I imagine the most famous hands in all of history.
Pontius Pilate ceremoniously washes them. They are ordinary, the hands of
middle age. They could be anyones hands. There is nothing to distinguish
them, only small, darkening liver spots. They look like my hands.
-- John Cantey Knight
A Prayer for Anger
Grant me the grace
a howling wind
to hasten change
where injustice stagnates;
make of me
to conquer grinding sorrow.
hard hearts door;
smash the lock
of my indifference.
May the grace of anger
my cowardly spirit.
-- Jane M. Nirella
The Purple Rosary
When I pray the rosary today, Ill think of you
praying your own beads found in a thriftshop
somewhere between here and
Hidden behind the electric mixers
they glinted in the dust,
caught your eye
like the black Persian who asked for a home
reaching a shining paw between the bars
of the cage at the humane society
he waited for you. His sweet appeal
spoke to you about how
entrapped, dependent on others for liberation.
beads too, their flag of INRI
King of the Jews, broken off
you in their imperfection.
Undesired by others, you wanted them.
gallant of you to rescue the Lady Fair
the Holy Mother impressed on
and languishing on a shelf at the back of a store.
Who was it
prayed the beads before you?
Who was it held them up to the light
admiring the rays filtered through purple glass?
That one, the cat, me,
God cares for us all through each other
and so we are
-- Judith Robbins
If you want a drunkard
Six camel-hide puppets, characters from Turkish folklore.
I told the third grade poets.
Be a poor man carrying
a tea seller, a drunkard
with jointed knees
(knife in one
hand, bottle in the other),
a drummer, a musician.
Jesse was the
first to read.
I am a drunkard,
he announced. I am going to hell.
you want a drunkard,
thats where Ill be.
Now how did he learn
about unrepentance in a Catholic school,
the glee of Paradise
What a grin. We hadnt even gone around the room
waved his hand to ask,
Can I read my poem again?
-- Marjorie Kowalski Cole
A Tumbling, Twinkling, Singing
Sometimes my mind is a tumble
Like river rocks strewn
on the shore.
Sometimes it is clear
Singing a mountain stream
Other times thoughts twinkle and burn
like stars to be shaped
I best like the times when all cares are gone.
flow out as sparkling stones --
And fall to rest in a poem.
-- Pat Eagan
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National Catholic Reporter, July 14,