poison ivy and eden

Summer approaches. I have incontrovertible evidence in the fact that poison ivy is emerging from its winter sabbatical. All along the sides of the path modestly drooping three-leaved clusters rise on tender red stems. Was the serpent in the Garden thus demure at first, hiding his shy face behind the thick-leaved fruit boughs, peering out…

in silence

I've been reading a book about silence. Anne D. LeClaire describes the things she has learned from spending two days a month in silence in her book Listening Below the Noise. Who knew that 223 pages could be filled with words about going without words? In one chapter, LeClaire speaks silence as an act of…

Incarnation: Word-Wonder Day 27

As I've thought about what poetry is this week, I've realized that there are parallels to be drawn between poetry and the Incarnation. I've been thinking about them all week, but hesitating to draw them, lest you walk away from this post with some sentimentalized notion of Christ as God's poem to the world or…

To Be a Stone: Word-Wonder Day 24

Re-posting an old poem of mine today, in the interest of Wednesdays in which I run out of me before I run out of day. “I am happy to be a stone.”* One of a long tradition, honored and terrible. Stained with the blood of martyrs in Jerusalem, licked by the fire of God on…

One Word: Word-Wonder Day 7

"If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent If the unheard, unspoken Word is unspoken, unheard; Still is the unspoken world, the Word unheard, The Word without a word, the Word within The world and for the world; And the light shone in darkness and Against the Word the unstilled world…

riddling

Yesterday’s morning headline announced that police had vowed “to solve” the shootings at the New Orleans Mother’s Day parade. They meant, of course, that they intended to discover the perpetrator of the violence, with the goal of seeing public consequences for his/her crimes. The thing that I’ve been thinking is that “consequences” do not equal…

thoughts toward thirty

Fact: in a few months I shall celebrate the birthday which puts me nearer thirty than twenty. I view this fact calmly, having long ago learned the inevitability of birthdays, however much you want time to stand still. Besides, right now, I don't think I want time to stand still: this moment of last-minute planning for…

webbery

Mindful, no doubt, of the late-October-ness of the season, the neighborhood Arachnes conspired together to festoon the world with webbery. A dense fog conspired with them to make ropes and nets of diamonds, which a persistent sun revealed on my morning walk yesterday. In the Maine Maritime Museum, we looked at a tiny model of a rope-making shed. A…

in which I think about pyramids

The students are to write remembered event essays. I am to read them. And I am to instruct them in the writing. I have begun that, actually. We read a fine example in class and discussed it. We talked about dramatic pyramid structure in narratives. (Their textbook says "resolution" where mine, seven years ago, said "denouement."…