Sister Kate Martin and Chet Corey, our poets


Kate and Chet were awarded First Place in the 3rd Annual Poetry Contest, sponsored by the City of Bloomington’s Human Services Senior Program and Home Care Assistance.

Chet Corey is an affiliate with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.  He prays with us regularly and often serves as lector at our Sunday Eucharist.

Here is Sister Kate’s first place poem.

COMMON GRIEF by Sr. Kate Martin

Have you known the way grief thins out the heart’s defenses?

Clumsy with my private sorrow, I find myself adding to the load.

Did I choose to feel the pain of the young father who could not save

his little son from the storm  that overturned their boat?

Did I ask to be told of the old woman who has been living alone

for years without visitors, without  the sound of a loved voice?

Soldiers broken by war, children abandoned, people homeless, hopeless –

did I set out to give them permanent residence in my heart?

It is my own grief that betrays me, that says to others’ pain:

“Over here!  Sit next to me and let your anguish carve its horrors on my heart !”

We recognize each other.  We nod with understanding before the tale is told.

We listen in the silence of our deepest heart and say, “Brother.” “Sister.”

Chet Corey’s first place poem.

FIRST MONDAY MORNING by Chet Corey

When I took the dog for a walk this morning,

I came upon the neighbor’s Blue Spruce

used up, propped where snowplows piled up

December, burning green against snirt white

until the end of the week, then off to a landfill.

We turned a corner to another Blue Spruce

and Balsam fir and went about our doggy

business, when she encircled in a snare of nylon

leash Katrina, wrapping joyfully around legs–.

Katrina, bundled-up like all Christmas gift wrap,

a haphazard mismatch of woolens, her mother

walking her to the bus stop, both giggling

as China Rose unwound and rewound herself,

Katrina’s backpack as if off to Mt. Everest.

A first grader, turning seven or turned, christened

years before Hurricane Katrina usurped her name.

I started up a rise of hill, turned to look back as

she ran toward a clutch of kids against grey cold,

manic their first Monday back-to-school morning,

Have a good day at school, Katrina,” I called.

Without turning, up shot her arm, as if she had an

answer her teacher asked.  Katrina’s was no hand

going down beneath wave; she was off adventuring.

The yellow bus kinged the hilltop, sunlight slicing

across its windshield, bladed clean as the chalkboard

awaiting Katrina.  China Rose squatted, yellowed

the new fall snow with her scent.  Hope had returned.

 

 

Sisters arrive from Jejudo, South Korea

 

Our Sisters Monica and Paulina from their community on the beautiful Island of Jeju have come to the Midwest of the United States to be with us.  What joy they bring to community.  In the 1960’s Archbishop Henry, a Columban Missionary, serving the diocese of Quanju, but originally from Northfield, Mn, invited the Minneapolis Clares to begin the first Poor Clare Community in Korea. Young women came to the monastery here for studies and returned in 1970 with a group of Koreans and Americans to begin life on the Island.  Forty-years later there are 6 monasteries of Poor Sisters of St. Clare in Korea.