This is a poem I wrote in April, 2005, when I was working as a college prof. Thankfully, my life isn’t like this anymore! My reading isn’t near as erudite, but much more enjoyable, and it’s easier to get outside.

Like those games in truck stops with quarters piled on flat metal trays

with the promise that, if you play, you can keep whatever falls,

so books roost on counters, tables, chairs, wherever they can find a space,

vital knowledge being held within the folds of their wings,

ready to be shaken loose. Nearby, I see Pinnock, Gerald May,

Kierkegaard and Hauerwas.  Walker Percy and John Calvin

lie one atop the other on my desk; Camus is on the floor,

in a scrum of existentialists topped by Frederick Neitzsche.

How nice it is, I think, to be the type of person who reads such books

and talks of them with other priests serving in a shrine of culture.


Outside, winter’s bony fingers pull on gloves:

azaleas have exploded

with bursts of bloom as bright as any fireworks,

dogwoods twirl white parasols,

and souls have risen from the dead.