September 1, 2010

Morning Praise

Is it me or does it seem as if people are reawakening to the grounded yet transcendent power of poetry? This lovely poem is just in from Katherine Krause, a writer and certified spiritual director, residing in the Kansas City area with her family. She's grateful to be a friend of the Benedictine community of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, the subject place of this poem.

Morning Praise

While dawn yet lingers on her way,
awakened souls stream in to greet the dark.

Footsteps that fall on well-ruled paths ─
a sound that tunes the ear ─

sacrament the breaking of the day.

Rising then, past soft tolling bells,
with clarity the same,
a tender song finds mothered voice
to sing and rouse God's dreamy children loved,
those safely kept, but not yet stirred to knowing.

Marbled white, the pillared scaffold stays

center point of all that's sung and said;
the cornerstone of open space
where rests the waiting Word,
volume spread like eagle's wings alighting.

A reader, come with steady gaze, quiet,
stepping firm, makes her aim the stand.
She readies to unlock the words
held captive by the page.
She walks as one who knows she has a key.

A humbled bow and then a step
precede her sure ascent
to scale the gap and hold the gleaming, narrow ledge
that opens wide the Way. In gatheredness,
she does not climb alone.

With tone like velvet thunder,
she lends the Word the meter of her heart.
Echoing Friday's emptiness,
imbued with Easter's joy
she embraces in her essence its resound.

Human speech and ancient timbre:
the two become as one before our eyes.
The speaker and the spoken word,
with hearer as the third,
birth brand new a trinity of meaning.

Expectant, each word tumbles down
until the entwined tale of ourselves
begins to dance above the page.
Like wild doves released,
words scour for abidance, not escape.

"The Word of the Lord," she ends
and as she bows again, all praise breaks forth
in Wisdom‘s cageless silence.
The Word, hale and soaring,
wings sun and self toward emanating skies.

Night has lost its way in morning,
first light now streaking colored glass and souls.
The day has been received as gift,
and from this place begins,
amassed and freed, for working and for prayer.

© 2007 Katherine E. Krause

Image of Mary Magdalene and Her Jar, a statue on the grounds at Mount St. Scholastica taken by Katherine E. Krause

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