Poets’ Corner

The Measure of Things

“It’s hard sometimes not to measure by the world’s ruler.” I can still hear Miss Lila’s voice saying those words, though I can’t remember now if she spoke about the need to avoid measuring by the world’s measures, to turn away from the things that the world values—that would have been like her—or whether she…

The Christmas Sled

  . . . for the World is both a Paradise and a Prison                                      to different persons.—Thomas Traherne A blizzard more than fifty years ago. Wind-gusted snow took its sweet time to fall, Twenty-nine hours from start to stop. Snow shock. Cars sideways, stuck. People cut off from home, Stranded. Unhurryable shoveling. Troubles that…

Migrations

At dawn, the cranes that slept along the margins of the lake begin to stretch their wings and murmur. Mist ascends around our rowboat. Then in sudden clamor they splash and rise, trumpet across the sky to feast on corn before their long trip south. The sun lifts, silent, from the east. And now the…

Stumbling Upon Akeldama in Winter

Empty lot: cursed soil burned black by the raging fires of summer sun, parched as a dead man’s lips. Yet winter rains bring thick skin of green, the moist breath of grasses, the fluttering heartbeat of insect wings, and their echoing hymn: Nothing dead must stay that way. Morning light brings night’s decay.

Final Ecstasy

“I am so happy! I am so happy!” –dying words of Gerard Manley Hopkins Youth brought him joy in seeing moles and stains On mottled creatures, splotched with shades of dun. He thrilled at freckled beasts, all made by One Above earth’s shadowed flesh–a Light who reigns And spreads a streaked abundance far from lanes…

The Ballad of Whisky

You warm me from the inside out         And fill me to the brim. You charm me with your Scottish clout,         With your amber color dim. Now stoke the fire and pack your pipe,         Fill your glasses well. Your drink is not of common…

Altar and Offering

i. Through November’s arterial horizon traffic flickers. Mountain bare but for a bent cloud clipping the ridge. What would it mean to see clearly— to know nothing’s there other than what is. ii. A clearing between scrub and birches peeling (white sheets flagging) where sunset sparks. And those hollow tones: geese gathered at the river’s…

Curtain Call

Allow me at my end to be like these Descending leaves that elegantly dance Their final scene, expressing festive peace As they take leave of life. Still colorful, They ornament the sky as Fall’s sun slants To warm their gold, release their sweet fragrance. They’ve felt their feebling stems, and known the call Of gravity’s…

Ode to Paniskos

  “Πάνισκος κεχρη” -P.Lond. III 658 What we share when the nights grow cold is the thrill of life’s noble luster. Perhaps you too, like me, will remember the fiery sight of water running west at night like power untouched even by the gods. They come to you, caked in sand and suffering, wishing to…

(c) 2019 North American Anglican