Adventia – day 2

In my first post in this series, I explained the origins of my strange, made up word. Adventia, as I see it, is our foray into the headwaters of Advent – waiting, hoping, and preparing, together with Fragmentia, those literary illuminations of God’s in-breaking into our world to which we may unite the former.

For most of these we’re taking our cue from a favourite Instagram site of mine – #realpoetsdaily Today, we’re blessed by this gem by T. S. Eliot, from “East Coker.”

"But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting..." T.S. Eliot

Adventia – Day 1

No, the above is not meant as some cheap attempt at a New Joizy accent with the word adventure. I see it more as the amalgamation of Advent and Fragmentia: a place where the illumination of God’s in-breaking into our world found in the Advent narratives unites with the fragments of literature and faith and life seeking to bring us to deeper understanding of it all.

Advent is upon us once more. With it comes a barrage of books and practices all aimed at helping us get the most from the experience. My choice this year is to ride someone else’s coattails. Am I just too lazy to think of anything original? Maybe. To be honest, I just like the approach taken by someone I follow on Instagram – #realpoetsdaily 

So then, that is what I am doing for Advent…what they’re doing. I’ll post here but redirect you always back to their site. I give you, Advent, day 1.

“It’s the first Sunday in Advent, and like last year I plan on posting a poem for every day of Advent, and then for ever day of Christmas. Here is “First Sunday” by Sally Thomas (@sallytnnc).

Adding Sails

It could be said that

our journeys

are nothing less than

the accumulation

of barnacled hulls and salted prows,

of decks swabbed, well-waxed.

Our crew, composed of those

most impressive, help our slow, steady progress

on the coursing waves of coarser seas.

They sing the old songs.

It could be said that

our wayfaring breezes,

blushed in day-fat skies,

signal us to find their end,

pathways noble, chosen, fearless.

Our guide-stars, poised in Spring-fair heavens,

simplify our white-ribbon’d way

through cushioning waves.

It could be said that

this blue-borne sprawl before us

like weedless gardens,

paths without walls,

is a wordless song of melodies, uninterrupted

and well-key’d, meant for voices

of children and saints.

It could be said that

whatever shanties once joined

throats in the shared songs of adventure

were nothing more than the nursery

rhymes of spoil’d children,

sung by swaying lunar choirs

of the misshapen but hopeful.

Of all the things that could be said,

I will say but one:

of this or any journey,

in the outward way before us –

we are not the Captain of our ships,

we are only

adding sails.

Building Our Poem

Posted this recently to my Innerwoven blog. But, it’s just as timely and appropriate here. I hope you enjoy. Peace, friends…

innerwoven

“…in thy voice I catch

The language of my former heart…”*

“The Bud,” 1987

I love poetry. I love its exactitude, its wide-eyed innocence wed to unflinching honesty. The unforced rhythms of perfection, like Grandma’s gaze over well-worn glasses. It is the art of lovers, the science of thinkers, the wisdom of doers.

Poetry gives up her secrets cautiously, altruistically, slowly. Every word, like every note of a great symphony, is fully intended, placed unequivocally in its place with an eye, and ear, to building something remarkable out of simple things, something well beyond the sum of its parts.

In a thousand ways, we are the amalgam of our carefully written words; each one added to the emerging poem of our lives. In this process, there are no real mistakes. There is only the discernment asked of us in the changing turn of phrase that will ultimately become…

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Found

Another good one by fellow poet and all round great human being, Kelly Belmonte. Check out everything on her page (https://allninemuses.wordpress.com). Well worth your time.

All Nine

Are not all poems found poems?

Are not all poets failed poets

failing in a form fated to fail?

Poetry is not truth, but the last

gasp of revelation after hearing

the truest word. The poet

speaks in tongues to a world

that cannot bear truth, whose words

are woodpeckers at the rotting beam,

wind rattling against the eaves.

The poet is found a poet

as a poem is found in the ruins

of a dying language, the last breath

of truth in a truth-famished land.

Find me in these ruins.

*****

Photo by Jiannis Tsiliakis on Unsplash

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Prayer

We press the world between pointed palms,

where the weary stretch for heaven’s notice.

Our best vision, through closed eyes – steps

weightless

on scabbed knees, waiting.

Wine-soaked, bread-fed words squeeze

themselves through parched lips to

arrange with dancing in mind. But first,

they must learn the art of walking naked, blindfolded

through haunted alleys,

danger-gripped, clammy with doubt.

We stretch out long necks, seeking only glimpses, emancipation.

But, the lecherous bully of shame spends all his time

butchering the still,

small voices of light that sneak

in through backdoors where hope still keeps

windows open.

Tragic, is it not, how shades pull tight against wayward shards

of sun, the down-payment for our breath?

Like running in snow, our legs just get heavier –

too much weight tossed about over time.

A leering fatigue replaces what’s left of inadequate strength –

thickness filling muscles too weak to move past their own demise.

Still, hope is what came, long after our tight-

cinched belt of faith lost its grip

and hungry shame gave way to

garden surrender.

Only then does our Amen make sense.

Lines from a French Train

Composed on a train somewhere between Paris and Montpellier, October, 2019

Sometimes, it is easier to find the whimsy

when there is no memory of a place.

Sharp jagged edges can polish themselves

out in conversations with fellow travellers.

Their questions are better than

my unqualified answers.

Laughter jumbles out, jostling about in

the accidental chaos of shared days –

days made strong in the looking

away from the timekeepers and toward

their owners. Remember,

we must all live our lives on our heels

sometimes. Then, we unburden our-

selves in the company of strangers.

I don’t assume the elbow room was mine.

This kicking straight of cramping

knees was not an action reserved for

my taxable legs.

I don’t pretend to know the steps to a dance

composed without my song, by other tribes.

Their rainbow isn’t signed by my god.

Nor is the stretching road built with

me in mind.

I don’t expect my expectations to equal

the readiness of others to serve them.

I don’t believe, even for a minute, the whisperings

of my inserted presence, that my voice

gets top billing, priority, and loudest.

My tongue is not the first or strongest, the purest,

or even necessary.

It is only,

mine.