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My new collection of poems
about birding and the spiritual life:

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UNCAGED
hard-copy * read online

WHAT NEVER FAILS

We went to the water
to see the Pelican –

the one, they say, who stabs her breast
and feeds her young with blood (like Christ),

but there was no bird like that
on the little islands by the pier.

There were Western Gulls instead,
crying out like Alcyone for Ceys,

flying over us like the ragged mists
of dreams we dream at dawn

and, waking, find
have told us the truth.

We were standing close together, just above
the water, like the Light Princess and her Prince,

when I noticed the cliff swallows
darting over the waves, under the pier

where they have hidden their nests
and are feeding the future

with a constant love
that never fails.

jb

 

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Now available from Lulu Press,
JANE BEAL’s new poetry collection:

TRANSFIGURATION

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“Jane’s perspective, from being an international midwife and a talented writer, gives rise to the absolutely beautiful poems contained in this little book. She incorporates sweetly the people she has served in her birth practice and travels. She also teaches us some midwifery along the way! Jane’s great faith in our Lord adds so much to this labor-of-love volume. I highly recommend this book. It should be in the possession of all midwives and mothers.”

Jan Tritten
Editor of Midwifery Today
Author of Birth Wisdom, Vol. 1 & 2

“Birth is sacred experience: a time when the formless takes form.  In Jane Beal’s new book, Transfiguration: A Midwife’s Birth Poems, we are taken through beautiful poetic form, closer to the spirit of birth. We feel both joy and grief. But who are we to question the ways of the spirit? As much as we try to understand birth, its mystery remains a miracle – and that is what draws us into Transfiguration.”

Cathy Daub
President of BirthWorks International
Author of Birthing in the Spirit

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Selkie Finds the Sea

is now available in the journal,

Journey of the Heart: Women’s Spiritual Poetry.

couple at sea

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Selkie Takes her Turn

by Jane Beal

now available at Forgotten

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“Selkie” by Awreon

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“Pomona’s Garden”

“Echo Finds her Body”

by Jane Beal

PoppyRoadReview

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9m BEAL-NewCrops-2015

“Other pilgrims pace restlessly through this book: Jane Beal finds poetry when she visits landmarks in Rome, but her most striking entry in New Crops from Old Fields consists solely of questions Muslims and Jews asked her in the Holy Land. The poem is a remarkable distillation of the sort of grace and charity a pilgrimage should foster: a diminution of the self, and the generosity of letting others speak. Throughout her poetry, Beal makes the medieval personal—a fox on the roadside reminds her of the Reynard of fable, and she writes in the voices of Caedmon and Dante—and her destination is the answer to an intimate question: ‘What shape does the shadow of my life form / when I take my stand in the light of God?'”

~ Jeff Sypeck, “We’ll find the speck of truth in each riddle …” (review of New Crops)

“Jane Beal captures the essence of the simultaneous distinction between, and union of, being a medievalist and a poet: “As a medievalist, I must translate older forms of English, French, and Latin . . . into modern English. As a lyric poet, I must translate emotion and the memory of experience from my heart to my reader. In both cases, translation is a key that opens new doors” (5). As both medieval scholars and poets, we are compelled to ‘carry across’ past times, memory, place, emotion, and experience to others. Beal’s poetry crosses over from the medieval languages and literary allusions that propel each piece to the more tangible and familiar human emotions that permeate her poetry and her medieval sources. Beal’s travels in the holy land are encapsulated in a poem made up entirely of questions—“Where are you from?” “Are you married?” “Have you been to Bethlehem?” “When will you return to Israel?”—not only relating her memories of moments of experience but also the reality of the collision of the ancient, the medieval, and the modern worlds, of the ordinary and the extraordinary that we encounter as we search for our truths. In one poem, her Speaker encounters a “far-walking pilgrim,” a “shadow-walker.” This elicits a reflection and a question: “What shape does the shadow of my life form / when I take my stand in the light of God?” A devout faith seems to resonate from and to guide her poetry as it did the poets of the medieval world whose work informs Beal’s own.”

~ Julie A. Chappell, Review in Medievally Speaking

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Now available from Wipf and Stock,

JANE BEAL’s new poetry collection:

 Rising: Poems for America

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“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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