Poetry Sunday

From the weekly eNews of 2-28-14:

“This Sunday we are planning a poetry Sunday at Trinity. The power of poetry and its winging words may puzzle us at times, may seem rather far-fetched and fantastic to some of us, but they also help us to enter those dimensions of life that are ineffable or that transcend us. In this Sunday’s Gospel of the Transfiguration of Christ we encounter the poetry-like manifestation of Christ, radiating as a window into God, as George Herbert would put it. Like poetry this poetic Gospel passage may also guide our faith and its ineffable parts. In his transfiguration, Jesus certainly affirms that the mystery dimension of God is not to scare us but is like an epiphany moment that hopes to familiarize us with the mystery of God’s love. I hope our first poetry Sunday will allow us to enjoy both the poetry of life and the poetry of faith.


Matthew 17:1-13, the Gospel of the Transfiguration of Christ

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

We look forward to Poetry Sunday becoming an annual event.

Poetry Sunday, April 3, 2016

No Man Is an Island
John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

Mary Oliver

“It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”

An Act of Faith
Barbara Jordan

In the water I see stars, among the reeds
the mountain of my face,
and across a distance two geese
in the twilight of a lake, like stilettos.
So many touchstones. I lean toward life,
I unbuckle the flowers’ roots,
hold birds
and know the privilege, know the trees
as vessels of shadow.

And if the sky is gray and anguished gray above a field
before a storm—
and the leaves shake, shake, shake
with a spiritual palsy—
I look over my shoulder unsure: am I observed,
or do I observe?

Let show all things splended,
in their darker nature
splendid also. Lord you know the mask
of my face, how I peer at the world
from under a leaf, from under the squint
of my intelligence

I can’t comprehend or find contradiction
in evidence of past milleniums, the broken
ancient skulls,
galaxies behind the sun. Certainly all creatures
pause, and gaze benignly
into the air, into the light where birds fly and are gone:
this is the Light I lean toward.

Stone Cross
Sheila Bonenberger

I will never go to Finland,
never see their dark forests fed
by icy streams, never
see reindeer in the wild,
never feel their mossy antlers.

I’ll never sip ice water
from a Russian river, never
tell fairy tales in Icelandic,
that many layered language,
never say “How are you?”
to a bearded Finnish farmer,
or wake up in a Finnish bed
made of ancient northern trees,
covered in a puffy eiderdown quilt,
my nose cold in the chilly dawn
wind blowing air in off the tundra
through the cracks
in a handmade wooden house
like the one where the young woman
(who pulls a sled filled with old clothes
to sell at a flea market) lives.

She’ll take the money
and buy tea to warm her hands
first thing in the morning
before she treks to work in a quarry
fashioning stone crosses
like the one I hold now and rub with my thumb
until the stone shines from without
as much as it shines
from within.


Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing
‘My God and King.’

The heav’ns are not too high,
His praise may thither fly:
The earth is not too low,
His praises there may grow.

Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing,
‘My God and King.’

The church with psalms must shout
No door can keep them out:
But above all, the heart
Must bear the longest part.

Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing,
‘My God and King.’

George Herbert (1593-1633)