Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fierceness and Courage - Poetry Party over at Abbey of the Arts

Well, this probably takes some courage here - to pour out my heart in poetry and let you all see it - and you might not think that it has much to do with liturgy or catechesis... but as a writer and a former student of Renaissance poetry, it is always a latent possibility that I will break forth in verse!

This morning I responded to the invitation in the Abbey of the Arts blog to write a poem or reflection about fierceness and courage - with this picture as inspiration:  

The catechetical moment here is that I never know when the Spirit will inspire me to respond with verse. I have piles of unpublished poems - most of which represent some attempt to reflect on something going on in my life. It's a form of catharsis - and in many cases, like journaling in prose, a form of prayer.  The formational part of spiritual poetry for me is that it allows me to mine the depths of my relationship with God.  A good poem can teach the writer as much as it expresses to a reader.  Here is what I wrote this morning (still awaiting moderation over at A of the A:

A Song of Fierce Avoidance

Like a lion, God, you hunt me without rest, seeking to draw me with gentle paws
to your mighty heart of love.
Heedless, I cling desperately to whatever briefly comforts me, often seeking
everything but you.
I claw and struggle, fighting to find my true self, amid a bramble
Of memory, sorrow and desire,
always trying to go back to a past that cannot be recovered,
to missed opportunities, wasted joys, and ignored blessings.

I stumble blindly through thickets heavy with memory, regret and grief,
knowing you are near, yet doing everything I can to escape
the inevitable snare of your love,
refusing to admit my need, reluctant to trust you alone
with my future.

Teach me the courage to allow myself to be caught by you –
and to become like a newborn lamb,
lying trustingly, resting my head against you alone for comfort,
the thunder of your love loud in my ear,
drowning out all other voices – even my own.

There - my soul is bare -  for whatever worth the reader may find in it.  This is where I am, still working my way through the grief of losing the most important person in my life a year and a half ago.  I know God is there - I just struggle with surrender to the current reality.... as we all do at times.

Why not try your hand at poetry, reflection or another kind of response to the topic of fierceness and courage - follow the link in the second paragraph above and join the party!

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