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Tentatively, Religion

By Christian Detisch Poetry

What! Did the Hand then of the Potter shake?                             —Rubaiyat The kick wheel turns against the spondees of her feet —clop-clop—upon the floor: amorphous clay shines like a seal’s skin. We are uncarved blocks, says the Tao. Hum-hum, says the wheel. And I am Yahweh at dust, she says, her hands tucked and carving…

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Still Life with Fruits and Bread

By Greg Miller Poetry

Pieter Claesz, 1641 Such an austere palette! Such an embarrassment. Such riches! —A flute of currant-red liquid, —-black and red currants in a silver bowl, rhyming red beads on the lacquered finish of the fork-and-knife set, a red —-and black string (the sole blood ——-coursing through this body, save a flush of the wall left…

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Labyrinth, Chartres

By Melissa Range Poetry

Most days the labyrinth’s covered up with folding chairs, but Fridays it’s open even to unbelievers. Our docent says the labyrinth is not a maze, that the pilgrim cannot lose her way coiling toward the center rose. My pastor friend and I are chaperones, here to help field-tripping kids weave the ancient circuit that the…

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On Lectio Divina, Counterclockwise

By Karen An-Hwei Lee Poetry

Both hands of a clock rotate counterclockwise as I read backwards—you, give, leave, I,  peace. You gave us peace. You left us peace. You left us for a little while until you returned, glorified in an era without aerial shots, prior to montage. A figurative clock I mentioned is anachronistic. You said, Peace I leave…

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“Remember Me as One Who Woke Up”

By Charles Wright Poetry

Carrying flowers in a vase in a high wind is similar to Herding butterflies without a net. All of the beautiful colors wind-surfing down and away, Sweet release of all we held dear. And that is the way it goes, Rose petals flat-hatting down the interminable divides. So hold on tight, raven breath, Hold on…

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Nostalghia

By Jorge Esquinca Poetry

A meditation before the Madonna del Parto of Piero della Francesca 1. I speak to you, Lady, in words of my time still new as the boy’s laughter as he cut this morning’s bread. You sway a little, in the soft shadows where you dwell, like a boat painted inexpressibly blue. To speak of that…

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Something Understood

By Michelle Syba Essay

MY MOTHER’S FIRST PRAYER was by phone, with a call-center employee from a Toronto Christian TV show. My mother was at a difficult moment in her life—health not good, family on another continent, a small child in her sole care. When she saw the show’s smiling, boyish host, she decided that he was an idiot and,…

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The Rosary

By Ann Conway Essay

I SOMETIMES CARRY a rosary these days, a Spanish one of wooden beads that a friend gave to me. I used to think that it reflected the same impulse as needlework, which I do inexpertly—a desire for the consolation of repetition. Now I consider it a spiritual discipline, as I try, in middle age, to…

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A Conversation with Eugene Peterson

By Luci Shaw Interview

Eugene Peterson is a pastor and author of more than thirty books, including A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, The Contemplative Pastor, and Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading, one in a multi-volume series of book-length “conversations” in spiritual theology. He has also written a bestselling Bible translation, The…

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Sacred Air

By Nicholas Samaras Poetry

Speak to me about the presence of absence. Not everything created can be seen. As the uncreated may be glimpsed from a slant. What we bring is attention— prayer in our hands, spirit in our lungs. Emptiness—but a focus on what borders and frames the space— what the space is filled by. Nothing empty of…

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