• Book Reviews

    Poetry Interview-Susan Cowger

    Susan Cowger confesses she was the ‘black sheep’ in the family, not quite fitting into the mold of family vocations–nurses, pharmacists, sensible people. Instead, her first language was art, a calling that led to a BA in Fine Art (1977) from Montana State University and subsequent MFA in Poetry with a secondary emphasis in Art from Eastern Washington University in 1997. Susan is a sculptor, visual artist (oils and watercolor) and a writer. What made her take the leap from two dimensional and three-dimensional work to words? “Art is often abstract. I wanted to help people enter into the art, so I started writing little poems. It seemed to help,”…

  • My Poems

    Contemplate {a #poem}

    I’ve no chisel but this pen chipping at paper like stone, carving words, not to build but bend graphite like steel, curve the bones (Dear God, not break) but lay in place and then form a space to hold a new edifice, sculpt and rest and tap some more while You hand me bricks to begin, restore. *** The word contemplate is from the Latin, and literally means to carve out a temple, from the two parts-‘com’ and ‘templum,’ i.e. an “intensive space.” Words are swirling everywhere lately and the voices are l o u d. Seems no matter where I turn there is something to fear whether it’s danger,…

  • The Church Year

    Seven Books for the Seasons

    Did you know that woodchucks (aka the groundhog) and Jesus’ birthday have something in common? On the church calendar, February 2nd is Candlemas, the last Feast Day in the Christian year dated in reference to Christmas. This celebration of Candlemas marks the presentation of Jesus in the Temple 40 days after his birth (as Jewish custom required), and the purification ceremony of the Virgin Mary at the same time. (Luke 2:29-32). The word ‘Candlemas’ (or Candlemass) refers to the custom of blessing and distributing candles and carrying them in procession before the Mass celebrated in churches in many parts of the globe. The lighting of the candles is symbolic of…

  • Book Reviews

    Book Review: In a Strange Land-Ten Kingdom Poets

      The kingdom of God has been compared throughout the Gospels as everything from a pearl of great price, to a vineyard, a man going on a journey, a mustard seed, a field of wheat and many more. And if the Kingdom of God had poets, which I’m sure it does, then you’d find their work in the slim volume “In a Strange Land-Introducing Ten Kingdom Poets” from Poiema Poetry Series (ed. DS Martin). Editor Martin explains the occasion of this printing, “This poetry collection gathers into one volume works by ten talented poets who…each (are) well deserving of having their own full-length poetry books, but as of April, 2019…

  • My Poems

    Conversation {a #poem}

    What did I do to deserve this? is the wrong ask. Because you didn’t. Do anything. There is no quid pro quo/cash economy in this wide invisible, Kingdom-filled world. The sunlight searching between oak leaves, the slant of green on the birdbath, chime of silver in the breeze. It’s all gift. Like the sloppy kiss of a two-year-old or an unexpected letter in the mail, you are worth surprising. Don’t quibble with your questions, paint your Creator God as an if/then Saviour. He is a because/when God. Because you are mine, I will pour out my gracelings when I want, to whom I want. Just look up from time to time and…

  • On Reading

    On Reading & Reciting Poetry

    I have a signed copy of this lovely book from Caroline Kennedy’s Seattle appearance a few years back. I was amazed by how many of these poems she knew by heart, many of which she recited for us  that night.  I am a terrible memorizer. Memorization is an analytical skill, a counter-intuitive trait to this Random Abstract Global thinker. However, next to trying to remember favorite Scriptures, which I’ve gotten mostly by osmosis lo, these 40 plus years, I do want to get some poetry in my memory banks. As C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” (Thanks to Johnny…

  • My Poems

    Any-a-gram {a #poem}

    I hate it that I am so sporadic inconsistent, not persistent,          no straight-ahead-in-a-line-to-the-finish. I’m distracted, side-tracked stops and starts, mis-matched piles, can’t remember the whats and whens. No perfect files, labeled loudly       I  A M  I N  C O N T R O L. I feign at neatness, completeness escaping me ever in process, a mess in the making. Oh, why can’t I be like those orderly others, those finishers perfectly packing their lives in a box, the rank and file, who smile      at me, “Oh poor thing, she’s so erratic.”  Well— I am resigned to the wholeof me, my hits and misses marking a difference, scattering…

  • My Poems

    I am From {a #poem}

    I am from doughboy pools and homemade Barbie houses from Huffy bikes and Helms Bakery donuts. I am from three sisters to a room and broad green bermuda lawns. I am from bright sandy beaches and weeping willows whose drooping green sheltered me from California’s sun. I am from Coppertone and Sun-In from Helen and Wes and John. I am from belting out a tune and scribbling in the dark from roller skating and tree-fort-building from fighting at the top of my lungs and finding quiet at any cost. I am from Bible stories with Mrs. Cluck and anywhere-you-can-take-5-kids-on-a-Sunday. I am from the Hebjums and Lindseys, a Best at heart…