Category Seeds

Simply to fall on our knees

National Poetry Month, Day 21  //  Nothing sensory for me surpasses in glory the chorus of birdsong that rises in the predawn hours of early spring. As much as anything that bursts from the ground or buds from the greening branches of trees, and more than most, birdsong heralds the return of the season of […]

Celebrating the small, simple life

National Poetry Month, Day 20  //  I’m in the shrinking season of life. My circles of connection and influence are growing smaller, my responsibilities narrower, my horizons nearer. Logic tells me I ought to be grieving the losses; instead, I feel like I’m slipping into my favorite pair of jeans and slippers at the end […]

The gift of poetry

National Poetry Month, Day 19  //  One of my teachers in elementary school required my classmates and me to memorize poetry. I don’t know if teachers still do that – I doubt it – but it was the best gift she gave me and probably the reason she’s the only teacher from that time in […]

Eternity in a liter of milk

National Poetry Month, Day 18  //  The great baseball pitcher Satchel Paige, when asked by a reporter about an errant pitch he delivered into the dirt in front of home plate, replied, “In a billion years, when the world is a frozen snowball whirling through space, no one is going to remember that pitch,” or […]

Open your doors, open your eyes

National Poetry Month, Day 17  //  The greatest blessings in life are the commonest, and I’m blind to them usually because I look too high. I yearn for the big, unusual blessings and fail to see them precisely because the big ones are unusual. The common ones, the ones God loves to give, are most […]

Life as a shrine to meaning

National Poetry Month, Day 16  //  There’s more than one way to success. One of them is a competitive, triumphal, acquisitive way. Get the better job; win the promotion; drive a more luxurious car; move into a bigger house in a better neighborhood. “The one who dies with the most toys wins.” Then there is […]

Before death comes

National Poetry Month, Day 15  //  It’s a curious paradox. As the number of my days reaches fullness and the number of those to come dwindles, I grow less concerned with preparing for what may come after this life and more concerned with what remains on this side of the divide. The question of the […]

My life has been the poem

National Poetry Month, Day 14 // “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” John Lennon sang in “Beautiful Boy.” The song was recorded in 1980, but the phrase was a variation of one printed in 1957 in the “Quotable Quotes” column of Reader’s Digest. I don’t know how long before […]

In perfect silence

National Poetry Month, Day 13  //  Seeing past the surface of life to the “something more of the depths” that Robert Frost glimpsed at a well-curb may be an unexpected gift, but it doesn’t very often come out of the blue. Often it’s preceded by nudges as subtle as mere whim, boredom, impatience, or the […]

For once, then, something

National Poetry Month, Day 12  //  Noticing God’s grandeur is always sure to bowl me over, but honestly the experience of it has been rare. Mostly what I see is God’s ordinariness, nothing like the “shining from shook foil” that George Manley Hopkins describes in “God’s Grandeur.” Annie Dillard writes that nature “conceals with a […]