Sunday, April 16, 2017

Holy Week (On Returning to Church)

On a Dark Friday
Image by Jackie via Flickr


Stained glass shards
Cut my heart.
Mary's brown eyes
Draw real blood.
I mourn her
Unattainable ideal
Of womanhood.

Black-robed men
With collars high,
Tell me when
I may speak,
Where I may stand,
What I may do, and
What I may wear
When I'm doing it.

I'd hide in a cave
Like David
But the man after
God's own heart
Would be lying in wait,
Watching me bathe.

"I'm not like other guys,"
Says the still small Voice,
Soft as a robin's breast,
Rich as mother's milk,
Commanding as Orion's knife.

So Holy Week
Brings me back
Through sanctuary doors.
Thursday night
All is purple
Like royalty,
Like the bruise
That drew
My Savior's blood.

Friday sings the blues.
Women wail,
But they stay.
Their grief slays,
But they stay
Anyway.

The hot wax smell
Draws me in,
Draws me down the center aisle
To the table laden
With candles, bread
And grape juice.
Most of me stays
In the back pew.

The rest of me lies
At the table:
Faint,
Defeated
By my own hand,
Needing to be fed
By the body and blood.

We eat and drink.
We are all
Women at the well:
Exposed, relieved,
We sigh
As our lies

Die.

Judith C Evans © 2017 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Waiting for the Words



Grand metaphors elude my pen
As mocking, phantom lines flow.
Waiting for the phrase that will
Stun the jaded ear,
I drift from page to page,
Sure I've a arrived too late.

Judith C Evans © 2017

Give Up and Write



When the puppy is fussing
And the shelves need dusting,
The shrubs need trimming
And those jeans ain't slimming,
Give up and write.

Is the line too long?
Do you hate that song?
So the meeting is boring,
And you can't keep from snoring?
Give up and write.

Pen, pencil, keyboard or screen
Will do their job
If you say what you mean.
No more resisting,
No turning or twisting.
Give up and write.
Just give up,
Right?

Judith C Evans © 2017

New to Mary



Hail Mary, full of grace,
Forgive me if I don't yet have the words down.
I am new to this ancient, million-voiced chorus;
New to Mary, ageless mother of countless names.

Bead by bead, I unwrap graces.
I think of Mary at unlikely moments:
As I look through the latest Avon brochure,
Write a memo for a freelance gig,
Or take the puppy for a walk by the church.

She's a woman, like me, whose blood-soaked words
Appear faithfully as the monthly flow,
Whose sorrow and tenderness hide a warrior princess heart.

New to Mary, I dare to laugh with her,
Woman-to-woman,
In ways that make the faithful cringe.
But Mary knows.

New to Mary, I reach for her hand
And take my place
In the spiral dance that never ends.

I awkwardly finger the beads
As the day cools down,
Before I savor peaceful slumber,
New to the practice,
New to Mary,
New to me.

Judith C Evans © 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Parody

A couple of weeks ago, my mom found a stack of papers in her room, containing sketches and poems she had written. The poems capture memories from our lives in southeastern New Hampshire and Flagstaff, Arizona. Happily, she has agreed to let me post some of her work on my blog. My mom's name is Judith, but she is known to our family as "Majude." 

Since winter is winding down here in Idaho (we hope!), I thought that this poem would be a good start. It reminisces about hurried preparations for late winter storms in southeastern New Hampshire, as well as the hope of approaching spring. Enjoy the accompanying sketch, too!




Parody 

"Roses are red, violets are blue."
It will be spring, before it comes true.

Snowstorm is coming.
What should we do?
Bring out the shovels
And mittens too.

Gas up the blowers
To make the snow fly;
Catch flakes on our tongues
And in our eyes.

Fill the bird feeders
With crumbs and seeds;
String gobs of suet to
Decorate trees.

Make sure our larder
Has plenty of food,
With lots of cocoa
Carefully brewed.

Drive to the sand pile
Near the center of town:
Sand mixed with salt
To spread all around.

Generators are ready,
Filled with gas.
Can is empty --
We need more,
Alas.

Three containers are filled,
And we leave the line
Of neighbors waiting to
Fill up in time.

Not a bad storm,
Just enough to savor
Peace and quiet
Before the labor.

Yesterday's plow lines,
Neat and straight,
Rained on and frozen --
Spring may be late.

Walls of snow banks
Outlining each drive
Reduce in size and
Grass comes alive.

The loftier rays from
A warmer sun
Will do the job
Before we're done.

The sky is blue and
Birds are chirping;
Snows become puddles
That dogs are slurping.

Nature releases its bounty
Of white;
We'll stop to admire
And smile with delight.

The racket of blowers and
Neighbors at play...
All these things
Make a holiday.

"Roses are red, violets are blue."
We'll see it through...
And so will you!

Judith H. Chiarito "Majude" © 2011

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Snowflakes (Dedicated to my sisters and brothers who march today)

Image by liz west via Flickr


“Snowflakes! You’re nothing more than snowflakes!”

Was that intended as an insult?
After all, each snowflake is fragile, translucent,
Melting on contact with concrete, fire, or water.

But look closely:
Each snowflake is a unique product of God’s handiwork,
A calling of design and purpose
Visible to those who recognize unadulterated beauty.

To the ignorant or hurried eye,
Snowflakes unite to create a nuisance
That interrupts one’s view or plans,
Creating more work when a day off was anticipated.

But dig deeper into the hidden places,
Where roots are nourished and readied for the harvest.
Where soil remains alive as minute miracle workers
Tunnel and turn over compacted aggregates
Of yesterday’s plantings.

Months from now,
Thanks to those annoying bands of snowflakes,
Branches will once again be heavy laden
With fruits of all colors, shapes and sizes:
Sweet, bitter, sour --
But always juicy and nourishing.

Snowflake?
Wear the name proudly
And keep gathering, storming, coating, drifting, and preparing
For history’s next vernal equinox.

It always comes.

© Judith C Evans 2017

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sabbath




We are safe here.
No hurry-up worries may intrude
Because this day and all its allotted hours
Belong to You and Your call.
"Shoulds" and "what ifs"
Make way for strolls
Through the chilly, damp garden,
Where the first tender shoots
Reach for the mid-March sun.

Later, I browse through our bookshelves.
I pick up a poetry book
That I had vowed to read "someday."
I stare at the pages
And the pages stare back
Until the stirrings of unwritten poems
Overtake me,
Because it's safe to be a poet today.

© Judith C Evans 2016