In Prayers to Protest: Poems That Center & Bless Us, there are rants and protests. But mostly, there are poems, however you might label them, that have centered and blessed those who penned them. There are paradise islands here upon which to get lost and found again. These subjects are private places of the heart and spirit, but they are also matters of principle. Some are topics parents told us not to discuss in polite company–sex, politics, and religion are discussed here in company with concern more for stewardship and the seventh generation than for rules invented by a few. Here, prayer is often that pause before the divine within–that pause that leads to behavior change that enables us to save ourselves and many corners of this world.
My friend and poetry therapy colleague Jennifer Bosveld was editor of this anthology and the The Unitarian Universalist Poets: A Contemporary American Survey. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications. Jennifer received The Pioneer Award from the National Association of Poetry Therapy and a $5,000 Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry. With her husband Jim, she owned Pudding House Writers Resource Center in Johnstown, Ohio; they shared a passion for Van Morrison, social justice, travel, Scrabble, TV and movies. She died in 2014 after a lengthy illness. NAPT created a social justice award in her memory and name.
A Light in the Place
A tour bus can be a chalice a
potluck spread a map can be a chalice any
thing you can light up
to bring you to yourself
check this map and a revise a
spread like this can bring light to yourself any
chalice is pot luck
and will bus you
brave a fastened research through the flame a
whole new power rises in you
even if you are away
church symbols marry us to
concrete our beliefs break
be a breakloose church to yourself
you may drink of the chalice
check map and chalice
where is your left hand and right
where are you Thursday
where will you park your car and be seen
(c)in the name of the poet or assigns. Used for educational purposes and for the promotion of the poet and personal growth of the reader.
Emulate Jen’s free-wheeling free-verse style by choosing any two “things” (a tour bus and a chalice) and comparing/contrasting them. Unhook your brain and let your imagination juxtapose dissimilar things in a way that sounds like they make sense. It sounds random, but it just might surprise you with its depth!