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Archive for April, 2015

In days I will be completely rebuilt
from the girl I was when I was eight, blood sweet with a different dust,
bones singing in different shades of dig and bury.
But I will still know all she taught me, how to move
like gusts of leaves, how to pretend not to be waiting
for anyone. I know I have unraveled since then,
pulled out some of the fishing stitches in my tongue,
though I know there is still more than enough rope
to lead me back to that throatless staircase. I have been practicing
turning maps into parachutes, closing my eyes
until my trembling swings
like the only clock, and with my mouth wound-wide,
I jump.

Aleph Altman-Mills

They Say Our Cells Are Gradually Replaced Over the Course of Seven Years by Aleph Altman-Mills.

via They Say Our Cells Are Gradually Replaced Over the Course of Seven Years by Aleph Altman-Mills.

I love this poem.

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Through All of It

2012-3-12-2012-Woman-Praising-God

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Now available from Wipf and Stock,

JANE BEAL’s new poetry collection:

 Rising: Poems for America

BEAL-Rising

“Poetry is memorable language, according to W. H. Auden. Rising is a work of such vividness that I kept thinking about the poems long after I closed the book. Jane Beal is a strong poet with a sharp eye for landscape, a deep sense of history, and an intimate way of writing her language that is never less than bracing. I admire her work, and I hope that readers make their way toward this fine collection.”

—Jay Parini,
author of The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems

“Jane Beal’s poems draw deeply upon the energies of earth and sky, bearing witness to the ways the life force manifests in birds nesting and flying, in women giving birth, in rivers and wind and song. Reaching across time and continental boundaries, they take the reader to quiet places of encounter with self and others and God. This is a collection to be entered and navigated slowly, accepting its invitation to slow down, see into others’ stories and take stock of one’s own longing for sacred gifts.”

—Marilyn McEntyre,
author of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies

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Listen:

Touch the Sky

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What fortune lies beyond the stars
Those dazzling heights too vast to climb
I got so high to fall so far
But I found heaven as love swept low

My heart beating
My soul breathing
I found my life
When I laid it down

Upward falling
Spirit soaring
I touch the sky
When my knees hit the ground

What treasure waits within Your scars
This gift of freedom gold can’t buy
I bought the world and sold my heart
You traded heaven to have me again

My heart beating
My soul breathing
I found my life
When I laid it down

Upward falling
Spirit soaring
I touch the sky
When my knees hit the ground

Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am
Reaching out I surrender

Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am
Reaching out I surrender

Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

My heart beating
My soul breathing
I found my life
When I laid it down

Upward falling
Spirit soaring
I touch the sky
When my knees hit the ground (2x)

Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am
Reaching out I surrender

Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

Upward falling
Spirit soaring
I touch the sky
When my knees hit the ground

United

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I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.

Psalm 118:17

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He was so tired that he was scarcely able to hear a note of the songs: he felt imprisoned in a cold region where his brain was numb and his spirit was isolated.

1
Requite this angel whose
flushed and thirsting face
stoops to the sacrifice
out of which it arose.
This is the lord Eros
of grief who pities
no one; it is
Lazarus with his sores.
2
And you, who with your soft but searching voice
drew me out of the sleep where I was lost,
who held me near your heart that I might rest
confiding in the darkness of your choice:
possessed by you I chose to have no choice,
fulfilled in you I sought no further quest.
You keep me, now, in dread that quenches trust,
in desolation where my sins rejoice.
As I am passionate so you with pain
turn my desire; as you seem passionless
so I recoil from all that I would gain,
wounding myself upon forgetfulness,
false ecstasies, which you in truth sustain
as you sustain each item of your cross.
3
Veni Redemptor, but not in our time.
Christus Resurgens, quite out of this world.
‘Ave’ we cry; the echoes are returned.
Amor Carnalis is our dwelling-place.
4
O light of light, supreme delight;
grace on our lips to our disgrace.
Time roosts on all such golden wrists;
our leanness is our luxury.
Our love is what we love to have;
our faith is in our festivals.
5
Stupefying images of grief-in-dream,
succubae to my natural grief of heart,
cling to me, then; you who will not desert
your love nor lose him in some blank of time.
You come with all the licence of her name
to tell me you are mine. But you are not
and she is not. Can my own breath be hurt
by breathless shadows groaning in their game?
It can. The best societies of hell
acknowledge this, aroused by what they know:
consummate rage recaptured there in full
as faithfulness demands it, blow for blow,
and rectitude that mimics its own fall
reeling with sensual abstinence and woe.
6
This is the ash-pit of the lily-fire,
this is the questioning at the long tables,
this is true marriage of the self-in-self,
this is a raging solitude of desire,
this is the chorus of obscene consent,
this is a single voice of purest praise.
7
He wounds with ecstasy. All
the wounds are his own.
He wears the martyr’s crown.
He is the Lord of Misrule.
He is the Master of the Leaping Figures,
the motley factions.
Revelling in auguries
he is the Weeper of the Valedictions.
8
Music survives, composing her own sphere,
Angel of Tones, Medusa, Queen of the Air,
and when we would accost her with real cries
silver on silver thrills itself to ice.

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