Through the eyes of…

I just got back from the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College. It was a wonderful three days filled with poems and stories and people talking about writing (and faith…). Because I registered late, I went with very low expectations that easily exceed. I heard Tobias Wolff -who I’d never read before – read one of his short stories, I went to a panel of women talking about writing at different ages, and I sat in the chapel while three poets read poem after poem. Completely glorious.

This year I chose the word courageous as my theme word. At the Festival, I decided that I would submit my work for publication for the first time this year. (Maybe I should have chosen the word scary.) One of the publishers who had a booth will be publishing an anthology of poetry that is from the point of view or inspired by scripture. So, I’m going to give it a shot. It’s been a few months since I’ve written much. I’m convinced that we have a finite amount of emotional energy, and mine has gone to places that are not writing. However, I’m planning to change that. So expect to see more here…and expect that a lot of it will be me playing with the idea of giving biblical characters voice through poetry.

(At the Festival, I also decided I would go to the Alaskan wilderness for a week in September for a writing workshop where my favorite poet will be teaching, which is a different kind of scary, and also a story for another day)

Here’s a first shot at this concept. This is a couple of years old, but I reworked it a bit.

I Wonder…

I wonder if
the rich man
left Jesus

And then went home and ran his hands
over his clothes
Heavy, rich silks falling red over his fingers

If he ate a meal
fit for a king,
reclining before a table filled
with overflowing cups of wine
And the lamb roasted just so.

I wonder if
he visited the temple
and after giving his coins
he went back
and gave another
or two.

And I wonder if
his friends thought
he’d gone insane
when they found him
squinting through a needle
at a camel




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