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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Poetry Friday: “are you my god”

By Richard ChessMay 11, 2018

It has been years since I read the Narnia books, but the phrase I remember from them is “Aslan is not a tame lion.” Aslan, the books’ figure of Christ, can be tender and merciful; but the children learn that he can be wildly powerful as well. I recalled this while reading Richard Chess’s poem…

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The Skirt of God

By Christiana PetersonApril 17, 2018

Dear Saint Francis, I imagined I saw you today out of the upstairs window. Your cowl had slipped off your head, and you were fighting uselessly with the wind to put it back up again. The recently fallen leaves around your feet likely understood the inevitability of your struggle. Your habit, patched and torn and…

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Adventures in Praying with Scripture

By Peggy RosenthalMarch 21, 2018

How did I first hear of lectio divina? It must have been from the monks at the Trappist Abbey near my home, who engage daily in this ancient practice of “holy reading”: the prayerful reading of Scripture, just a short passage at a time. This is my guess, because I at my second meeting with…

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I Will Sing Your Praise

By Richard ChessMarch 14, 2018

For a few years in the late 1990s, early 2000s, I brought a book of poetry with me whenever I went to synagogue for Shabbat morning services. After I was settled into my pew, I’d discreetly slip the book out of my tallis (prayer shawl) bag, tuck the thin volume of poetry inside the thick…

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As I Lay (Nearly) Dying

By Peggy RosenthalMarch 6, 2018

At first I didn’t know that I was dying. I’d been rushed to the hospital emergency department because I couldn’t breathe, put on oxygen and wheeled right to Intensive Care. The week or so in ICU is a blur now. But ICU must have been where it was discovered that my kidneys were failing—because I…

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In a Funk

By Tania RunyanFebruary 8, 2018

You’re not sorry you’re alive, just embarrassed. Aware of the burden of your body. How often do saltshakers tremble when you cross your unwieldy legs under the table? How many times do you hug an acquaintance too soon and feel their shoulders droop like dead wings? You don’t want to die. You want everyone to…

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Poetry Friday: “Speculation: Along the Way”

By Scott CairnsNovember 3, 2017

Did you ever try finding words for the experience of prayer? Or for the sense of mysterious contact with the divine? That’s what Scott Cairns is attempting in “Speculation: Along the Way.” He tries out a metaphor of a distant thunderstorm — which might however be within. “Might” is in fact a key word in…

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Poetry Friday: “Notre Dame”

By Fleda BrownOctober 27, 2017

I love it when poems speak to each other and expand on a shared theme. The epigraph here references the well-known poem “Church Going” by Phillip Larkin. Both poems describe churches, their architecture and unique interiors. However, they also explore more universal questions about the role and relevance of organized religion. Brown doesn’t mince words.…

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Poetry Friday: “Russian Bell”

By Anya SilverSeptember 8, 2017

In this stirring poem by Anya Silver, the bell becomes a blueprint. First, the bell shape is transposed on her own body dangling freely in the “arc and blur” of a rope swing. Then, it becomes her open mouth and uvula. And, finally, we see the heart as a shattered peony (“unpeeling, pealing”) dropping petals…

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Poetry Friday: “The Psalm of Your Face”

By Nicholas SamarasSeptember 1, 2017

“Lord, let…”: this is how nearly every sentence of Nicholas Samaras’s “The Psalm of Your Face” begins. It’s our own constant plea to God: Lord, let my neighbor be healed of cancer; Lord, let my son be safe in battle. In Samaras’s poem, the pleas “Lord, let…” are first focused on God’s imagined face. But…

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