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Imagineer of Variety

By John Terpstra Poetry

Maker of heaven and earth ——-of time and season Thinker-upper of soil —— of autumn decay, and rot and roots drawing nutrients ——-whatever they are that feed and sustain —— the beauty of the lilies, and the violets Imagineer of variety Puller-offer of the impossible breaking our hearts ——-every spring day ——-with greater magnolia blossom ————–finer,…

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Near-Annunciation at Carroll’s Point

By John Terpstra Poetry

First try, the bird dropped                                              from the sky, belly-flopping the surface that separates our two worlds, and came up empty.                                     He rose again and wung away in easy, languorous strokes, as if it was all part of the plan. Hunger returned him. But whose? What surprises us now, despite our dragnet…

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New Year, Good Work

By John Terpstra Poetry

The tools of the trade lay scattered on the floor below the altar, migrating to its surface (protected under plywood and a cloth tarp) only after the first few days, when the fine mist of wood dust that settled over the pews and furnishings helped us to feel more at ease in this space now…

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Web Exclusive: A Conversation with John Terpstra

By Mary Kenagy Mitchell Interview

John Terpstra has been in church since before he was born. “I have heard everything there is to say about the place, for and against; both its necessity and its redundancy. Have felt it all, in my bones,” he writes.  The fall issue of Image includes his essay about church, titled “Skin Boat: Acts of…

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Skin Boat

By John Terpstra Essay

Skin Boat: Acts of Faith and Other Navigations The following essay is excerpted from a new book of the same title from Gaspereau Press (www.Gaspereau.com).   TODAY I believe in God. A visiting friend and I were listening to a jazz trio one Sunday morning in an Anglican church. The trio led off with a…

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Easter Pantoum

By John Terpstra Poetry

for the Twelve-foot Tall Dancing Icons of Saint Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, California In a church in a city on the edge of the world The risen Christ dances Over the heads of the congregants Who are also dancing The risen Christ dances With all the saints—certified or surprised Who are…

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Topographies of Easter

By John Terpstra Poetry

We are walking in the mild midwinter Snow and thin ice, up Coldwater Creek, Its many tributaries, their steep ravines Tracing the blue and brown lines that wind Dizzily over the unfolded whiteness of our new Map like staves for the crazy earth song we’ve been Sight-reading with our feet; we are singing the impossible…

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Magdalen

By John Terpstra Poetry

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb…. —John 20 She came to take care of the body. Some are like that. They feel the need to touch and handle _____where life was. We call it seeking closure. We call it clinging. We call it having difficulty facing reality; the reality that life itself _____has left…

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Orange and Spices

By John Terpstra Poetry

When Charles Darwin sat down, finally to write his big book he wondered, not                                how it would end, but where                                on the shelf    …

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