Archive for ‘Religious’

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Getting a Second Opinion by Adrian C. Louis

I’ve just bought you a new winter coat
and we’re temporarily sane,
cruising two blocks down the street
from K-Mart in Rapid City.
Three young Indian boys,
fourteen, maybe fifteen years
old and living the thug life
are strolling across the busy street
making cars stop and I slam on
the brakes and give them the finger
and they flash gang signs and one pulls
a small, silver gun and I stomp on the gas
and in the rearview mirror I see them
laughing and I know positively
by the fear in your eyes that
not only is the white man’s God
dead, but the Great Spirit is too.


Date: 1997

By: Adrian C. Louis (1946- )

Monday, 16 October 2017

Speaking in Tongues by Mary Rose O’Reilley

I go to church every Sunday
though I don’t believe a word of it,
because the longing for God
is a prayer said in the bones.

When people call on Jesus
I move to a place in the body
where such words rise,
one of the valleys
where hope pins itself to desire;
we have so much landscape like that
you’d think we were made
to sustain a cry.

When the old men around me
lift their hands
as though someone has cornered them,
giving it all away,
I remember a dock on the estuary,
watching a heron get airborne against the odds.
It’s the transitional moment that baffles me—
how she composes her rickety
grocery cart of a body
to make that flight.

The pine siskin, stalled on a windy coast,
remembers the woods
she will long for when needs arise; so
the boreal forest composes itself in my mind:
first as a rift, absence,
then in a tumble of words
undone from sense, like the stutter
you hear  when somebody falls
over the cliff of language.  Call it a gift.


Date: 2005

By: Mary Rose O’Reilley (1944- )

Monday, 2 October 2017

Quaker Meeting by Christine Siebeneck Swayne

With folded hands laid down upon my knee,
I bide, nor heed the moment’s rushing flight,
Nor hear the city’s loud garrulity.
The charge and countercharge of wordy fight;
From these strong walls of silence fend me quite,
And I am left, in peace, to contemplate,
Alone and open to the nameless Light,
With all my depths of soul irradiate.
While speech must fail, and even formless thought,
And blind-eyed instinct (stirring in the clay),
And sturdy reason, all be counted naught,
All cast aside for this diviner way —
The hidden, psychic power awaken, thrill,
Vibrate, responsive to the Outer Will.

From: Swayne, Christine Siebeneck, The Visionary and Other Poems, 1905, The Gorham Press: Boston, p. 23.

Date: 1905

By: Christine Siebeneck Swayne (1874-1950)

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Preface, Expressing the Passioned Minde of the Penitent Sinner: Sonnet 1 by Anne Vaughan Locke/Lock/Lok Prowse

The hainous gylt of my forsaken ghost
So threates, alas, vnto my febled sprite
Deserued death, and (that me greueth most)
Still stand so fixt before my daseld sight
The lothesome filthe of my disteined life,
The mighty wrath of myne offended Lorde,
My Lord whos wrath is sharper than the knife,
And deper woundes than dobleedged sworde,
That, as the dimmed and fordulled eyen
Full fraught with teares & more & more opprest
With growing streames of the distilled bryne
Sent from the fornace of a grefefull brest,
Can not enioy the comfort of the light,
Nor finde the waye wherin to walke aright.

Note: This is the first sonnet from the first known sonnet sequence (A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner) in the English language.


Date: 1560

By: Anne Vaughan Locke/Lock/Lok Prowse (1530-c1590)

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Death-Bed Song of Meilyr, the Poet [Fragment] by Meilyr Brydydd

Great store had I of satin and of gold
From generous lords who loved my art of old;
But silent now are all my hero lays,
Love’s poignant spell my harp no longer sways.
While I, the Poet Meilyr, supplicate
Peter for entrance at The Heavenly Gate,
And sing aloud of that Last Day and dread,
When Earth and Sea shall render forth their dead.

From: Graves, Alfred Perceval (transl. and ed.), Welsh Poetry Old and New in English Verse, 1912, Longmans, Green and Co: London, p. 15      .

