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Poetry

Consumed

Ruth and Boaz Dine Grapes, sweet and cool, ornament the table. Blue-veined cheeses on wooden slats, rosemary and garlic. Bread with gold-toasted crust, a soft-melt inside. Olive oil pooling in bowls, gleaming eyes. She bites a pear, breaks the skin. She tears the bread, dips and dips again. I would like to be the bread in her hands: warm, broken for her, sustaining. Renee Emerson is the author of the poetry collection Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014). Her…
September 1, 2015
Gambling chips
Poetry

Decreasing Heat

How has so much of your on-fire certainty cooled despite your tossing on another slab of cedar and more kindling? Surely this is a failure of your divine pursuit, you think, believing the heresy that passion is the logical outcome of faith. What of the dark night of the soul? What of wrestling questions into a chokehold only to have your grip pried away? Like Peter, you say, Lord, to whom should we go? That is what you return to,…
These Hands
Poetry

Prayer Diagnostics

Most often, your trouble is beginning – so many activities more alluring. Try as you might, you’ve never regretted having prayed (once you’ve finally started). You know of others in your church life who gush, sincerely, about prayer times. These people discomfort, fascinate you who can’t view yourself in a drenched state. And yet (and yet), you are jealous, desiring what you do not possess. You know their pools of deep communion did not create themselves, did not appear some…
Poetry

Under This Roof

My brother has come to live with us and how could we know how deliberate his hands would be: at the sink, thawing beans stringy from too hot a June, smoothing hairs that whisper about my sons’ ears, locking the door against the snow. His hands move slow as a dream, the kind where no one watches out for you as you slip over the edge and sprawl wordlessly down mountains of air or time or floors of people doing…
April 23, 2015
Poetry

Saint Gabriel

Here they brought thousands of the hurricane’s dead. Even the dogs knew to stay away, low rumble in their throats, September begun with a lurch and a dream. My husband teaches sixth-graders, cannot explain why here, town of the archangel, bodies keep coming, their second deaths: his students have started school with Call of the Wild, and where in the past girls blanched and resisted the chapters of blood and rage, boys triumphing with their own pubescent gestures— they don’t…
April 23, 2015
Poetry

It Was Happy Hour

in our Florida retirement village we were on the patio ice cubes clinking in our gin and tonics conversations rising sinking from a tree next door a shriek and a flurry and down on the ground a hawk with a dove in its talons red-shouldered hawk we decided the hawk stood still the dove soft beneath him wrestled and rested wrestled and rested but the hawk calmly waited “ooh, poor dove” someone said “soon be dead” someone else said still…
Dave Schelhaas
February 28, 2015
Poetry

Tongues that Dance

Smidt’s burning bush has tongues of flame that dance and leap in autumn’s winds. The oaks that shed their dull brown leaves seem to look askance as this tall bush so boldly flaunts her red. I do not take my shoes off as I pass – though Moses did when “I Am” told him to – but stop before I hurry on to class. “Perhaps a voice will tell me what to do,” I muse, not for a moment thinking…
Dave Schelhaas
February 4, 2015
Poetry

Where Am I?

Hacking through a thicket of noise to reach some clearing within myself I am lost in a jangled jungle of thoughts Tossed about in the Facebook maelstrom Drenched in the hurricane of information so that I know everything except my self in the dense and tangled branches of our apple tree there were birds just yesterday redeeming rotten fruit with their pecking but today the tree is barren and the apples sag and stink Having just had coffee with a…
January 10, 2015
Poetry

Alberta Avenue, Just before 8 PM

It is almost 8 now the crowds have gone and the festival tents are packed away inside their Rubbermaid totes for another year of hibernation I am standing in the middle of the street which is a crazy thing to do in a busy city on 118th Avenue, or any avenue but not now, on Sunday, before 8 The roads are still closed The neighbourhood defended from marauding cars and trucks by a mote of pylons and barricades until 8…
January 10, 2015