poem

Aaron Brown 6-08-2015
Micael Nussbaumer/Shutterstock

There’s a photo he carries for long journeys
like this one, for trips on loaded market lorries
where the passengers take their seat, perching
on top of cargo, or sitting on crude benches
inside the buses coming from Sudan with names
like “Best of Luck” or “Mr. Good Looking.”

Richard Schiffman 5-06-2015

The Greeks know how tightly coiled
are circumstances with many windings
before tragedy’s spring snaps.
The horse bolts flame-like from the gate;
we do not see its years of training.

So too, the thunderhead today slow bloating
and thickening with muffled rumblings.
The steeds were restless, but the reins
held tight, until a crack of the whip
unleashed the pummeling flood.

 

Lisa Dordal 4-01-2015

You hear a voice speaking
about a bird dragging its dark universe
of feathers across your yard,
and you realize it must be you

telling the boy how you carried its body
beyond the ambit of your dogs.
One eye, round as a coin,
fixing fear upon you, the other,

half shut. How the bird hauled
its body back into your yard,
dying with a will you could only
admire. Am I the bird?, the boy asks.

Gene Grabiner 3-09-2015

Mother, mother / There’s too many of you crying / Brother, brother, brother / There’s far too many of you dying            —Marvin Gaye

then they stomped
          John Willet
as he lay on the sidewalk
hands cuffed behind his back
and shot
                      Michael Brown

who was on his way this fall to college

Donna Pucciani 2-05-2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tale of nails and wood
is retold on the BBC from Winchester,
with hymns about a balm in Gilead,
a wondrous cross, and the choirboys’ echo
of the Fauré Requiem. Cardinal Newman
sends blessings from the grave,
and the organ grumbles “Amen.”

Ariana DeNardo 12-03-2014
 Daybreak. Image courtesy PlusONE/shutterstock.com

Daybreak. Image courtesy PlusONE/shutterstock.com

After the monsoon, after work, I catch   
you with your face in the hot laundry,
the syntax of spring held together by sap,
hanging wild and worried and crazy
in the lowest branch. In the ripe country,
salmon fold over the linens of the bay,
and I weep with you from the shore, embodied.
For still you feel the fell of dark, not day.

9-22-2014
U2 frontman, investor, and philanthropist Bono, who isn’t shy about discussing his Christian faith, wrote a poem in honor of evangelist preacher Billy Graham that describes Bono’s relationship with Jesus as a “journey from Father to friend,” and how he learned of this through “the voice of a preacher,” Graham, “that gave my life a Rhyme.”
The Editors 8-07-2014

The deep roots of the land need deep roots of stewardship.

Trevor Barton 8-01-2014
Albert Ziganshin / Shutterstock.com

Albert Ziganshin / Shutterstock.com

In the northern Pacific Ocean, there is a giant whale named 52 Hertz. Scientists named him that because when he sings, the frequency of his whale song is around 52 Hertz. When other whales sing their songs, they sing at frequencies between 15 and 25 Hertz. His song cannot be heard by any other whale. He is known as the loneliest whale in the world.

Normally whales are communal creatures. They live their lives in family groups. They migrate from warm waters to cooler waters to give birth and find food. They follow the same migration route from year to year. 52 Hertz is different. He lives alone. He does not follow a migration route. He wanders the ocean, a lonely, wandering whale.

We do not know what kind of whale 52 Hertz is. He could be a deformed blue or fin whale. He could be a cross breed of those two types of whales. He could be a kind of whale we have yet to discover. He is an unknown whale.

Soon a team will set out on a seven-week expedition in search of 52 Hertz. Will they find him? Will he find them? Does he want to be found? I wonder.

Rose Marie Berger 4-04-2014

A poetry reading from Wendell Berry's "This Day"

Kathleen McCoy 2-04-2014

Sometimes even we— / pierced with arrow-words, with brassy / cacophonies of slurs—stand in calm.

The Editors 12-19-2013

Hasidic poet, Yehoshua November, on the mystery of God.

The Editors 8-07-2013

When most people think of Gaza, surfing is not the first thing that comes to mind. But photo journalist Ryan Rodrick Beiler has an eye for capturing the resilience and richness of life in this occupied land.

Young boy reaches to the sky. Photo courtesy Zurijeta/shutterstock.com

Young boy reaches to the sky. Photo courtesy Zurijeta/shutterstock.com

So,

No prom for you

Dear boy

No wedding  

No children

No memories of you and family 

For momma and daddy to savor

Just holes in their hearts to match 

the hole 

In yours

But as God is my witness

Sweet boy

You will never be forgotten

Jennifer Grant 8-03-2012

Photos of the "happy fools": Grant, her husband, David, and brother-in-law, Brian (with the guitar). Via of the author

Car Trouble in Indiana
By Jennifer Grant

We’re happy fools, penniless as the corn
And just as content to watch the trucks barrel by.

The fan belt is jet black and frayed.
It’s chewed licorice.
And we might have to wait here all day.

My little brother's got the two things he needs:
A pack of Black Jack chewing gum
And his guitar.
He points at a billboard ‘cross the highway
And says if we had a dollar twenty-nine
And we were two miles up, we'd be knee-deep in hamburgers....

"Bogota Boy." Photo by David Feltkamp/Wylio.

"Bogota Boy." Photo by David Feltkamp/Wylio.

A note from the poet: Two years ago, our church opened its doors and began serving meals to our community. The immense and overwhelming feelings I felt scared me and so I penned them in this poem. Working with the poor among us has been eye-opening and has really pushed me to re-evaluate my thinking and life, for which I am immensely grateful.

~ The Rev. Dr. Martha FrizLanger

Sarah Vanderveen 2-06-2012
Sarah Vanderveen heads in from surfing in her hometown.

Sarah Vanderveen heads in from surfing in her hometown.

A new poem by Sarah Vanderveen...

I pulled on my wetsuit
quick, quick
pausing to take note
of a new hole under the left arm, darnit
and paddled out.

Sarah Vanderveen 1-13-2012
Mussels. Photo by Sarah Vanderveen.

Mussels. Photo by Sarah Vanderveen.

...Now that the brittle, shedding Christmas tree
is down by the street
and the ornaments have all been put away,
I flip through pictures of beach walks
and parties and presents opened and sunsets....
Lisa Sharon Harper 12-08-2011
Image by Steven Depolo via Wylio http://bit.ly/so6atU

"For the Poor Charity Box Basilica of St. Adelbert Grand Rapids December 29, 2010." By Steven Depolo via Wylio http://bit.ly/so6

The 99 percent offers work and wealth

to the commons

with blessing and prayer.

In return

schools, fire stations, police officers,

Medicare, Social Security, and Food Stamps

Are snatched from open hands.

 

 

Claire Lorentzen 6-28-2011
Scott Kinder-Pyle is a Presbyterian pastor in Spokane, Washington, and the featured poet in Sojourners' July issue.

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