Poets’ Corner

Sunken Island

  Leaving, we took the path of least resistance, paved and prone to floods; returning now, we tramp through mud to lawns awash with silt. The walls we never mended here, the banks we never built, have left us bare. The life once tended here, its honed and hard-won peace, these currents with relentless ease…

The Hermit Prays the Liturgy of the Hours

Although he’s not a priest, he’s made an altar Beneath his eastern window. When the first sun Strikes the maple tabletop, the shine Calls to him. It’s there he keeps his psalter Between two beeswax candles. Christ Pantocrator Gleams in red and gold, His life-book open In His hand. Unreadable words, unspoken, Catch at the…

All Your Life

You’ll earn less than you feel you’re worth, Retire in debt; Old faces framed above the hearth     Your name forget. And, friends forget your failings soon, But not your wife, Who carries them like an old tune—     Or sharpened knife. You dreamed of politics and fame But that soon faded, As no one liked you,…

The Back Porch

1. Garden Here, he said, we cut a crease In which to set the seed. Tend the roots and I will bless Whatever fruit is made, Whether fig or olive grow To sanctify the air, Magnolia or willow, The leaves of common prayer. Treat them with a touch as mild As children would demand. Earth…

John the Baptist’s Brain Scan

Clinical History:Fetal synaesthesia and involuntary ecstasy; sudden adult-onset soteriological hydrophilia. Findings:There is pervasiverubicund pigmentationof the frontal lobe andluxury perfusionof the mid-cortical gyrisuggesting locust-ingestion ketogenesis.Patient’s sulciare focally engorgedwith desert flower honey.Hypertrophic changesto the circle of Willisreveal vaticination. Impression:MRI findings suggest Nazarite syndrome. Further testing with sandal thongs is indicated to assess digital non-compliance. The patient should…

Me And Pablo Neruda

I am with my love in La Colombina, a room with forty narrow windows and a stained glass spine to the ceiling and calligraphic iron scribbles for roof support. The sea stands still beyond hillsides of innumerable houses, folded and tucked shapes of plaster and painted tin. A seagull waits at the open window beside…

Dead Water

Between despair and hope, two continents,   a vast sea lies, blank whiteness on the chart.   No waves, no cartographer’s fanciful decorations—a simple nothing, nondescript, immense. Here I tread water. The taste and smell of salt,   irreducible facts, offer no explanations   to map the trackless journeys of the heart:how I came here, whether I’m at fault….

Call for Poetry Submissions

As the summer comes to a close, it’s time for Daniel Rattelle and me to turn our attention to the serious matter of poetry. Last year, we had a grand old time editing our first volume for Little Gidding Press, The Slumbering Host. I pitched the idea to Dan the first time we met, chatting…

Examen

In filtered sunlight footstools even shine.They show in autumn tones their tenebrae,A brown that sparkles—isn’t that so fine!Along with chipper calls, cicadas pray. The peaceful sun’s retirement from this day,This night, leaves nothing lost; days do not die.Instead, night gathers in and up our playIn packets portaged forward, tight and dry. The day’s clear glare…

(c) 2019 North American Anglican