So essential to the lives we lead
and to our commerce
that the guarantee
of plentiful supply and purity
of water is a care to
all others, leaving little thought or heed
to it as something
pleasurable to see,
not just as streams and lakes in harmony
but from all externals freed.
Observe it in a tall, transparent
as crystal gems that fountains fling in air;
as morning dew that
sparkles on the grass;
as tear drops on a spiders silken snare;
sheen on pavement following a rain;
as little whirlpools going down a
-- Mary C. Ferris
I have accounted all else rubbish so
that Christ may
be my wealth.
-- St. Paul, (Philippians 3:8)
I think of Hopkins burning all his poetry,
flames in the fireplace,
his words, his thoughts in smoke, the look on his
to see gray ashes in the orange glow.
I wonder, did he weep, and did
that he would ever write again, and grace
would find him, even in
his lonely place
where all the winds of winter seemed to blow?
he know warm breast of Holy Ghost
would find the poet there and offer
bright wings, and in the dawn windhover Host
would come in blazing
light, compelling him
to praise with voice the One who dwells inmost
give us then that gift, his resonant hymn?
-- Nancy J. Nowak
-- Cologne, Germany, 1970
We sit in a café early evening
the Rhine twice today
and lingered under the arched ceiling
echoing prayers of early saints.
Before us rise the towers
sullied since the Middle Ages, blackened
with the smoke of World War
Blocks away lie other churches
still hollow from shelling.
Cultural matrix, this cathedral
the Allies spared, its notched spires
long flues to heaven.
Sunset, bronze bars the river.
an uphill journey.
The cathedral, brilliant changeling,
beckons us into
-- Stella Nesanovich
Lake Charles, La.
Waiting for Grace
As the century creaks to a close
there are concerns
than the cycling of computers.
Halfway through my life, my
child is now
barely old enough to
later remember this turn of a
We need our Church,
whole and complete in the fullness of
to be a home for our hearts and our souls.
We suffer not
the hurt of halfway, of gifts not welcome,
of help not wanted but needed so
We long for the day when the table will be ready
and all will
and a married Catholic priest and his daughter
oh-so-loved husband and child)
may concelebrate and host the meal
feeds the hungry and heals the sick.
Our hope may be outrageous,
but Love lingers way longer than Y2K.
And so we live
in our longing,
waiting for Grace.
-- Sarah Robinson Flick
Poems should be limited to about 50 lines and preferably typed.
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National Catholic Reporter, December 3,