New Tattoo: Gerard Manley Hopkins


On the first of this month, I ended up getting my fifth tattoo. It’s a quote from a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem (my first poetry tattoo!), called “As Kingfishers Catch Fire”. The poem itself is about vocation- about that place where our deepest desires meet the deep need of the world.

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For me, this is a huge reminder to have on myself. I placed it close to my heart because it is something that I need to be reminded of every day- that I am what I do, and what I say and what I feel- not what others have done to me, or what evil they have brought into my life, or what other people think or say about me. I am also what I do, meaning that I have a duty to be active in living out my vocation in the world. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and no one will know the good in my heart, the passion in my heart, the God in my heart, if I do not make a conscious choice to do so, every day. And for that I came- not for the purpose of being successful, or being the most holy, or saving every person I meet or even being happy. I came to ‘do’ that which is ‘me’- to be the Self that God made to the best of my ability. He only made one me, and I’m not going to waste His gift by being someone else.

So in honor of all that, here is the poem in it’s entirety: (I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!)

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

 

I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

 

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Holy Innocents


After thinking through some things, I have decided that I will now be posting on a bi-weekly basis, so every other Sunday. Pray that I will be able to keep up with this schedule.

So to start this off, have a fresh new poem written by yours truly. This was written way back in December 2014, on the Feast of Holy Innocents, which happened to also share a Sunday with the Feast of the Holy Family. This poem is a reflection of that juxtaposition of the suffering of innocent children with the impending suffering of the Holy Infant, as I was captivated by a young child in the pews in front of me at Mass.

holyinnocents

“Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”


I haven’t posted personal work in awhile and I figured I probably should, seeing as this is a poetry blog. Recently I’ve been running into a qualm with the idea of ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’, namely people believing that the sentiment holding true having some kind of say in whether or not love is true. I wrote a newer poem about the idea, and then realized that I had already written a poem about my feelings on the sentiment back in high school. So to parallel the two different points of my life, I have decided today to post the two poems one right after the other.

This first one was written when I was eighteen, so back in 2010:
distance

And this one was written this week, at the age of twenty-two in 2014:

distancesolves

What are your ideas on this well-used idiom?

Edit: I had to re-do the poems in graphic form as the post editor isn’t letting me put the correct line-breaks in the poems.

Why Do I Write: With Such Weird Titles


Sometimes in my poetry, my titles make sense. They fit the mood of the poem, or reveal something more about the poem if you look up what that specific phrase (such is the case with Laughter of the Spirit and Liminal Space).

But then there are the others. Poems with titles like ‘Ponyboy’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘Monkey’, ‘Running Man’, ‘Aegipan’, ‘Snake’, ‘Mountain Man’ etc. If you’ve at all noticed, these kind of weirdly named poems tend to be love or lust poems. That’s because all of these weird titles are actually nicknames. Some of them are boyfriends I’ve had, some of them are flings, some of them are crushes or personal fantasies about people. Some of these men know their nicknames (and hence know which poems are about them), and some of them don’t (thank goodness). These weird titles are, in fact, dedications of sorts- while the poem itself may be open to being applied to the reader’s own sense of what love and lust may be, and may relate to the reader’s experience of such things in the consuming of the poem, the title belongs only to the person that the poem is dedicated to.

Now I’ve dated quite a bit, being a person who enjoys immensely the entire hoopla that comes with dating casually (dating seriously has always been an entirely different thing for me), as well as being someone who has always been fascinated by what I would consider to be the beauty of the opposite sex’s place in my own life, so I have a lot of poems about men and how I view them in different stages of awe, desire, longing and questioning. Not all of them are denoted with nicknames. Some of them have normal love poem names, ‘Your Fingers’, ‘Thirteen Years’, ‘I Like You’, ‘On the Shore of Coronado’, etc. These poems will never be as personal as the ones that have nicknames attached to them. While the poems themselves are always addressed to a specific person, the poems without nicknames are always a larger reflection on the feeling of love, desire, longing, etc. rather than the ways in which that specific man elicits those feelings, whereas the poems with nicknames will always focus on how a specific person makes me feel.

So there’s a little insight into how I name my poems (which all of my titles are important, I may expand on the other titles later). As a reader of poetry, do you take much notice of the titles of poems? As a writer of poetry, do you spend much time on your titles/ use titles at all?

Award Announcement: Doxa


I was just informed via e-mail that my collection of five poems that was accepted into Doxa (Nebraska Christian College’s Undergraduate Literary Journal) just won the Doxa award for poetry!

I’m completely overwhelmed with joy at this recognition of my work in this publication that celebrates the glory of God, both through the hardest and the happiest times in our lives. I will work to continue to deserve this kind of honor in all my future works through the conscious reflection and active love that I attempt to put into all of my poems. I’ll let you all know when the copies are in-or feel free to get a subscription for yourself at their website. What a wonderful note to be ending my college career on!

Acquisition Notice: Windhover


My poem, ‘Sacred Memory’, detailing the lived faith experience of my beloved Grandma Carol, has been chosen to be published in Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature in February of 2014!

As part of that, I have also been invited to read at the Windhover’s Writers Festival in February, which takes place in Belton, TX. I’ll be checking my schedule to see if I’ll be able to make the trip!

The Windows of the Store I Used to Work At


Following through on my promise of filling requests, here is a new, original, unpublished poem about my life for Amanda Miguelgorry:

 

The Windows of the Store I Used to Work At 

the mannequins are different now

dressed in clothes my baby sister wears

 

I remember dressing them

starching the hairs on my arm

pricking with pins the cute boy with the wire rim glasses and

quiet hips

to get him to notice me.

 

He doesn’t work there anymore, either

new faces with glazed smiles

walk where we walked

and we don’t step inside. The clothes I used to

fold after school

are too expensive now.

 

and my boy’s hips are loud.

He notices me, with strong, clear eyes.

 

but in the windows of the store

I used to work at

are pockets of time that he can never have.

 

Mine.

 

Nostalgia in a capsule.

Strength.

Now-

we move on.

 

 

 

 

 

Coming up next will be a video reading of my newest faith poem, to be published this month in two journals, ‘Salve Regina’.

Acquisition Notice: Green Blotter


Two more poems, ‘Monkey’ and ‘Running Man’, have been accepted for publication in the Spring 2013 issue of the Green Blotter the literary magazine of the Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA for undergraduate students! Apart from my collection, that takes my total of published/acquired poems to sixty four! Not bad! I’m looking forward to seeing these two in the issue- both of them are about men who are very important to me, in very different ways. Always good to take a break from my more serious stuff for a little romance, eh?