Mining the Bright Birds: Poems of Longing for Home
By Jody Lee Collins
“Jody Collins’s breathtaking poetry invites us into small spaces, in time, in creation, and within our own hearts where God’s glory waits ready to burst into song.” –Shemaiah Gonzalez, storyteller and essayist
Life is an upward journey of change & growth
An Invitation to Discover Our Deepest Longings
The manner in which we chart our lives is less a straight line on a calendar of days and more a song cycle moving upward into the future, circles growing closer as we move towards the center, where God is. Ecclesiastes declares we are made for a longing towards Heaven, our true home, and so we journey, often in the dark.
Signposts offer safety and comfort, from the miraculous and mundane—birdsong, the somnolence of Creation’s winter and the surprise of every Spring. The familiar sight of a favorite chair, the way sunlight falls in the same place each morning all helps mark time as we cycle through the days.
The poems in Mining the Bright Birds-Poems of Longing for Home reflect this circular, upward journey, one of changing and growth. The closer we move towards God, the more like ourselves we become.
The invitation to discover our deepest longings is often a call to lean into the many ways we express ourselves—as poet or painter or simply a person whose hand holds onto our Creator’s on the pathway home.
Mining the Bright Birds offers a glimmer of light to shine the way.
“‘Lean into the love between the lines.’ Poet Jody Collins writes with psalmic sensibilities, often underscored by longing. In attending to people, creatures, and seasons, she attunes the ear and heart to everyday moments of resonance. Her grateful hymn to living bids me join the chorus: ‘. . . all gift. / All God.’”
Laurie Klein, poet/songwriter of “I Love You, Lord”
“Jody Collins’s breathtaking poetry invites us into small spaces, in time, in creation, and within our own hearts where God’s glory waits ready to burst into song.”
Shemaiah Gonzalez, storyteller and essayist
“‘Like holiness / with wings,’ Jody Collins’s new collection, Mining the Bright Birds, sings a life of prayer, writing, gardening, family, and birds of every hue. Wise, poetic meditations assure us that we too are made for hope, ‘for here and hear.’ Collins encourages us to wait patiently and ‘rest on beauty.’ In this way, like the poet, may we continue ‘past empty, quiet gray / searching for a hummingbird / in the snow,’ rediscovering home in the Creator.”
Marjorie Maddox, author of Begin with a Question
“The collection begins with an epigraph from St. Teresa of Avila: ‘God is calling,’ and Jody Collins answers with poems filled with ‘beauty-aleaf and aberry.’ Her poems are the way she is ‘reading the world.’ She listens to birds, she listens to her heart, she writes poetry, and she learns to ‘lean / into the love between the lines.’ Collins finds her way to God, daily glimmer by daily glimmer, bird song by bird song.”
Megan Willome, author of The Joy of Poetry