Christian Poems II: Villa, Wilbur, Priest

The Way My Ideas Think Me

Jose Garcia Villa (1965 or earlier)

.

The way my ideas think me
Is the way I unthink God.
As in the name of heaven I make hell
That is the way the Lord says me.

And all is adventure and danger
And I roll Him off cliffs and mountains
But fast as I am to push Him off
Fast am I to reach Him below.

And it may be then His turn to push me off,
I wait breathless for that terrible second:
And if He push me not, I turn around in anger:
“O art thou the God I would have!”

Then he pushes me and I plunge down, down!
And when He comes to help me up
I put my arms around Him, saying, “Brother,
Brother.” . . . This is the way we are.

Source:  The Earth is the Lord’s: Poems of the Spirit, H Plotz, compiler (Oxford Univ Press 1971), 124-125.

_________

Hamlen Brook

Richard Wilbur

.

At the alder-darkened brink
Where the stream slows to a lucid jet
I lean to the water, dinting its top with sweat,
And see, before I can drink,

A startled inchling trout
Of spotted near-transparency,
Trawling a shadow solider than he.
He swerves now, darting out

To where, in a flicked slew
Of sparks and glittering silt, he weaves
Through stream-bed rocks, disturbing foundered leaves,
And butts then out of view

Beneath a sliding glass
Crazed by the skimming of a brace
Of burnished dragon-flies across its face,
In which deep cloudlets pass

And a white precipice
Of mirrored birch-trees plunges down
Toward where the azures of the zenith drown.
How shall I drink in this?

Joy’s trick is to supply
Dry lips with what can cool and slake,
Leaving them dumbstruck also with an ache
Nothing can satisfy.

Source: The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, JD McClatchy, ed (Vintage Books 1990), 142.

________

You Beckoned

Vicki Priest (Note:  imagine every other line indented; I couldn’t get it to format that way here.)

.

You beckoned, even teased
with that roar and
Crash of booming surf,
untamed power—
To my heart all
mystery and fear.

All from You swirling, pushing
the tiniest of particles,
Even uncountable molecules
in one roiling mass
Toward the shore, and there
spray and mist

Found my cheek, as if to
commune.  Such a light, longing
Touch cannot be put away.
Neither could my ears muffle
What seemed torrential tears.
I could not yet understand.

But through universe observing
that made me feel like death,
It came upon me to listen
to You through a singing voice;
You spoke love—like no other.
So I came to understand,

That that ominous, constant roar
is like my longing (and that of all
Creation) for fruition, full; and
It is Your affirming shout:
“It is done, you shall see,
come and dance with Me!”

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