Good Links (The Embodied Edition)

*Why the photo? Just because. I think it's funny.  I've been asked more than once these days, "why are you stretching into so much poetry?" People don't read poetry anymore, they say. It's antiquated, anachronistic, out of date. It's too hoity toity, they say.

I don't suppose I agree with these accusations against poetry in large part because I've found  it to be a useful processing tool these days. Perhaps it's something about the form, how it helps me distill an idea or emotion down past the dregs, down to the ethanol of the matter. Perhaps there's something about building a smaller free-standing structure, something less monstrous or grandiose. Perhaps there are times that require the offering of only pared-down word sets, seasons that ask us to step away from our largess.

Seasons, yes.

I think poetry is about seasons. Like autumn, poetry comes in quick and cold, drives me simultaneously to the flame-mapled woods and the home hearth.

These days, if you asked me what I thought about God, I'd likely point to my psalms series and say, "here's a good start." Sure, we could talk about creeds, and modes and methods of worship. We could pour ourselves steaming cups of tea and discuss whether God would or wouldn't do a particular thing. We could discuss a great many things about God, but if you want the straight-skinny of my thoughts of God? I'm working it out through my psalms, and I've been finding great freedom (and revelation) in the process. It's a season of poetry for me, and I'm glad to be in it.

Today, I'm sharing poetry at Suzannah Paul's place, and I hope you'll visit. The piece is about the state of our being, of passing from birth to the summing up of all. Care for an excerpt?

We move first through the rail thin hope of light, potential coming through the needle’s eye and into the growing, breaking, blinding dawn of the first day. From water to air, pushed or pulled I do not know which, we come to the great magnet that is this living, this undulating of ocean tides and carnal impulse.

Follow me to Suzannah's place for the piece in its entirety. And then, follow the links below to find my most recent ghazal. "A ghazal?" you ask. Yes, a ghazal. And no, that's not something that lions hunt on the Serengeti.

And with that, I bring you to the weekly link roundup.


Come visit me at Suzannah Paul's place today. Really. She has been so gracious to share her space with my words. I hope you enjoy my latest piece, "embodied."

I'm also trying my pen at an Arabic poetic form, the ghazal. Granted, I don't speak Arabic, but I took the form and fashioned it around my native tongue. "November Pyres," is a poem about life, faith, and the prying apart of the two. It is, perhaps, one of the more honest poems I've written in a while. Thanks to Tweetspeak for hosting me today.

Did you catch "Fold Your Hands {On Teaching Consent to Pre-Schoolers}," this week? In it, Suzannah Paul shares about teaching her children the power of consent. She writes, "Conversations about personal boundaries and “no means no” don’t start in middle school. We have them now, every day." Listen, folks (and I don't say this often), this is a must read.

A.J. Swaboda nails it this week with his piece "Taking off Masks: God's Grace to Deconstruct Social Pornography." In it, he writes, "[t]his leads to a second problem—that version of ourselves that we float into public domain is a lie; the lie of the perfect life. Facebook is social pornography." When a fella drops dimes like that? Yup, you need to check this one out.


We've had a good run of musical releases lately, haven't we? (Thanks, Johnny Flynn and Patty Griffin!) But this week was the capstone. The Avett Brothers released their new album, Magpie and the Dandelion, and it's a worthy offering. Don't miss "Morning Song," a song (in part) about the brothers' beloved aunt and her bout with cancer. In it, they sing, "It’'s alright if you finally stop caring, just don'’t go and tell someone that does. 'Cause even though I know there’s hope in every morning song, I have to find that melody alone."


Today, I'll take you out with a little more of the Avett Brothers.