Why poetry?

Everyone knows that poetry doesn’t “sell.” Publishers don’t want to print it, students groan aloud at the prospect of studying it. And poetasters have set our teeth on edge. So why in the world would I want to concentrate on it? Because it does what no other genre of writing can do. Look at this insightful essay: http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/2007/04/12/t-s-eliot-things-that-can- just-barely-be-said/ –and let me know what you think.

In sure and certain hope….

Some of you know that our son, Ryan, recently underwent surgery for thyroid cancer. It was on Easter Sunday as he sat beside me in the pew that I wrote this poem. It is here, in churchI realizeThat push has comeTo shove I sit here beside my son,My strong manchild,His neck transversed by that hateful woundAnd harboring all those rampant covert cellsThat lurk and leerAt the flesh Of my flesh I”‘m thinking about“Only-begotten son.” We sing together, a cappella. His bass is threadbare:And then one dayI”‘ll cross that riverI”‘ll fight life”‘s finalWar with Pain And I want the riverI want the crossing But I hate the warAnd am undone by knowingThat I have made a crossing already I have overtaken numbnessAt...

Easter

I can’t let the Easter feeling go, even though the day has passed. . . We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of God the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly be united with him in his resurrection.–Romans 6:4-5 It is the whisper of the first breathDrawn through cracked, unused lipsIt is the rustle of graveclothesBeing laid aside, folded andSquared on a cold ledgeIt is the sound of fingertipsBrushing along a hewn wallIn predawn darknessIt is the rasp of a stone wheelGrating in its trackWhat unearthly stillnessGreets this once-corpse asHe surveys the earthThat had been His torture-chamber I hear...

New poem

I read with interest Amber’s comment on the blog. I am amazed that God did not make what we call intelligence (or large vocabulary or even creativity) high on His list of things He most admires. He is impressed by faith and love — now, that’s real intelligence in His book. So any of you who are waiting to say something “smart” on my blog — don’t worry about that! Build my faith and that of other readers. Create unity and love within the Body of Christ. On another front:I try most years during the paschal season to write at least one poem about the last days of the earthly life of Jesus. Here is the one I wrote this year: John 19:38-39 What a disheveled heap This bled-out bone bag makesCrusted with spit and...

Christ is risen, indeed!

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” –John 20:28-29. He is the Mighty OneHe is the Creator,The Great OneHe who can bring victoryOut of the mingled pasteOf blood and ashes of defeatHow do I knowHow can I say thisI stand with my elbows touchingThose of sorrowing men and womenFrozen in a slice of Friday-timeWhen all the world’s hopesWere laid in a hastily-washed heapIn a borrowed tombWith no hopeNo hopeNo hopeUntil the first rays of SundayBathed the empty tomb ledge God’s power is most evident when everything is past salvaging, when things have gone beyond hopelessness. The Jewish believers in...