What is Poetry if Not Prayer?

What is meditative prayer if not poetry, a seeking to understand?  The first example that comes to mind are the psalms of the Bible – a well known example of poetic prayer.  However, it is more than just that.  As a creative writer I search for words for the inexpressible, as a person of faith I entertain the unknown.  Underlying both is a mystery.  There are times that I am seized by something awesome, transforming, soul altering.  Then I cannot attribute what I have put down on paper to any particular thought process or mortal inspiration.  It is much more than that – as if something – or some being beyond me – used me.  I do not understand, but accept the gift of divine inspiration. And whenever a poem forms from words, from fragments? I feel something working through me: a puzzle maker who is the only one who knows what the complete picture will be. When I engage in meditative prayer I also connect with something, or a being beyond me, that I call God. To pray I need to have faith, as there is that which I accept I don’t completely understand.

As in prayer, as in poetry, so in dance, hence my tagline of the dancing poet. There are times that I dance and the person I am dancing with asks what I just did and I helplessly shrug as I say, “I danced”.  I have faith that there is something larger at work. The three (prayer, poetry, and dance) interpenetrate my being.  To examine or represent only one is to see a small part.  To see all and be all three is much more: the sum is greater than the parts.

If you are interested in more there is a Huffington Post article on just poetry and prayer, and a book, ‘A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith,’ co-edited by Katherine Towler and Ilya Kaminsky.

And I leave you with a thought via Asato Ma, an ancient prayer from India that is a song for peace. If poetry and dance and prayer, why not song, why not all creative processes?



Night Stroll

Walking under hazy moon in the nite
Celebrating frogs, fire flies, the occasional pool from a household light
Wet, cool, a different world, a different life.
And now? It’s time to call it a nite. Good night.

Spring in Summer?

The creaking of a pedaling bike out-of-tune, the clarity of deep and contrasting colors of a clear cool Spring morn in the depths of Summer – just after some rains -the surprising quiet of the back roads today with the Monday traffic that has fled away, the heavy breath that eventually syncs and calmly pulsates/dances as part of the rhythm of the outdoors…what a wonderful day it ’tis!

Poetic prose attempting to capture the unexpectedly weirdly wonderful weather this Monday morn, a perfect day that seems to capture the unusual of this year.

The Caterpillar – The Butterfly – Life!

For what the caterpillar sees as the end of its journey,

A butterfly views as time to test its wings,

Flying free…

We crawl, and then transform ourselves so we can fly

Die many little deaths, to be born/start anew…

(In the first three lines similarity can be seen from something I read in “No Perfect People Allowed” by John Burke.)

Nature’s Quirks

On the drive home a little fox ran in front of me across the road
At home a mouse squiggled/squeaked by underneath my toes
As I lay on the grassy slope
Gleaming lines, sparkling blobs = snails here and there
Lots of little things at an odd time of the year
Is it the weather, could it be?
Or…just me?