Sister Moon

(song by Francis, metaphor by Zeffirelli)


I cannot fathom Clare

Understand her depths

I do not have to

I’ll readily admit

She is beyond me


Companion to Francis except

Well, except it was boy and girl

(convicted young)

And in communities

Established one gender from the other,

I’m not sure how much

They could be together

Though I imagine them working

Side by side with nascent followers

And I want to think of them

Playing games as well

Between bouts

Of growing things

(vegetables and campaigns)

Washing the poor

Wishing the church into a better place

For service and to any


Could she have gone with him to meet the

Sultan as

A missionary team

In hardship, danger

Doctrinal snares

And opportunities as well

For the sultan (as was the pope)

Was powerful and smart

Well, too much is binary

I should not define one by the other

She was her own

She has it

Who chose to become God’s and his,

The moon in canticle

So sing to the sun


Brother, we are here

We dress the sky above the earth

In dreams

In daylight, we work hard

Harder than our flesh can bear

Than flesh can bear all orders of our calling


At night and for all times

All things

We pray


Be with me, brother, as at Mizpah

When we are apart

Consider the stars at night

I the clouds by day

We are in each other

Inside God’s creation

And the same calling,

The announcement of redemption

While working to save mortal lives

Upon the ground


C L Couch



Detail depicting Saint Clare from a fresco (c. 1320) by Simone Martini in the Lower basilica of San Francesco, Assisi

Simone Martini – The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei (DVD-ROM), distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. ISBN: 3936122202., Public Domain,