Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

Advent in the North

 

EXILE

The moon sheds silver shadows on the sky,

blue shadows on the snow;

the house-beams crack all night,

startling us with the news

that it is colder than we thought.

“Winter is closing in,” we say,

but winter moves us outward in imagination

to learn how cold it is to be exiled from the sun,

how lonely the darkness,

how welcome the light of any approaching star.

 

HERE IN THE NORTH

1.

The radiators wakened me

(four a.m., after a night of blizzard)

alarmed me with their frantic gushing,

a niagara roaring through the system,

gurgling, swirling, growling

through every pipe, making the circuit

of the house with urgency.

Anxiety washed over me — not just

concern about the state of the furnace,

but dread of where we might be carried

beyond sleep, through the storm:

to what cold shore?

2.

Day emerges with a rare shining:

not remnants of moonlight

or the early edge of dawn,

but the sheen of new snow

binding every branch.

Somehow the snowfall invaded

without waking us,

took over without resistance,

left us helpless at the window,

captives of beauty and cold.

3.

When you live in the north

where winter, white ogre,

grips the calendar for months,

then a bird’ s song in mid-March

tastes like Spanish wine,

and your heart can easily miss a beat

at the sight

of a puddle.

Sr. Kate

Short Days and Long Nights

THE ADVENT SEASON

First Sunday of Advent,  Year C in the Common Cycle

of Christian Readings:

Jeremiah 33: 14-16

Psalm 25

I Thessalonians 3:12-4-2

Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36

 

Advent is the Season to watch and wait.

“Sun, moon and stars wonder at God’s love

For God gives all,

All for our love.” *

 

The sky is dark blue as dawn wakes the world

with touches of pink.

Can we not watch and wait…and “wonder at

God’s love”?

 

WINTER

The moon sheds silver shadows on the sky,
blue shadows on the snow;
the house-beams crack all night
startling us with the news
that it is colder than we thought.

“Winter is closing in,” we say,
but winter moves us outward in imagination
to learn how cold it is to be exiled from the sun,
how lonely the darkness,
how welcome the light of any approaching star.
                                                                Sr. Kate

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.

 

 

Autumn

kidinleavesweb2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Kate’s poem:

AUTUMN
Autumn is a scenario:chairinbackyard
season of parting and transformation,
brisk winds, early frosts, fading flowers,
a cool well of finalities.

Right now in my back yard
the lawn is an ocean of fallen leaves
on which one lawn chair sits abandoned,
drifting out to sea toward winter.

The Pear Tree

pear

Sr. Caroline

The pear tree had a rugged year:
drought was too much for it,
taking almost every leaf
even before the rust of autumn.

But the tree’s own sweetness
left a wisdom-message
in its web of stricken branches:
one green and nearly-perfect pear
proving life is more than the sum of the weather.

Sr. Kate