Illuminating Shadows

When I was young, my mother wrote poetry. As far as I am aware, she rarely wrote just for fun, but mostly as gifts for parents of new babies or as a comfort to friends who had lost a loved one. Her poems were simple yet profound and always received with heartfelt enthusiasm. It made an impact on me. She considered words to be valuable and important gifts worthy of sharing. She joyfully and freely gave them to those she loved. Though not expensive or store-bought, her gifts of poetry were rich in sentiment and the time spent to lovingly and carefully craft them for her intended recipients.

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bleeding in, bleeding out

Orchid – Josie Koznarek

All the time I knew
you carried weight upon your back
in every tremor when you spoke,
in each “I could never…” disbelief;
as if the sin that you held close
was when you reached out to receive.

All the ways I knew
you bought such shame for taking time
in every conversation held,
how all the grasping proved the need
within a hungry heart undone,
that, reaching out, still could not feed.

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Chuck

Sunset, Izmir, Turkey 2019. Photo by John Palmer Gregg

It doesn’t seem odd that you’re gone from the world;
Rather, it seems impossible that the world exists, here, without you in it.
Here are these preposterous trees, plants, conducting photosynthesis
Tiny animals being born,
Children learning to read.
For some reason, major media outlets continue
To report the news, as if
Anything new could happen now
Or human history could continue to progress
Without you.

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On Poetry

Photo by Robin Spielmann on Unsplash

As a believer in Christ, I struggle often with what feels like the split personality of faith, what Paul described aptly as “a body of death.” I do what I don’t want to do, and I don’t do what I want to do. I am flesh and I am spirit, I am old and I am new. In parallel, as the body of Christ (the church), we are so frequently broken, unloving, impatient, afraid, and reliant on outside systems to provide our security. We know our name but we don’t act like we own it. My struggle to find a place in this often unhealthy body, to love it and call it by name even in its brokenness, mirrors my struggle to accept my name as a child of God in the face of my own daily brokenness.

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Save the Date

For quite some time now, we at Foundling House have been interested not only in putting worthwhile words together with discerning readers, but serving up art of many kinds in order to encourage people as the Holy Spirit draws them to Christ. Thus, we are making foray into concerts. Some of you may recall that we have done this before. We spent a winter night two years ago feasting on food, company, prose, and music at an event called Echo Hill. Plus, we’ve put on a house show or two. Now, more ambitiously, we’re attempting to make this a regular thing.

We’re introducing two concert series:

Live at the CORE and WORD + SONG.

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Two Poems by Devon Kelly

He Will Make the Bloodroot

He will make the bloodroot
Blossom underfoot,
Flowers white, unfolding
Wherever you have looked
For thistles and for thorns.

The ground that used to mourn,
That cried with Abel’s blood,
Is laughing even now
    With Christ’s.

Pink Magnolia: an Ode

The magnolia, burdened with beauty,
      Palms open to heaven,
Cups her hands to drink
From the warm and golden stream.

Every flower a saucer,
      Translucent, a globe of light,
Waits to water the earth
With petals in her death.

The magnolia, weighty with glory,
      Boughs heavy with beauty,
      Eyes saucers of dawn,

Has been welcomed into the dance.

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