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

Kenneth Godoy: Yearning in a Boston House Church

Praise God when the afternoon is closing.
I may turn these eyes, turn away from the books,
and place my feet down the groaning red stairs
the carpet on them does nothing to stifle the sighs.

Praise God, when I board the swallowing train.
Praise God how it hurtles me into the moment
and onward to death, I suppose. But not yet,
not yet. Here is the station, here is the street.

Praise God for this street and the afternoon sun is
hidden by clouds and it’s colder than last week.
Praise God for the coolness. Praise God for this
gnawing of hunger that builds as I walk and here,

here is the church, here are the people. Open yourself
and greet all the people. Praise God that the
afternoon wanes and bleeds into the night and night
softly comes. These voices are soothing, these

Hymns are familiar, and slow and moving. Inside
me is hunger, an unceasing pine. Praise God
for the pining, the hunger. I am so tired. When may
I close my eyes, and waking then, I will find myself done.


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


Photography by Kenneth Godoy.

Lynn Michael Martin: Snow

Here stands the temple echoless,
walled by the world’s edge, the horizon
no farther than a tree-row
greyed by snowfall.
Ornate with non-ornation,
shrine splendidly unclothed
by images, statuettes, friezes,
and if there is any shape,
it is the stormfronted gargoyle,
spitting sleet and snow;
or the censers, unscented, unglowing,
pouring out smoke, grey on sky,
white on the earth;
or the font curved outward,
bathing all the world
in sleep and mysteries.

Holiness is silence,
and world-pain released
by pure knowing,
all
experienced and become,
washed in and forgotten
in the numbness of the eyes,
and the opening of the eyes.

Gargoyles for the heathen,
censers for gods,
baptism for those who stand
over-earth and under-sky
bathed in the sleep which leads to waking.


 

Lynn Michael Martin Lynn Martin believes that the essence of the universe is joy, and that in poetry there should shine both the earth’s joy and a light from beyond the world.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Kenneth Godoy: River in the Darkness

1.
So this is my river in the darkness.
I cannot explain my faith. I do not see
with your eyes. You do not speak with my tongue.
My soul lives in a void yet I am drawn to you,
we share the space between us.
We are mutually human, mutually born and breathing.
Empathy is to see with light that surrounds us,
to see one another, to gaze and to weep.

2.
Yet what is this darkness that dims my eyes?
What is the pain I cannot deny?

I believe that faith is like a spring of waters
that flows to the bourne, and the
bournes lead to rivers, and rivers
lead to the sea. Each one is its own
yet greater, more united than before.
My faith is like this river in the darkness
and whether I am bourne or spring, river or sea,
it matters not for I am all of these,
My faith flows from one to the other,
lost in many waters

3.
yet found in them, through them.
The darkness is trivial then.
My pain is transient, perhaps.
For yet the river flows black, deep and still.


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


Photography by Kenneth Godoy.

Gloria Kurtz: Flights of Yearning

And drifting to the soul of silence, yellow leaves
are falling on the call of alien winds and echoed cries;
are going, going on into the rustling trails
of sun-dried maple leaves, and still, where hushed they lie.

The light lies scarce on these forsaken worlds of peace;
the puddled skies drift on with an uncanny ease
on breezes empty as abandoned moth cocoons,
and wing away as steady as the day recedes.

Where bends the arching bow of distant worlds tonight?
But flinging stars could never fly within so brief
a time as far as does the home-sick soul in flights
of lonely yearning wholly given to this grief.

And yet this death again has overwhelmed itself
in beauty gentle as its sun; for still it weaves
upon the eastern sky a wave of quiet light,
and earth, though breaking, still this broken peace receives.


IMG_9938 (2) copy

Gloria 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

Claudia Lehman: On Trying to Write a Love Poem

But when I think of you, my best beloved,
the many-hued profusion of the sounds
we use to paint the colors of our souls
outside—they burst and fall, and I am found
breathing an air too rich to fit a name.
And here lives all and nothing: scent of starlight
sweeter than constellations; silences
purer than words of peace. You are the knight
who built this house of healing for my soul,
and guards it with your own. A tender rain
of stillness hedges in my aching wounds
and gives my laughter room. What hemming name
could cut and trim and seam this up into
a garment seemly for such love to wear?
Hear in my silence thankfulness for silence.
Today this is my yearning and my prayer:
That peace will carry you as you have me,
a peace so rich that explanations fall
far short. And we shall meet in an embrace
deeper than poetry or speech at all.


IMG-1549
Claudia Lehman lives in Paltinis, Romania, with her favorite poet, Kyle. She loves teaching, old books, Earl Grey tea, wildflowers, her comfort zone, and a mongrel puppy called Alice.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy