The Pierless Bridge

by Paul on December 5, 2013

I only came across this poem by Emily Dickinson the other day and I’m surprised I’d never seen it before. FAITH—IS THE PIERLESS BRIDGE Faith—is the Pierless Bridge Supporting what We see Unto the Scene that We do not— Too slender for the eye   It bears the Soul as bold As it were rocked […]



by Paul on July 3, 2013

Mary Karr, the Texan writer whose memoir Lit amazed and delighted me, was featured a while ago on our sister site, dotMagis.  This got me to investigating her a bit more and I came across this marvelous poem: I was hoisted by the heels and swatted, fed          and hauled around. Time-lapse photos show                 my […]


After Awhile

by Paul on April 23, 2013

I came across this poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall and I liked it very much. After awhile you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. And you learn that love doesn’t mean security, and you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. And you begin to […]



by Paul on June 27, 2011

Mary Oliver again.  She never lets you down, does she?  This is from Halleluiah Everyone should be born into this world happy and loving everything. But in truth it rarely works that way. For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it. Halleluiah, anyway I’m not where I started! And have you too been […]


Why I Wake Early

by Paul on December 8, 2010

Time for another dose of Mary Oliver.  She is the – albeit unofficial – Poet Laureate of Ignatian Spirituality. Hello, sun in my face. Hello, you who made the morning and spread it over the fields and into the faces of the tulips and the nodding morning glories, and into the windows of, even, the […]


In Blackwater Woods

by Paul on November 9, 2010

“In Blackwater Woods” is one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems. (How can I have said that? I love every word she has ever written!)  You may be familiar with the final stanza from the “Words of Wisdom” section over on the right, but it’s worth reading the entire poem. To live in this world […]


The Fountain

by Paul on August 23, 2010

As you probably know by now, Denise Levertov is one of my favorite poets. I don’t quite know why, but I’ve been going to her a lot recently. She feeds something deep within me. Here are a few lines from The Fountain: Don’t say, don’t say there is no water to solace the dryness at […]


Memorial Day 2010

by Paul on May 31, 2010

So many young men and women have died in our wars. Every Memorial Day, I keep remembering Wilfred Owen’s “Anthem for Doomed Youth” What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? – Only the monstruous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for […]


The Long Black Branches

by Paul on May 20, 2010

Time for another salutary dose of Mary Oliver.  Her poem, Have You Ever Tried To Enter The Long Black Branches, is magical and amazing. Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch? Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot in front of the other, all attentive to […]


A Prayer For Strength

by Paul on May 17, 2010

I’ve already shared one of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems with you.  In this one, he prays for strength.  Even if we don’t feel it now, this is something for which we all need to pray. Give Me Strength This is my prayer to thee, my lord—strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart. Give me the […]