Daniel Hess: My Mother Heart

My mother-heart is bleeding dry
but beating still. Pounding on a silent door.
The knocking makes no noise. No sounding
echo through my still, retreating
soul. Like noiseless waves, my wounded heart
ebbs back to sea once more.

My hopeful womb is stunned with grief,
shielded though it was by fear
shattered, my timid dreams
helpless, my tear
Cruel life! I only wanted love, not pain
like this! I wanted pain that mattered

But nothing matters now, I think
I’m numb. But if I cease to swim, I’ll sink
so come, sit quietly with me
and weep. Look not at me with pity,
just help me look my sorrow in the eye
and let my Father give the answer why.


IMG_1638 (2) Daniel Hess is a disciple of Jesus, husband of Laura, and father of four who likes discovering the ordinary.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Conrad Martin: This Side Jabbok

You are patient.
But I am endless.
Drawn line and twisted
red gold to a
wick of your ecstasy.

You are not fair.
You are not there, and yet Your endlessness is fire
and pain as a mind in color.

I am out-thought,
inwhelmed, unverbed, and understood.
(Jabbok lies unsilent)
defense undone,
resistance is become the violence of Your glory,
Your conquest my obedient rebellion,
Your dear, sweet conquering—won,
(how Jabbok roars)
Your truest, truly,
(now is red)
unruly Yours.


portrait on brick

Conrad Martin loves words for their ability to create deeper awareness and experience of life through connection between minds and hearts.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Daniel Lowry: Go Climb a Tree

There it stands,
overlooking the swollen river
and sun-drenched field,
a straight-spined black maple
with well-spaced branches.
It beckons with leafy hands
Come and be my guest.

The nearest branch sprouts beyond your reach,
so wrap your arms around the rain-slicked trunk
and try to shinny up,
but the rough mark plows into your chest.
The dampness peels your hands
right off the slippery cork.

But when I was a child
I could do this;
I conquered sterner trees;
planted my flag atop dizzier summits.
Take a step back.
See? That branch angles down its arm
at some little distance from the trunk
to lend a hand.

Pause a minute.
Let your panting subside.
Then, taking that hand,
reel yourself along the bough
like a cable car
until you reach the trunk.
Grunt and pull yourself astride.
From there it’s easy.

Let the exertion waken you;
the panting is glorious;
let the sweat and dirt cleanse you.
With a downward look,
the earth sprawls away,
plunging you upward,
oxygenating your blood with tiny gasps of innocence.

Perch high amid the green stratosphere of peace
beyond the reach of mosquitoes and Pandora’s curse
like a little child
climbed into the lap of Christ.

But must I descend again?
Must I return my heels to the groveling ground?
Here the nuthatch nods;
here innocence rests.
But this rest is not forever,
and when you stand on earth once more,
examine your scrapes with a smile:
for until you heal, you bear on your skin
the mark of serenity,
the woodcut of grace.
Go climb a tree.


img_20180715_165827_051

Daniel Lowry hails from West Virginia, where he enjoys quiet things such as books, the woods, and the night.

Rebecca Weber: Worship at Dawn

I watch the clear exuberance of praise
That reaches up with fingers of delight
And spills across the waking world, resolved
To overthrow the tyranny of night.

I walk into the sunrise, arms upraised
To shield my eyes from overflowing light.
Still higher soars the glory, till the haze
Is lost in ringing luminance of white.


s&i on trip etc 593

Rebecca Weber lives in the scenic province of Nova Scotia and delights in finding the extraordinary in the everyday, writing about her discoveries, and learning to show the compassion of Christ to the people around her.


Photography by Nancy Kautz

Phoebe Anthus: The Feeding of Five Thousand

Is there no end to hunger?
No hand to stay the twisting knife?
One fathom across,
but no bridge, 
no man . . .

You shall be the bread,
and the rising freshness of its steam.
But you will not suffice
until the giver breaks you
five thousand times and more.

You shall be the blessing
the one that comes before they rip the bread:
a silent bowing head,
one moment more of giving thanks
even for this.

And you shall lay your spirit down
to bridge the unknown depth
one fathom more across,
out towards the misty ledge.
There you will enter,
by the hearts that enter over you.
Not by the world or by the searching mind;
but through this bread,
this blessing, and this breaking,
you will disappear
into the thoughtful fog of grace.


phoebe

Phoebe Anthus finds her joy in quiet places, in the eyes of a child or simply in noticing little things. Her passion is to help create beauty out of the brokenness all around us. 


