So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild

<i>So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed</i> - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild
A poetic journey with the poet's missionary grandparents to the China they served in between 1923 and 1951. CHECK OUT THE REVIEWS OF BOTH BOOKS (below)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


-------We sense it in the call of a Canada
--goose in flight --a
longing strong enough to carry an entire
--flock to their destination
-------We feel it in the grumble of a
--distant storm --that dark
dissatisfaction at what is --in comparison
--with what will be
-------The people who should never let us
--down --let us down --The
cabin roof groans with the weight of so
--much snow --The stairs in
the old farmhouse complain with every
--footstep --even with the
memory of feet that move no longer
--The branches of an enormous
oak moan in the high wind
-------We hear it in the spirituals nurtured
--in the cotton fields of the
deep south --a deep hopeless sorrow
--distilled into hope for beyond
Comin’ for to carry me home
-------We may think we merely imagine it
--in the whistle of a train as
it rumbles through a midnight crossing
--but the tracks through BC’s
mountains were laid with the blood of
--Chinese navvies --the sweat of
abandoned dreams --& the boxcars
--rolling through the prairies
during the depression --carried the last
--hope of the unemployed
Don’t imagine that that wail --has nothing
--to do with human grief
-------Sometimes our wounds heal
--completely --sometimes they
leave a scar --A woman learns of cancer
--in her breast --a man finds
his heart is failing --We fall to our knees
--for a miracle --& are
startled when an answer seems to come
--a taste of what will be
-------Hear the wind in the cavity where
--the siding is loose --Hear it
banging against the wall --Sometimes
--our wounds don’t heal at all
-------We fall to our knees --but the sky
--grows grey --featureless &
silent --We long for what we had --what
--we almost had --what will be
-------We sense it in the stillness of a
--beaver pond --or in the rush
over Niagara
-------We see it in the sunflower
--pushing through the soil
reaching for the sky --for the sun --When
--we most identify with this
world --we are most unsettled

(This poem first appeared in The Christian Century)