Celebrating National Poetry Month!
Some people bristle like a porcupine or wrinkle up their noses when they hear the word “poetry.” Others light up, as though hungry for a gourmet taste of words.
Creating three-dimensional word pictures, poetry combines musical qualities with visual and other sensory attentiveness to detail. Some poems are as simple as a child’s drawing. Others, more exquisite, resemble those created by an artist painter or a National Geographic photographer.
Fluid as water and versatile as a chameleon, poetry is incredibly diverse in its expression. Poetry can tickle a funny bone, but also provide deep, intimate insights into human experience. It counts as close friends: creativity, beauty, wonder and wisdom. Spiritually, it can be as profound as Saint John of the Cross’ rendering of The Dark Night. Poetry is no stranger to courage when providing social critique that pierces complacency and challenges the status quo. And when sorrow knocks at one’s door, writing or reading poetry can be a soothing and comforting companion.
I’ve been blessed to have several poets in my family ancestry. A relative, Mina J. Cook, wrote more than 60 poems during the Civil War. Her book of poetry sheds light on her spiritual journey. In it, she shares the joys and many sorrows of her daily life in the 1860s, including her experience of having two sons and other relatives serving in the war.
My own poetry expresses my love of nature and my passion for spirituality and social justice. I consider this a special grace in my life and it has become an integral part of my prayer and my ministry.
I now invite you to enjoy “Spring Symphony,” a poem by Sister Rose Michele Boudreau (RIP) that expresses so well one of the frequent rites of April springtime.
a raindrop strikes an open leaf
and it quivers with delight.
GOD plays on the leafy keyboard
with swollen drops of rain
providing silent music
for the eye
as thunder produces
a bass-pedal accompaniment
rolling in from here and there
now clear and loud and awesome
now muffled in distance.
tapping on the rooftop skylight
the drumming rhythm changes
gusting with a stronger beat.
the seeds hid-safe in new-tilled soil
sigh and stretch
straining against their hard coats
in the struggle to be born.
a sheet of white light curtains
my forest view … fulminating.
a resounding crack and drum roll
sends startled shivers through my bones.
And a quiet steady coda
of soft falling drops lulls me
to security under the wing
of her who has kept me safe.