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Curator Poetry Reading, 1/26

Friends,

The Curator will be holding a poetry reading and discussion in Chambersburg, PA, next Saturday. We will hold the reading at the Brussels Café.

The reading will be on Saturday the 26th, between 3 and 5 PM. Please stop by and listen to some poetry or take part in the discussion! Better yet, bring a poem or story to read, or a question to discuss. Brussels Café is at 55 N Main St, Chambersburg, PA 17201, near the Chambersburg square. Public metered parking in Chambersburg is free on weekends.

See you there,
The Curator staff

Kyle Lehman: A Prayer of Job

And when shall I see God?
When reap the terror that is sown
In the slow stripping of flesh from bone?
I waver here, alone.

What was the blessedness I knew?
Green pastures, fountains free?
Oh sheltered pew,
If only I had learned of you
The breaking of my bones
And known
One step enough for me.

From broken lips, all words fall dry.
Let skin worms squirm and groan.
Let death be mine, and even he could never satisfy
If he comes soon.

For from these swollen lids,
First I would read the runes
You’ve written on my bones.
And see You in my flesh.
That from this death
I wake in likeness as Your own.


IMG-1549Kyle Lehman is a teacher and poet who loves to watch things grow like seeds, strange ideas, and the moon. He lives with his wife Claudia in Păltiniş, Romania and blogs about teaching at apearlineverycowslipsear.wordpress.com.

Gloria Kurtz: Grief of Glory

Clouds of rain, perhaps,
could check the unrestrained compulsion,
salve the oozing bending
toward this sacred light.
Or if it rend me, let it.
I know me not a whit. I thirst for God.

The sky has spun a golden spire wrung with glory—
untouchable its heights of beauty.
What is there left for me to do but ache,
and scratch upon the broken sod these seeds?

Let truth obscure itself, to want my search,
but comfort me with leaves of green
that split from withered seeds
to thrust a fragile fruit above the sod;
and pulsing with the grief of grasping toward
the glory of the sun.

But it can never hope to touch
the sacred breath that warmed its life.
It bears its beauty on the broken earth
without ambitious thought, and leaves behind
the tang of sweetness, ripened by desire.

I pray perpetuate this yielded yearning.
Let it become a sweetened warmth of fruit,
strung with glory hung in gold upon the spire of the sky.

A leaf upon the broken sod
am I, my God, my God.


IMG_9938 (2) copyGloria Kurtz lives among the maple trees by New York’s Lake Ontario shoreline. Occasionally she escapes from textbooks to trails or canoes, but otherwise she thrives among her posse of young students.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy 

Kenneth Godoy: The Thought That Comes

1.
The thought comes to me then
that in all of my wrestling I have no peace.
What have I to show for my unbelief?

2.
I don’t believe in a God who is not Good.
If God were almost evil, I would call myself god,
I have no desire to worship something less than itself.
Yet this is the fault in your thoughts,

I think to myself: you have no evidence, do you,
for why you love, for the necessity of obedience
for the goodness of God. You have none of these.
The thought comes to me then

that in all of my wrestling I have no peace.
like a snake that consumes itself bound in a circle
of desire, devourment, and self-destructive satisfaction.

3.
What have I to show for my unbelief?


kenny Of his writing, Kenneth Godoy says, “Poetry is bound to my soul.”


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Conrad Martin: Second Winter

I know of warmth—I myself
once in a golden field with the sun.

But now the cold night is a high abyss calling
and I am breathing
vertical blackness drawing
truth shining all knife I am singing
spine of hunger.

You are emptiness, and I fill you.
Silence: I speak you.
I love you, I who am also lost to being
but for a glint of ice at the edge of nothing.
Now I may love you completely,
who am like you in cold, still, blackness—
blessing beyond dread.

They say warmth and the field of sun, and I may not deny it,
but hope is a seed and time is nothing to the night.

The moon is cold.
I pray the sky.

Keep close—
Distance
burn me.


portrait on brick Conrad Martin loves words for their ability to create deeper awareness and experience of life through connection between minds and hearts.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy