If words fail, being only breath,
Look to the one who was himself
The Word, though many said not.
Look to the one whose last
Breath, crushed by Satan's
Knee, was "Forgive."
Look to Him
after the kids are asleep
and the day's tidy-up's done,
unresolved jobs and
positive dispersal of yeast through
of friend in need, kneading
of this or that hope,
pounding heaven's door like a breadboard,
pounding grace into slack
and crumbling day,
pounding the gate
of coming kingdom,
pounding the weight of the season,
the wait of the harvest,
the slowness of leaven,
the tarrying rise.
Dough sits before the heater.
The day's done, and morning
will show what will rise,
what still waits.
As schools reopen in my part of the world, I have had the strange, disorientating experience of returning to work yet nothing being the same. But beside my office in the school library are some gorgeous auburn leaves that soothe me whenever I pass them. So I’m sharing them here with you today, along with a snippet from one of the poems in my new book, Les Feuilles Mortes, which is a kind of prayer for all of us as we imagine life on the other side of Corona.
And do not say, When
all this is done. Think bigger
than the mere return
of leaves to trees. Think seasons
not yet imagined, transformed.
(From “Autumn Leaves: Tanka for Isolation”
Les Feuilles Mortes is available for digital download here. Tune in to the online book launch on Saturday 30th May at 8:30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.
I’m thrilled to have my new book of poetry “Les Feuilles Mortes” ready to launch on Saturday 30th May, one week today. In our society distanced days, it’ll be an online launch, but this has given me the wonderful opportunity to have more people involved than I would have otherwise, with friends near and far contributing poem readings or joining my virtual Taizé ensemble for some goosebump-inducing music. You can access the launch either here or at my YouTube channel, 8:30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. Grab some wine and cheese and have your own book launch party from home. Can’t wait to share the experience with you!
I’m looking forward to sharing a number of videos of poems from my upcoming book Les Feuilles Mortes in the coming weeks, including several from my friends and readers across the world. Here is the first, a letter written in quarantine to my young children.
The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a mad flurry of activity as I’ve worked on getting my new book Les Feuilles Mortes together and ready for you to have in your hands. The physical copy should be ready soon to buy from Lulu.com – by the end of May – but you can now buy a digital copy of the book for just $10 AUD via The Consolations of Writing. All your money will go to Tear Australia’s work supporting developing countries to combat COVID-19.
Click here to get your copy, and watch a teaser for the book here. I’m also looking forward to the online book launch, on a date soon to be confirmed. I hope you can join me. It’s been a real community event getting together friends from across the world involved in this project, and I’m excited to share it with you all soon.
My twin boys turn one
within our garden's walled world,
learn to navigate
and negotiate space as
leaves fall in entrancing swirls.
This poem comes from my upcoming collection “Les Feuilles Mortes”. Stay tuned for more information about the launch, or contact me to join the mailing list.