Author Archives: Kari

poem in your pocket day 2014. 0

A few weeks ago, when I wrote about her book, Carolyn Arends left a nice comment. After I picked myself up off the floor, I of course emailed her back. I tried not to fangirl all over the place but I may or may not have succeeded. But the best part was that she also […]

possible answers to prayer. 1

“Possible Answers to Prayer” by Scott Cairns Your petitions—though they continue to bear just the one signature—have been duly recorded. Your anxieties—despite their constant, relatively narrow scope and inadvertent entertainment value—nonetheless serve to bring your person vividly to mind. Your repentance—all but obscured beneath a burgeoning, yellow fog of frankly more conspicuous resentment—is sufficient. Your […]

of the surface of things. 0

“Of the Surface of Things” by Wallace Stevens I In my room, the world is beyond my understanding; But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud. II From my balcony, I survey the yellow air, Reading where I have written, “The spring is like a belle […]

what I have been reading (spring break edition). 0

A Trust Betrayed: The The Untold Story of Camp Lejeune and the Poisoning of Generations of Marines and Their Families by Mike Magner (via NetGalley) I picked up this book because my mom did her student teaching at Camp Lejeune in the 70s and was diagnosed with cancer just two years later (in her early […]

practice resurrection. 0

This poem is probably the reason I love poetry and try to make others love it too. This is all I want to say on Easter. “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” by Wendell Berry Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your […]

holy saturday. 0

This morning, Atticus woke up in Florida. When we told him we were flying home later in the day, he started wailing. He does not comprehend time or understand that when good things end there are still good things ahead. All he sees is the sadness, and we let him cry because his sadness was […]

descending theology: the crucifixion. 1

“Descending Theology: The Crucifixion” by Mary Karr To be crucified is first to lie down on a shaved tree, and then to have oafs stretch you out on a crossbar as if for flight, then thick spikes fix you into place. Once the cross pops up and the pole stob sinks vertically in an earth […]

what the living do. 2

“What the Living Do” by Marie Howe Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there. And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of. It’s winter again: […]

the journey. 0

“The Journey” by Mary Oliver One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice – though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You […]

hope is the thing with feathers (meditations on emily dickinson for holy week). 3

This is a poem where people know the first line but not the whole thing. Be sure to read to the end. “Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson “Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops […]

mission accomplished. 2

Hey, how are you? I’m good, thanks for asking. Well, yeah, I am a little sore because I ran a half marathon today. I would like to dedicate this running to Mike, who made it possible for me to do so much training, and to Beyonce, who gives me wings. Here are some words from […]

(half) marathon. 0

“Marathon” by E. Ethelbert Miller it’s a strange time which finds me jogging in early morning the deadness of sleep alive in this world the empty parks filled with unloved strangers buildings grey with solitude now near the end of another decade i am witness to the loss of my twenties a promise invisible i […]

chekhov’s gun by matt rasmussen. 0

“Chekhov’s Gun” by Matt Rasmussen Nothing ever absolutely has to happen. The gun doesn’t have to be fired. When our hero sits on the edge of his bed contemplating the pistol on his nightstand, you have to believe he might not use it. Then the theatre is sunk in blackness. The audience is a log […]

a toast by ilya kaminsky. 0

“A Toast” by Ilya Kaminsky To your voice, a mysterious virtue, to the 53 bones of one foot, the four dimensions of breathing, to pine, redwood, sworn-fern, peppermint, to hyacinth and bluebell lily, to the train conductor’s donkey on a rope, to smells of lemons, a boy pissing splendidly against the trees. Bless each thing […]

unholy sonnet 11 by mark jarman 0

“Unholy Sonnet 11″ by Mark Jarman Half asleep in prayer I said the right thing And felt a sudden pleasure come into The room or my own body. In the dark, Charged with a change of atmosphere, at first I couldn’t tell my body from the room. And I was wide awake, full of this […]

muffin of sunsets by elaine equi 1

“Muffin of Sunsets” by Elaine Equi The sky is melting. Me too. Who hasn’t seen it this way? Pink between the castlework of buildings. Pensive syrup drizzled over clouds. It is almost catastrophic how heavenly. A million poets, at least, have stood in this very spot, groceries in hand, wondering: “Can I witness the Rapture […]

a letter to atticus about world vision. 0

When there are difficult things to talk about, I find that it’s easier if I think about what I would want to say to Atticus. So I’m breaking out the old-school letter to clarify a few things for myself. This is my attempt to explain why things have been a little quiet here the past […]

a poem and a book for the end of the world. 1

“The Mystery of Meteors” by Eleanor Lerman I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through a meager park Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like blind white birds Two days in a row I have not seen the meteors though the radio news says they are overhead Leonid’s brimstones are barred by clouds; […]

on the back porch (a poem every north carolinian should read). 0

Atticus and I went to the NC Literary Festival today. Mostly the boys played with trucks. And Legos. But we did go to a couple of sessions. In honor of the festival, let me point you in the direction of this article in Our State about 10 poems every North Carolinian should read (preferably out […]

old men playing basketball (a poem for the final four). 0

“Old Men Playing Basketball” by B. H. Fairchild The heavy bodies lunge, the broken language of fake and drive, glamorous jump shot slowed to a stutter. Their gestures, in love again with the pure geometry of curves, rise toward the ball, falter, and fall away. On the boards their hands and fingertips tremble in tense […]