Tania Runyan

POETRY: Mary At The Nativity by Tania Runyan

December 25, 2018

The angel said there would be no end to his kingdom. So for three hundred days I carried rivers and cedars and mountains. Stars spilled in my belly when he turned. Now I can’t stop touching his hands, the pink pebbles of his knuckles, the soft wrinkle of flesh between his forefinger and thumb. I rub his fingernails as we drift in and out of sleep. They are small and smooth, like almond petals. Forever, I will need nothing but these. But all night, the visitors crowd around us. I press his psalms to my lips in silence. They look down in anticipation, as if they expect him to spill coins from his hands or raise a gold scepter and turn swine into angels. Isn’t this wonder enough that yesterday he was inside me, and now he nuzzles next to [...]

POETRY: Newness Of Life by Tania Runyan

April 3, 2017

South African man wakes after 21 hours in morgue fridge. What cold salvation, dragging fingernails through the frost of a half-dream then waking to a plastic cocoon. The louder you scream from your aluminum drawer the more they believe you’re a ghost come to haul them inside. I feel your shivering in my own bones, stumble with you into the vicious light. Some burst alive on the pyres of the Spirit. Some blink open slowly, alone, packing in ice: How did I get here? I never knew I was [...]

POETRY: The Road To Damascus: 6 by Tania Runyan

March 13, 2017

I have sinned, I said. I want eternal life, I said. That was the moment. I wanted nothing but God. I wanted a cheeseburger. I wanted nothing at all. Finally, I wanted it all settled. I folded by hands and spoke To the carpet. I folded my hands and spoke to the Lord. I woke up and felt no different. I woke up and my life came to an [...]

POEM: Joseph At The Nativity, by Tania Runyan

January 4, 2017

Of any birth, I thought this would be a clean one, like pulling white linen from a loom. But when I return to the cave, Mary throws her cloak over the bloody straw and cries. I know she wants me to leave. There he lies, stomach rising and falling, a shriveled pod that does nothing but stare at the edge of the feeding trough with dark, unsteady eyes. Is he God enough to know that I am poor, that we had no time for a midwife, that swine ate from his bed this morning? If the angel was right, he knows. He knows that Mary’s swell embarrassed me, that I was jealous of her secret skyward smiles, that now I want to run into these hills and never come back. Peace, peace, I’ve heard in my dreams. This child will make you right. But I [...]