I failed in faith.
There is still so little faith,
and all feeling seems reduced to
of not being chosen.
I so wanted God,
or family, or friends, or lover,
or some gray galactic stranger
to choose me.
And oh, I know
they are all from Magonia.
THERE is a great cloud with light around it,
a fire of lightening at its center,
a radiance like brass shining in a heart of flame.
The luminous disc hovers above the mesa;
now slowly settles onto the scrub and sand,
at home amidst the spiky, praying joshua trees.
In the open hatch
four living creatures in human form appear.
Looking at me they say:
“Son of man, repent and awake.
You have always been chosen.”