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Wolf Song
Under the fading day star
dawn lifts the edges of the night.
The light of early morning
rides the wind into this rocky chamber
facing to the east.
We are drawn to this sacred place
because we are young
and have need to feel the warmth
which feeds our souls
when we are with the pack.
Then, or course, there is the matter
of our speech, our native tongue,
how we tell our sisters and our brothers
of the deepest longings
in our hearts.
If we do not come
to hear our elders sing
how will we learn our song?

-- Clarence C. Kean
Portsmouth, N.H.

Songbirds raise the sun
while half the moon
still glows.

On frozen soil
her toes seek
to clear the path of its rubble.

Brown and gray
the colors of winter
threaten the palette.

In Mogadishu
she calls out
for bread.

Houses loom silent.
Inside her ear
there are hymns.

If she worships Allah
someone will kill
her tiny children.

In the hills
quakes split her land.

Today her sister
may implode herself
at the border.

She kneels.
Songbirds raise the sun
while half the moon still glows.

-- Jean Colgan Gould
Natick, Mass.

St. Dominic’s Tower
The trees toll
Like a church bell.
It is Sunday morning
And a border of budding trees peals.
They encircle a field
As God embraces the earth,
Like surround sound
Of a roundelay.
The trees ring
On worship day.
The deep, vast woods
Summon adoration.
The tolling echoes
And my heart is lifted
Through the lacey trees,
Each maple, elm and birch, a steeple.

-- Cecelia Johnson

Drosophilia: in a warm winter
fruit fly
-- last one:
do you hover
so persistent
(having mated)
always heavy over
some sweet place
here, only
to lay your children
to nurse
in my empty house
feeding on this glass
of lingering sweetness
this december?
-- welcome.

-- Anne Heutte

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Poems should be previously unpublished and limited to about 50 lines and preferably typed.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, September 6, 2002