St. Innocent of Alaska Monastery
9452 Hazelton, Redford, Michigan


The pain pierces my heart ---

Standing in the midst of

These once-upon-a-time

Russian Treasures

Reduced to rubble ---

I feel such agony

As though these ruins

Were a part of me

As though something precious of my own

Has crumbled and died.


Once these ruins were alive

Places for Dancing in the Presence

But now they are dead

Without floors or windows

With bricks, glass, flint, metal

Strewn everywhere

The putrifying stench

Of decay and death.


Might these ruins be restored

And become the living treasures

That they once were?

Might the caw-caw of crows

Be replaced by the harmonies

Of sacred song and chant?

Is there not still a Presence in them

That ight be rekindleded into a jubilant flame?

By Sister Ioanna
St. Innocent Monastic Community,
Redford, MI

From: DANCING in the PRESENCE, published by Firebird Videos, Audios & Books