poems for Friday

Poetry has been a big part of my spiritual journey since I stumbled across Rilke’s Book of Hours. Partly because I’m naturally drawn to words and partly because poetry is the best language I know for talking about God. As I’ve quoted elsewhere, Madeleine L’Engle thinks so too:

The One I cry out to is not limited by size or number and can be glimpsed only in metaphor, that chief tool of imagery of the poet. And it is only in the high language of poetry that anything can be said about God.

So here are two poems for your weekend meditation.

I dig
layers of thick dirt
alive with earthworms and ants
a hundred feet down
and still going

I dig
expecting to find an ocean
the birth waters of the world
a vast underworld lake
I can set sail on

I dig
somewhere between heaven
and the stars
I reach
for the ground of all being

I am digging a well.

this is an act of faith.
~Jessica Wiebe Schafer

Photo by Harry Metcalfe, 2011

I give you an emptiness,
I give you a plentitude,
unwrap them carefully.
–one’s as fragile as the other—
and when you thank me
I’ll pretend not to notice the doubt in your voice
when you say they’re just what you wanted.

Put them on the table by your bed.
When you wake in the morning
they’ll have gone through the door of sleep
into your head. Wherever you go
they’ll go with you and
wherever you are you’ll wonder,
smiling about the fullness
you can’t add to and the emptiness
that you can fill.
~Norman MacCaig, “Presents”

And in case that’s not quite enough poetry for you, check out the W.S. Merwin poem Micha Boyett has up on her blog today.

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