Poetry

Tell all the truth but tell it slant  wrote Emily Dickinson.  Here are links to some of my own  attempts to do just that. Several  date back over twenty years to when I was taking a creative writing course, others more recent and less intentional were written on retreat.

I say ‘written, ’ because many of these  originally  came in the form of prayer: a word or phrase  appears in my mind, ‘glimmers,’ if you like. I then  turn it over and over Lectio style, savouring  what appears, not knowing where it might lead, yet knowing   that to ‘be’ with it in the  moment is all that matters.

Later I might tweak my words slightly,  though more often I choose to leave the  prayer as it first was. I feel it’s important to stay with what first emerges,  not to self-censor, even if to   an onlooker it might read as clumsy, naive or childlike. Though I may  share it with a retreat guide or spiritual director.

Not everything is for public consumption,  nor should  it be and some  material  never sees the light of day.  For in my rush to analysis,  I may completely overlook something significant that the spirit is trying to say to me through the whole process of prayer, so a trusted and objective  companion (with a high cringe factor!) is to be treasured at times like this.  They can encourage me to revisit those places which have been especially dear to me, challenge , or encourage me to set off down new pathways.

It’s about the journey, and the encounters on that journey, after all. Process over product.  Above all, the wisdom to discern where those encounters are taking  me: are they drawing me towards or away from the Divine?

So here we are. I hope you enjoy these. If anything  in them speaks to you, I’d love to know.