Monday, July 31, 2006

A Few Favorite Poems

Yesterday I quoted Anne Morrow Lindbergh:

Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem or saying a prayer.

What follows relates to poetry and prayer.

I have a file of my poems entitled "Poems of the River" and I occasionally write ones that don't pertain to the river. I also collect poems, so here goes.

Monet Morning

Snow wrapped trees reflecting on the water
shimmer in the breaking dawn.
The river holds an impressionist hue.
(O, Claude, where are you?)
Fleeting splendor fades with no one
to capture on canvass its shades of light
before an impatient sun
erases all vestiges of night.
--Ruth A. Tucker

“Type-A Personality”

Austin International
--Diaz is paged
--Denver flight departing
--Diaz paged again, English and Spanish
--Diaz, your plane is departing.
Ticket agent tense
--mutters under breadth
--clock ticking down
--final page
--door closing.
From a distance
--Diaz saunters
--hips hugging baggy pants
--sneaker laces untied
--boards flight.
With type-A personality in tow
--I wait for Chicago departure
--secretly envying Diaz.

Ruth A. Tucker

Here's one from my favorite-poet friend, printed with permission

Feast of the Annunciation

Luke chooses his words carefully
Any writer does
Names, too
Like the four women in the family tree
Marked by shame
Some by violation
And the holy one of Israel is raised
The bastard child of a Palestinian peasant
Do you think anyone believed her?
She kept secrets:
All those things she pondered in her heart
Caught up in something bigger than all of us --
The adoption of our bastard souls
How else do you say that?
--Ted Troxell

I found this thought-provoking poem by Katha Pollittin a an old issue of "The New Yorker" (May 9, 2005, 46).

Here is the title and the first and last lines:


It is just as they knew it would be:
the proof
of their rightness spread around them
like grass or sidewalks

among the bland custardy palaces
and picnic tables
of their reward. . . .

The angels are kind, like waiters, but not very talkative.

No wonder they gather, like exiles
straining toward faint reports
crackling up from below—
war, disaster, stars plunging into the sea.

God, it appears, is elsewhere, even here.

I do not have permission to print it but the entire poem can be found in a sermon at:

2 poems on Prayer:

--Emily Dickinson

My period had come for prayer
No other Art--would do--
My Tactics missed a rudiment--
Creator--Was it you?

God grows above--so those who pray
Horizons--must ascend--
And so I stepped upon the North
To see this Curious Friend--

His House was not--no sign had He--
By Chimney--nor by Door
Could I infer his Residence--
Vast Prairies of Air

Unbroken by a Settler--
Were all that I could see--
Infinitude--Had'st Thou no Face
That I might look on Thee

The Silence condescended--
Creation stopped--for Me
But awed beyond my errand--
I worshipped--did not "pray" [#564]

--David Redding

If I could pray
I think I would begin
The way my mother
Taught me--
Beside my bed.
But when I lay me
I find I can't go back:
The bridge is burned. . . .
And so I pray You, Lord,
Once more;
Teach me this time
My soul to keep . . .
'Til prayer comes back
To me.

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