Easter Poetry

POETRY: My Silence Is The Lord, by Paul Quenon

May 24, 2017

My silence is the Lord, I listen, his silence speaks at all time. When I listen not, my hearing is filled with words and my tongue takes to rambling. My resting place is the Lord a hideaway on a mountain height. The lonely seek and find him. My resting place is the Lord, a low valley by the runlet. All humble steps lead there. “Turn in to my place and sit quietly. Drink from my stream and my vintage. Cast off your shoes, discard your hardships and listen to my evening song: “I seek a heart that is simple. With the peaceful I spread my tent. I will wash your feet and dry them, my silence will be their perfume. “In your quiet steps I will follow. None will know whence we come and where we go. To the world you will be my [...]

POETRY: The Airy Christ, by Stevie Smith

May 17, 2017

(After reading Dr. Rieu’s translation of St. Mark’s Gospel.) Who is this that comes in splendour, coming from the blazing East? This is he we had not thought of, this is he the airy Christ. Airy, in an airy manner in an airy parkland walking. Others take him by the hand, lead him, do the talking. But the Form, the airy One, frowns an airy frown, What they say he knows must be, but he looks aloofly down, Looks aloofly at his feet, looks aloofly at his hands, Knows they must, as prophets say, nailed be to wooden bands. As he knows the words he sings, that he sings so happily Must be changed to working laws, yet sings he ceaselessly. Those who truly hear the voice, the words, the happy song, Never shall need working laws to keep [...]

POETRY: Unquiet Vigil, by Paul Quenon

May 10, 2017

Stale prayer from unreal depths— depths I assume are mine— are relieved by real sleep, that awakens me to my real shallows where prayer amounts to almost nothing or less. Such an infinity where almost nothing dividing endlessly never reaches nothing wherein are real depths not mine… Be kind. Myself, to myself, be [...]

POETRY: Spring Beholding, by Mary F. C. Pratt

May 3, 2017

The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything. (Julian of Norwich) Otter washing her paws in the cold pond water. Bluebird, robin, forgotten songs come home. Vulture and hawk soaring the slope. Three thin deer, feet splayed in dry grass. Squirrels. Rabbits. Stones. Snowmelt, icy from the hills. Logging truck grunting far down the road, its work its purpose, its heavy [...]

POETRY: Starting Over, by Mary F. C. Pratt

April 26, 2017

—and do you remember the night the long rain stopped? We woke to silence, and moonlight through the high window. No sound but the animals breathing in their sleep— —and the owls— It was so hard to wait but when the dove did not return you worked open the swollen latch and we pushed the ladder out. I shooed away the chickens— all those chickens underfoot. You insisted on going first even though your rheumatism was bad— and I came down right behind you with my knees not so much better. Soft wet dirt, all the swamp stink, but not a cloud in sight. On top of the hill, that one tree —Olive—with little leaves unfolding, beginnings of buds where new olives would be— The children crowded down behind. Everything that could fly [...]

POETRY: We Take The Sky, by Susanna Childress

April 19, 2017

We take the sky, as if red is something we could own, something we might find in the stillest moments, as if the earth is humane and wouldn’t break our bones. (None of His were broken. Not one.) Red is in the land too, is in the way we look at each other, the hardness of our sleep, the need to fall down, to tell of the pox that swept Aunt Jess, the drink that ushers Father, the path that never leads to wealth or rest or health—but the one we always take. Shalom, we say. Buena suerte. We always take the sky, fold it over ourselves, the soil, run it across our skin and cling to it, savoring the tart of a lemon, palming a bar of soap even when our hands are clean, naming the insects that fly across the white bulb of moon late at [...]

POETRY: Second Sunday After Easter, by John Keble

April 6, 2016

He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High; which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall arise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.  (Numbers 24:16-17) O for a sculptor’s hand, That thou might’st take thy stand, Thy wild hair floating on the eastern breeze, Thy tranc’d yet open gaze Fix’d on the desert haze, As one who deep in Heaven some airy pageant sees. In outline dim and vast Their fearful shadows cast The giant forms of empires on their way To ruin: one by one They tower [...]

POETRY: That Nature Is A Heraclitean Fire And Of The Comfort Of The Resurrection, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

March 30, 2016

Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows flaunt forth, then chevy on an air- Built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs they throng; they glitter in marches. Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, wherever an elm arches, Shivelights and shadowtackle ín long lashes lace, lance, and pair. Delightfully the bright wind boisterous ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare Of yestertempest’s creases; in pool and rut peel parches Squandering ooze to squeezed dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches Squadroned masks and manmarks treadmire toil there Footfretted in it. Million-fuelèd, nature’s bonfire burns on. But quench her bonniest, dearest her, her clearest-selvèd spark Man, how fast his firedint, his mark on mind, is gone! [...]

POETRY: Easter Monday, by Christina Rossetti

March 28, 2016

Out in the rain a world is growing green, On half the trees quick buds are seen Where glued-up buds have been. Out in the rain God’s Acre stretches green, Its harvest quick tho’ still unseen: For there the Life hath been. If Christ hath died His brethren well may die, Sing in the gate of death, lay by This life without a sigh: For Christ hath died and good it is to die; To sleep whenso He lays us by, Then wake without a sigh. Yea, Christ hath died, yea, Christ is risen again: Wherefore both life and death grow plain To us who wax and wane; For Christ who rose shall die no more again: Amen: till He makes all things plain Let us wax on and [...]