Friday, November 02, 2007


At the very wonderful Geranium Farm, Barbara Crafton has a remarkable sequence of poems based on the Beatitudes. Really seriously good.

Do go and read; here are just a couple as tasters:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3

It wasn't that I did not know
about the poor. Of course I knew.
They are always in the paper.
They trudge out of town with suitcases.
They poke through ruined houses, unearth
broken teacups, half a doll.
They are the next of kin;
they lift the corner of a sheet.
Of course I knew. I only didn't know
that I was one of them.
Please pardon me. I cannot rise.
I am poorer than I thought.
Fetal I, who curl,
protecting what remains
of my soft organs
with carapace of spine,
but make no refuge, nothing
from myself to help myself.
So this is poverty -- it is so still.
Yet from its very scar,
a loving hand,
another's, not my own,
uncoils and lifts.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

It cannot be,
but is.
I cannot live through this,
but do.
Bleached by grief, wail
my cry gnaws inward,
lodges in the throat, lives there
(my only guest).
Spirit, warm my exile,
mother me.
With your soft fire,


Jan said...

Mike, these are beautiful! Thank you for the link to see more.

Dr. Laura Marie Grimes said...

I love the mourning one in particular.

Hope you and your sweetie are fully recovered....

Mike Farley said...

Thank you, Mother Laura... Jan never really went down with it, praise God, and today I'm actually feeling human again. Didn't go to church, or out at all, but I'm showered, shaved, dressed and human!