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Poetry

Letter to Audubon from St. Francis

As you read these words, I lie lynx-like. I lie lynx-like in prairie sage, in a phase of abstinence. The yelp I trust is periodic; I have it from the mouth of an honest woodcock. A wild idea, or so it seems, to let go of venery. For all my lithe, I am not averse to buds, the spice bush; the tongue, per se, by which I forage is a nuisance. It melts. Becomes earmarked. In its stead, I self-devour.…
April 29, 2017
Poetry

Thoughts on Holbein’s Portrait of John Calvin

To you, O Lord, I offer my heart, promptly and sincerely.  – John Calvin From the time I was eight I have pondered your portrait, felt your finger pointing at me, punctuating. each. petaled. syllable of your theological bouquet till I could recite you in my sleep. Your rigid words, stoic pose, painted stare intimidated me, like the look my mom would give (and I now give my son) when I fidgeted in church. For years I searched and turned…
February 28, 2017
Poetry

The Dove

Here in a parking lot in February Where snow, piled through the winter, melting in thaw, Had sent a freshly pulsing tributary Across the asphalt like a silver claw, A dove landed, dipped, and drank, wary. Almost as swift in flight as peregrine With wings that whisper rhythm as it flies, Cautiously wild, yet still in cities seen, This is the mourning dove, whose presence vies For space against construction and machine. Songbird yet gamebird, prey to hunters’ pride, Preyed…
January 4, 2017
Poetry

Autumn Leaves

It seems the leaves know that they’re done with green of photosynthesis: loosing their stems from tendril grasp, they drop, but glide so far from tree you wouldn’t think that leaves so far had come from distant oak or birch but for the form they clearly bear. Their gliding draws my admiration: Energized from loosing free, though similar in species’ name, leaves that seemed alike on tree, now individual in flight, differ in distance and descent, distinctive in each solo…
January 4, 2017
Poetry

Resurrection

They lean over balconies, strain to hear through thick silence, dangerously close to the edge of sky and star, where time smudges into forever, they listen. It is there.  A breath – a great inhalation of life, a calm, rhythmic heartbeat. The universe quivers with delight, the heavens rock with stomp and leap and pirouette until the very planets shake. Death slinks back to its catacombs and darkness recedes to its hollow. Only light remains. Nadine Ellsworth-Moran pastors a small…
November 1, 2016
Poetry

utterance

There is no beginning, only continuation of the utterance. Breath into breath, spilling out beyond breath into being, form unfolding, the utterance behind all existence. Infinite expression, endless creation utterance divine pouring forth in liquid grace perpetually spoken. (Inspired by the writing and philosophy of Shneur Zalman of Liadi) Nadine Ellsworth-Moran pastors a small church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and teaches at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte. pam fray , via Wikimedia Commons
November 1, 2016
Poetry

The Book of Kells

Here, there’s no circle, only the spiral, endlessly turning back on itself. No straight lines, only curves, coiling, looping. There’s no direct path to the Kingdom of Heaven; it’s circuitous, echoing the barrow graves of Newgrange, indecipherable swirls, zigzags, lozenges. Knots without end, alpha and omega, merged. Lines that refuse to conform to a pattern, dance to their own rhythm, lost in a maze. Here, the power’s derived from the wander, and each turn changes the rules. Turn-in-the-Path. Head-Under-Wing. Is…
Barbara Crooker
September 1, 2016
Poetry

Complaints from Medieval Scribes

a found poem  Imagine sitting for hours at a slant desk, copying on rough parchment with a sharpened quill, day after lonely day. Of course you’d be tempted to write in the margins: “That’s a hard page and a weary work to read it.” “New parchment, bad ink; I say nothing more.” “The ink is thin.” “I am very cold.” “Saint Patrick of Armagh, deliver me from writing.” “Thank God it will soon be dark.” “Oh, my hand.” “Now that…
Barbara Crooker
September 1, 2016
Poetry

God of Dust

Early afternoon in late December: Clouds covering the face of the sun Parted and let light flood the living room, A current picking up carpet fibers and dog hair, Offering them up on tiny thermals, An ordinary sacrifice From time to eternity. One small dust particle dances, Pirouettes, waltzes, sighs, And descends, drifting back Into the blue and white carpet. This – that is what you tell them. This is why I believe. Pierce Taylor Hibbs has written for Westminster…
June 30, 2016