Author Archives: poetry

March 1 – “Grace” – – Isaiah “Song of the Servant of God”

Monday,  March 1 I began learning to teach as a 24-year-old kid at Holy Rosary Mission on Pine Ridge in South Dakota.  My life daunted me pretty much every day – so much I didn’t know about teaching, or about Lakota … Continue reading

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Feb 24 – Garrison Keilor “The Writer’s Almanac” – Raymond Carver – “AT LEAST”

I wrote most of this post in Washington DC while attending the American Catholic Colleges and Universities annual meeting. I grieved Stock’s absence just days after he died.  One of the Province Jesuits came to pack his final effects and … Continue reading

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February 22 — “Sometimes a woman simply has to run wild” -Judith Viorst

Monday, February 22 I read Judith Viorst’s poem late last night and, rare for me, wrote 3 poetic lines that the poet’s cadence teased out of some wellspring in my memory. “Sometimes a poet has to cut the reader loose … Continue reading

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Ash Wednesday – Feb 17 “there lives the dearest freshness, deep down things” –Hopkins

“Lent” – –  originally the word simply meant “Spring” (as in the German language “Lenz” and Dutch “lente”).  It derives from the Germanic root for “long” because in the spring the days visibly lengthen. The English spoken in the United States originated in England as a blend of … Continue reading

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Feb 15 – Jamaal May – “shift”

Monday,  February 15,   “I used to want to be this bad at a job.” I hadn’t posted a poem from Detroit poet Jamaal May in a while.  He writes “Shift” with the subtle density of language that characterizes his poetry.   … Continue reading

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Las Manos – Karina Varela

Tom Florek, s.j. has long served as a rich source of powerful poetry, primarily from Central American and Mexican poets; he sent this to me over the weekend.   Exquisite, as I read it.  I am inclined to run Tom’s cover paragraph … Continue reading

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Feb 5 – “haunting images of America’s past”

We usually save this space for what we call “contextual paragraphs”  —  short essays which we try to connect with something from the day that “wants our attention”  – –  e.g., the weather, some striking crisis, the season of the year, … Continue reading

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Tamar Lanier February 3 – “A Failed Essay on Privilege”

“The Murder of Emmett Till”   (PBS Feb 2, 2021)  Last night I stayed up late to watch the PBS documentary account of the torture and murder of the now-infamous young black boy, Emmett Till and his white killers in … Continue reading

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Jane Kenyon “Happiness”

Monday,  February 1  –  Jane Kenyon I first learned of Jane Kenyon’s “Happiness” from my favorite “American Experience” historical film producer, David Grubin, some years ago.  On this snow-covered Monday in February with its off-tune noises of intemperate, clashing political … Continue reading

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Wednesday Jan 27 – Midge Breeden: “John, I thought you would enjoy.” — still another poem from Amanda Gorman

In 2018 for The Climate Reality Project and riffing off of the iconic photo of the Earth rising over the surface of the Moon (taken by Apollo 8 astronauts), Gorman wrote a poem called “Earthrise” about the climate emergency and the action we … Continue reading

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