April 25, 2008

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Meditative poems at end of National Poetry Month

Shirley Vogler MeisterEven though we are into the Easter season, I still feel somewhat rooted in the Lenten mode.
I don’t know if this is because Lent was particularly meaningful to me this year or because I have some underlying issues to resolve.

Thinking about Lent reminded me that Jeff Hensley, the editor of The North Texas Catholic, shared a poem with a group of Catholic writers, including me. I still read this poem often, and each time it nudges me closer to the brilliant light of the Easter season.

Lenten Cycles
The long slow ride of Lent,
The circling cycle of days,
like the circling cars
of the old drive-in burger stand scene,
promising newness beyond the everyday,
beyond the same old, same old,
passing by the open window.
Hoping for Nirvana,
hoping for love,
hoping for the final piece
to fit into life’s puzzle.

And someday the cycle ends,
the circling days,
the flipping calendar pages,
the unending movement of time
come to fruition
and life and Easter
resolve, like a slow, visual effect,
fading into the Bright and Timeless
colors of eternity
—Hope fulfilled.

Without further comment, I share here two more poems by Hensley.

They are haiku, a Japanese poetic form that we both admire and enjoy writing. Mine are limited.

Hensley, who writes this prolifically as a form of journaling, has created a thick sheaf of faith-based haiku. His poem was inspired by nature.

Everywhere Presence
I must be honest:
This three-quarters mile of stream
Invites my worship.
But not how you think.
Eyes drawn to light on water
Look beyond to God.
Sacrament of stream,
Sparkling sunlight and bird song
make him present here.
Nature’s Eucharist,
Thanksgiving and offering,
creekside liturgy.

In the Storm, not in its Eye
You had to be here
to fully appreciate
sense of God’s presence.
It was palpable,
And many I talked to said
they could feel it, too.
No explanation.

It is difficult to choose only a few poems. I hope someday that much of the material in Hensley’s ongoing journals will become a faith-inspiring meditative book.

If readers or publishers want to learn more about his poetry and haiku, send an e-mail to hilltopglimpse@aol.com.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.) †

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