Date: c1137 (original in Welsh); 1912 (translation in English)

By: Meilyr Brydydd (fl. 1100-1137)

Translated by: Alfred Perceval Graves (1846-1931)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

A Chaine of Pearle: The Eight Pearle. Science by Diana Primrose

Among the virtues intellectual,
The van is led by that we Science call;
A pearl more precious than the Egyptian queen
Quaff’d off to Antony: of more esteem
Than Indian gold, or most resplendent gems,
Which ravish us with their translucent beams.
How many arts and sciences did deck
This Heroina! who still had at beck
The Muses and the Graces, when that she
Gave audience in state and majesty:
Then did the goddess Eloquence inspire
Her royal breast: Apollo with his lyre
Ne’er made such music; on her sacred lips
Angels enthroned, most heavenly manna sips.
Then might you see her nectar-flowing vein
Surround the hearers; in which sugar’d stream
She able was to drown a world of men,
And drown’d with sweetness to revive again.
Alasco, the ambassador Polonian,
Who perorated like a mere Slavonian,
And in rude rambling Rhetoric did roll,
She did with Attic eloquence control.
Her speeches to our Academians,
Well shew’d she knew among Athenians
How to deliver such well-tuned words
As with such places punctually accords.
But with what Oratory-ravishments
Did she imparadise her Parliaments!
Her last most princely speech doth verify,
How highly she did England dignify.
Her loyal Commons how did she embrace,
And entertain with a most royal grace!


Date: 1630

By: Diana Primrose (fl. 1630)

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A Perfect Day by Isabella Fyvie Mayo

Along the rock-bound shore the sunshine crept;
Our little boat upon the summer sea
Rocked lightly, and a merry crew were we.
Yet eyes were there which bitter tears had wept,
And hearts were there that lonely secrets kept,
Even as on the reefs lay winter wrecks
Of riven masts and ruined quarter-decks,
While in the sunny sea the dead men slept;
And tears will fall again, and storms will break,
Hearts will beat low, and faces will grow pale;
And yet new dawns will blush, and sea-birds wake.
Our God was with our gladness.   Come what may,
Nothing can rob us of a perfect day,
Nor of the faith that such days shall not fail.


Date: 1886

By: Isabella Fyvie Mayo (1843-1914)

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Certaine Verses Written by the Said Ladie Jane with a Pinne by Jane Grey Dudley

Do not think anything alien to mankind which may befall one:
This is my fate today, tomorrow it may be yours.
Jane Dudley

With God’s help, wicked malice can do one no harm;
If He helps not, then the hardest work is in vain
After darkness, I hope for light.

Note: These two short poems were written in Latin as graffiti on the wall of a cell in the Beauchamp Tower (part of the Tower of London) by Jane Grey Dudley, the very short-lived Nine Days’ Queen, who was executed in 1554 after Mary I assumed the throne. They were first published, under this title, in their original Latin without translation in 1582 by Thomas Bentley.


Date: 1554 (original in Latin); ???? (translation in English)

By: Jane Grey Dudley (c1537-1554)

Translated by: Unknown

Monday, 26 June 2017

An Hymne of the State of All Adams Posteritie by Elizabeth Oxenbridge Tyrwhitt

I am the fruit of Adams hands, through sin lockt in satans bands,
Destined to deth, the child of ire, a flaming brand of infernall fire:
Borne I was naked and bare, and spend my time in sorowe and care,
And shall returne unto the dust, and be deprived of carnall lust.
Yet thou father didst Jesus send, to pardon them that did offend:
We laud him in the work of might, that we be blessed in his sight.


Date: 1574

By: Elizabeth Oxenbridge Tyrwhitt (c1519-1578)

Saturday, 24 June 2017

I Am He Whom I Love by Mansur al-Hallaj

I am He whom I love,
and He whom I love is I:
We are two spirits
dwelling in one body.
If thou seest me,
thou seest Him,
And if thou seest Him,
thou seest us both


Date: 9th century (original in Arabic); 1914 (translation in English)

By: Mansur al-Hallaj (c858-922)

Translated by: Reynold Alleyne Nicholson (1868-1945)