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A Photograph from the Hubble Telescope

By William Wenthe Poetry

These luminous clouds and whorls of amethyst, jade, and coral are transmitted down to earth as a babble of data: monochrome of linty gray that arrives in computers at NASA, gets filtered out, and colored in with a menu of splendid hues: the better to illuminate the original edge of the universe, and imagine the…

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George Herbert on the Road to Salisbury

By William Wenthe Poetry

That if he loved himself he should be merciful to his beast: the gist of what Herbert said to the man whose horse had “fallen under its load.” He was on his way to play music he called his heaven upon earth; but stopped to help the man unload the horse. I like to imagine…

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John Wesley, After Field Preaching

By Jill Bergkamp Poetry

Among the marsh marigold and cowslip, I found myself speaking of the spirits’ fruits, blackberries tangled on the vine. Spire pointing skyward proclaiming piety— this is where I left you to your tailored prayers. At Kingswood Hill I climbed and entered a topography of grace among the miners, unabashed, spoke that all our gifts are…

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Discipleship Training in Kailua Kona

By Jill Bergkamp Poetry

The talk was on God’s tabernacle, a diagram with the palm of his hand, fingers tucked into the holy place, when you threw an apple to me. I wondered until I saw the rough square cut. Inside the fruit, a note damp with seeds and juice, You are altogether beautiful, my darling. There is no…

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Theodicy after City of God

By Joshua Robbins Poetry

If righteousness remains, it is moonlight glinting on the mica-flecked steps and waxed lips of barren concrete planters as midnight skaters’ kickflips grind oblivion near the courthouse sign’s annunciation where stragglers huddle in a delinquent arc against the wind’s cold dispensation of Guilty  and Not in which any joke like How do you  make God…

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Prayer with Rotohammer

By Joshua Robbins Poetry

Retrofitting Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Let my worship be this work and the force of each bit-strike on masonry. Forswear my doubtful tongue. Let my past words be what they are: failed elegies to the living word. Let praise be pain rejoicing. What rose like dust now falls and it is beautiful and meaningless and…

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Just Time

By Li-Young Lee Poetry

It’s just time, the book I read, the letter I write, the window I look out of. It’s just a needle I thread, a sleeve I keep trying to mend, the spool diminishing. It’s just time inside of time, the future inside the seeds inside the pulp of the apple I eat, skin and all,…

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I Loved You Before I Was Born

By Li-Young Lee Poetry

I loved you before I was born. It doesn’t make sense, I know. I saw your eyes before I had eyes to see. And I’ve lived longing for your every look ever since. That longing entered time as this body. And the longing grew as this body waxed. And the longing grows as this body…

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Folding a Five-Cornered Star So the Corners Meet

By Li-Young Lee Poetry

This sadness I feel tonight is not my sadness. Maybe it’s my father’s. For having never been prized by his father. For having never profited by his son. This loneliness is Nobody’s. Nobody’s lonely because Nobody was never born and will never die. This gloom is Someone Else’s. Someone Else is gloomy because he’s always…

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On Lazarus, Weeks before Her Death

By Bronwen Butter Newcott Poetry

She wants to believe he clung to death, that the sweetness of the light that took him soaked him until he was fat with gladness, that bringing him back to the dark cave, making him breathe through oil-soaked cloth, pushing life back into his stiffened fingers and toes, that calling him with a siren’s voice…

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