e-mail us


Sister Simone’s Song
Like a sparrow hidden
in rhododendron
her lilting song
takes you unawares.

Smelling of lavender,
she bids you
join in the surprise
of her fuchsia dance,
to follow her song
behind the rainbow dragon kite
among the dunes.

The sand sifts through
her nylon covered toes
as she lets out the kite’s string
letting go, too, of meetings
and delegations.
Her hands wave to the sky,
meeting the challenge of
the call in
God’s wild

-- Janice K. Schuler
Muskegon, Mich.

Theology in a nutshell
A theology of being,
Brevity will do:
God is,
You are,
I am,

They, too.

-- Tom Brubeck
Silver Spring, Md.

Your Cloistered Sister’s Blanket
Your cloistered sister patterned a blanket for you,
And stitched while she prayed.
You were a family of God-lovers.
The cloth was scarlet --
Broken intermittently
With the round faces
Of blue and beige flowers.
It lies on my bed now,
A red prayer quilt,
Ablaze with the solemnity
Of candles in darkened halls,
Voices lifted in compline --
Fevered memories.
Its mouths are sewn gracefully shut
And I would like to rip them open
Stitch by stitch
And hear what they would say about you,
My never-met,
As they warm me now.

-- Annabelle Moseley
Dix Hills, N.Y.

Confessions of a Western Pennsylvania Winter
I dreamed I saw Saint Augustine
in the pristine and glistening
new mountain snow.
It was a decent and pure coating
and he was brimming with gratitude
for the December gift
after entirely too much warmth and wetness.
Many have said -- then and now --
“We went straight from summer to winter;
We never had a Fall.”

But there he was,
Saint Augustine on vacation,
passing the afternoon behind a
cookie-cutter condo,
romping in the soft and fine
snow, alternating high leg
thrusts with a passionate running
of his ungloved hand
through the supple and sinuous powder.

It was indeed a powdery mountain snow.
Coming from a tree, the wind whipped
the white dust across his noble bearded face,
bringing nourishing hydration
and unexpected elation.
One wonders
how the resulting guilt and shame
from this ecstasy will compare
in the confessional
to that of a pilfered pear
or a coupling so raw
so undebonair,
that left him well spent
but incredibly flat.

Yes, Saint Augustine in the slippery and slick
cold and fresh mountain snow,
must reign himself in
before he completely and unequivocally
lets himself go.

-- Gary Ciocco
Charleroi, Pa.

Saguaro in the Desert
You are almost the age
of growing arms
like the saguaro cactus,
embracing the world
after six decades
of just learning to live
with extreme heat
and prickly neighbors.
There is ordained beauty
being what you are.
Then one day the Spirit
whispers, “Now branch out.”

-- Kathleen Gunton
Orange, Calif.

2003 in Poetry

2002 in Poetry

2001 in Poetry

2000 in Poetry

1999 in Poetry

Poems should be previously unpublished and limited to about 50 lines and preferably typed. Please send poems to NCR POETRY, 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City MO 64111-1203. Or via e-mail to poetry@natcath.org or fax (816) 968-2280. Please include your street address, city, state, zip and daytime telephone number. NCR offers a small payment for poems we publish, so please include your Social Security number.

National Catholic Reporter, March 14, 2003