Saturday, April 28, 2012

what the water said

Listen for the humming tremor
of story, for its
inexhaustible healing.
Breathe in the curative eros
the crazy river inspires.
Only a few shameless stars
remain to converse with
the giddy red body of dawn.
Be there among them.
Your own muscular language
of trance and tumult
is also the complete
stranger who conjures
your perfect medicine back
from the gray land of gravity.
Now, a storehouse of vision
gusts into your teaching.
You will never be lost

I put together this found poem from David Abram's book Becoming Animal this afternoon.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

a conversation

Watch for that holy
footprint of fire
you want. Wait for
its kindle
of slowness, its
shiver of wonder
in the naked nightair.
The punctuation of firefly
and hummingbird
is also
a conversation
of love, a tender scribble
of wistful nakedness,
true and constant.
How will you choose
to serve its eruptive

--lks 2012

I culled this found poem from Coleman Barks' collection of his own poetry, Winter Sky.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

shine and crackle

The dark slope of lawn did not catch, did not need to catch the yellow light of the full Easter moon or the orange glow of the pinwheel sparks ascending skyward from the little pyramid of lumber smolder on the grass. Things were already burning when I got there. The peaks of monks' hoods seemed to hold all the secret energy of the world. The candle they lit for me singed my knuckles with its crooked tumble of white wax. I didn't give it room enough above the sphere of paper and it became a truncated stub too soon. Still it flickered beautifully for awhile in the brightness of the church. The heat within moved outwards and I stood with its scorch until I could not any longer, weak in the knees and dizzy with strange light. No one else seemed heatstruck, lightstruck, candlestruck, or stuck in any way. They stood and sang and held their candles easy: calm and fresh, clean, awake, uncluttered or confused. I wanted the wood of a choir stall to cling to, to lean against, but only air was there. A negative space peopled with shine and crackle, ache and arch. My candle died and I did not know what was happening when someone offered me a flame to wake it up. The light above me was very bright and I tasted salt the way you do with nausea but no nausea came. My heart warmed on into my throat and kept me upright. Warmed and cooled simultaneously. Synesthesia at play in the fields of the Lord. Dizzy but strong, I listened to the blue air come alive, watched the psalmody sing itself into the morning, tasted the scent of myrrh in the swing of the censer, dreamt the cold metal sides of the folding chair my fingers clutched was a cradle, an empty tomb, a big stone rolled away from a space no longer needed.

Friday, April 20, 2012

a different brightness

A dialect of melancholy
haunts the wild desire path
you shaped for us.
The country I loved is hidden,
its rustic hush a desolation.

The ghost of a thunderstorm
falls across this empty tombolo.
In its edges
I can hear a rising,
primeval and strange,
flooding the well you dug
with a different brightness.

--lks 2012

I got this found poem by putting together words from Barry Lopez's wonderful book Home Ground. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Second Person

Your holy story
creates a perfect spin,
a hoop of surrender,
broken and hushed.
Spirit exhales a shining
In the silent garden, a vespers
raises a flicker of invitation.
Beloved, remain with
my flame, that I
might steep in the secret, yielding
breath I am beginning
to enter.

--©Laura Sorrells 2012
all rights reserved

Sunday, April 8, 2012

mind of fire

Turn to face
the half-glimpsed
mind of fire
your prayer's willing
belongs to

---lks April 2012

This little found poem was taken from Esther de Waal's book Lost in Wonder.

A Window

beyond the tossing dispossession
the world's blue furnace
we taste the strange and unutterable
bread of Silence.
A river of emptiness,
original and deep,
descends into our country
like a blade.
Beyond names
and secrets,
a window waits,
in love with the foolish poverty
of forever.

--lks 4/5/12
I put together this found poem from Thomas Merton's Book of Hours while I was on retreat this past Thursday at the Trappist monastery with which I am becoming affiliated as a lay ecumenical oblate.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

flint in tinder

A powerful weather
breathes along the
dark dogleg
of the forest.
Inexplicable and free,
a sweetness gathers,
growing like what
flint does
to tinder.

I put together this found poem the afternoon of the distracting trillium hike. I got it from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I met up with some people at Amicalola Falls, about thirty miles from where I live, for a day hike. I’d done the hike many times before. It’s a steep and strenuous climb up 425 wooden steps to the top of the falls, but that’s part of the experience for me. I like to go up slowly, stopping at the wooden platforms to take pictures of the rainbows in the water and of wildflowers and anything else I might encounter. The return hike is much easier of course and follows a trail through the forest, past a large Native American trail tree, which I always like seeing and which is something of an old friend. On this particular Saturday, we hiked up the forest trail rather than down, which was an interesting if unintentional shift and offered a new way of seeing the still-brown rhododendron tangles and interplay of fallen and standing trees. I had to hurry to keep up with these hikers, though. I am not sure if they noticed the trail tree or not. I called it to the attention of a couple of hikers near me. I am always a little reluctant to do that kind of thing. I don’t want to be one of those people who shows off what they know and gets in the way of other people’s authentic experience. At any rate, we walked down the wooden stairs, not up, which was fine with me. I stopped to take lots of pictures, mainly of trillium and spiderwebs. I couldn’t believe how much trillium there was. Every time I run across it I am freshly amazed at its beauty. Its heart seems split open, vulnerable, green and crimson to the sun. Some of the trillium at Amicalola was dusted with catkins and some of it connected to trees and rocks with thin skeins of what I took to be spiderweb. Between lying on the ground and trying to catch the light as it came through both petal and web and taking pictures of other hikers and their kids for them, I got left behind by the hikers I was with. This bothered me not at all, but of course I met up with a few of them not far from the end of the hike, returning to make sure I hadn’t gotten lost somehow. It’s hard to get lost at Amicalola, but I suppose people have done it. I felt badly that the hikers had worried about me; I should have known they would have. I am not ever going to be one of those hikers who competes in races as they hurry over trails with backpacks. That’s all right with me. I have some fine pictures of trillium and trail trees to show for my slowness.
After the hike, I sat at a wooden picnic table near the AT trailhead and read and wrote for awhile. Annie Dillard would understand about being distracted by trillium. In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, she writes, “I live in tranquility and trembling. Sometimes I dream. I am interested in Alice mainly when she eats the cooky that makes her smaller. I would pare myself or be pared that I too might pass through the merest crack, a gap I know is there in the sky. I am looking just now for the cooky. Sometimes I open, pried like a fruit. Or I am porous as old bone, or translucent, a tinted condensation of the air like a watercolor wash, and I gaze around me in bewilderment, fancying I cast no shadow. Sometimes I hide a bucking faith while one hand grips and the other flails the air, and like any daredevil I gouge with my heels for blood, for a wilder ride, for more.”
For me, the wilder ride means falling behind faster hikers while I lose myself in the heartspires of trillium and the capriciousness of web and light between stones.

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About Me

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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or