National Poetry Month, Day 22  //  There’s a story some preachers like to tell at this time of year. A preacher was taking his family to church one Easter morning, when his young daughter asked, “Dad, are you going to try to explain the resurrection, or are you just going to let people enjoy Easter?” […]

It’s easy I think (though it seems not so easy for some), in the predawn birdsong of early spring, to pause in gratitude for the annual renewal of the earth. William Alexander Percy thought no one could listen long to that song, “A song so mystical and calm, / So full of certainties,” except on […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]