Friday, April 26, 2019

Perchance to Swoon Now that Springtime is Here

Today is very beautiful—just as bright, just as blue, just as green and as white, and as crimson, as the cherry trees full in bloom, and the half opening peach blossoms, and the grass just waving, and sky and hill and cloud, can make it, if they try...You thought last Saturday beautiful—yet to this golden day, ’twas but one single gem, to whole handfuls of jewels.  Emily Dickinson in a letter to her brother Austin, when she was 23


I’m not much given to swooning; however, a well placed ’twas in the midst of such delicious writing as this might have me loose my grip on my metaphoric parasol and sink into the grasses below a tree in order to recoup my faculties.

The long stretch of fall and winter are not without a richness of sensory delights... the earthy elemental palettes of grey tones and browns, the subtle shadings and the shadows on snowfall. The cold-blue clarity of sky and air that pricks at my cheeks and spirit...Lentil-thick vegetable soups and dunk-sustaining bread...

Right now, though...right now I’m longing for spring. For bud and colour burst, for the leaping greenly spirit of trees (Oh, there I go weak-kneed cummings, you master of abstract linguistic sculpture...). My legs long for ambling and my hand reaches for a pen to write the photographs before me... Oil and vinegar, mustard and lemon, seem to scoot closer together in the kitchen, asking to dance into a dressing for fresh greens and roasted vegetables. I put a large cloth napkin back into my satchel...on the off-chance hope I might find myself with a portion of park bench and the makings of a personal picnic...

Spring is Whitman and wandering; it is road-tripping and new nest building; it is knapsack and ink pen, watching, noticing, sighing, and yes... upon exquisite occasion, Spring is swooning...with poetic appreciation for the heart’s own capacity to be moved, to marvel, to create, to dream.

And glory...there’s still summer to come... 

and zinnias stand as firm and quiet as old valorous deeds... 
--E.B. White, from the piece ‘Late August’ written for The New Yorker

(I’m looking for a tree already...)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Entering into Holy Week

This morning before Mass, I stopped for a moment while walking along College Street, enroute to Victoria Park.  In and among cars, ambulances, and other urban groanings, the distinctly percussive Rubbee-dedubbeedee-dub….rubbee-dedubbeedee-dub.   There was a woodpecker somewhere nearby.  After winter’s dormancy, crocuses are stretching their blooms over by the cemetery and I understood why when I looked up into the softest stretch of sky…a gentle blue with a gauzy shawl of clouds tossed across her shoulders.  Who or what would not want to be a part of that?   Coming home by the near edge of the park, I crossed  in front of the Anglican cathedral just as the choir was leading the congregation in their outdoor Palm Sunday procession…it was an absolute delight, a rising swell of music and worship that touched me deeply to behold.

This was my entry into the week that is ahead… a week lived in the shadow of the Cross and in the certainty of faith in Resurrection.  In some respects, a week not unlike other weeks, as the Cross is always present where True Good abides and the roiling waters of evil, injustice, cynicism, and doom do all that they can to saturate and render useless the wick of hope.  And, faith in the Resurrection gives me freedom to say Yes, each morning, every week.  The liturgies and prayers of this week, though…they tell the Story in an intensified way, calling us together anew, re-membering the table of friends who gather to remind each other what this symbol of suffering has become… a call to Love.  Love, with all of its implications and intricacies.  Love, wholly, completely, without reservation.  Love.  Inclusive, expansive, challenging, costly, and to the end.

A call to love as Jesus loved.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

A Vision of Heaven; Help with the Dishes

Someone asked me recently about my vision of heaven,,,and then I made soup...

A Vision of Heaven or,  Help with the Dishes

A jukebox stretching
from Handel to hip-hop
in the corner of a kitchen;
A dutch oven, a sharp chef blade;
a cast iron skillet and a heavy bottom
two quart pot with a lid.
Counters for working:
chopping, writing, thinking.
A stool or three and sturdy
mismatched colourful plates.
A kettle on the stove and pleasing
mugs for the prayer that is the first sip
of morning glory and afternoon restoration.
There’s a table with room for friends and
not too big for one; a tapestry woven
of sunlight and birdsong, seasonal blues,
and threads the silver consistency of moon.

Here, love is love is love is love;
Here, peace is abundant and the quiet
is comfortable; here is welcome
and home and our
conversation that takes up
where we left off, conversation
about the ways of things and the wonder;
about mystery and glory and sensuality;
about mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and grace;
about my humanity and your divinity;
Here is about you and me and the world.
Here is where I can let go and listen
to your open, freely offered,
no fixed recipe, except bring what you’ve got,
and who you are and your musings and curiosities,
let me help with the dishes,
Heart of All-in Love.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

National Poetry Month

2 April, 2019

Dear Poet, Writer, Versifier,

It can be slam, or a sonnet, or sometimes a hip-hop finesse, that is a quicksilver key slid into the slot and turned around the axis of a pen, freeing the pins and swinging the hasp so that the voice may breathe the life-verse that moves the universe within each being:  the near ones and far ones, any sort of sized ones, rainbow coloured ones, those low to the ground and nearer to clouds and those needing a stick to steady their groove. Each being.

We are each and we are all, poetry on the move.  We are heartbeat and eye blink, we are finger snap and love.  We are footfall and arm swing, breath and the flow of blood; we are language and life and senses and silly; we are, and yes I am repeating myself, Love. And by that I mean we have joy and sorrow and wound and hope; we have potential and promise and the need for others so write and open the door. So read the work of your neighbours who opened their doors to you.

Who we are, all that we are, shapes the language we use and how we combine it.  What your words become, the possible permutation, is for you to encounter—is an act of elation.

Using the palette within the ink, poet...begin your creation.

The world is waiting, the world is in need; You are a poem...let your art feed.

Happy National Poetry Month!

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