Carolyn Martin


Redundancies of rain?
For God's sake, it's fall and morning leaks
around our blackout shades.

Whoever, Whatever You are, assure
us for our sake, You find no joy
in soggy piety nor solace
in the mindless, rote, liturgical.
See, kneeling in oak pews is out
and so is worn theology.
We prefer to consecrate our sheets
before we raise the light to bless
the streams gullying our streets.

As for worshipping, You don't require
incensed naves with ringing bells
and seven-limit sacraments
to verify Your worth. The proof
is in anemones and symphonies,
in ducklings, quarks, majestic bluffs,
and all such sundry things.

In fact, we're tempted to submit
we deserve to be adored. This struggle
with Your flesh-and-bone design—
more miss-than-hit at times— warrants
Your graceful bow to human hearts and ...
But we digress. Let's contemplate

this Sunday morning's prayer: Today
we ask to be surprised.
That's it.
Perhaps a shoulder tap, the smell of toast,
a photo tucked in some forgotten book.
Task memory with more than it can hold.

Perhaps You'll shape our scribblings:
The wind's too far to catch the sail...
The ranter's in his rocking chair...
She hugs the curb and he the center line...

Redeem the bindings on our bounded words.

Or, perhaps, You'll deign— before the urge
for coffee cups subverts this sacred time
to manifest Your holiness in warmth
of breath, in cobwebs sighing on a wall,
in weeds that sing of unrepentant rain.

And, if none of this appeals, here's
our bottom line: Surprise us with Your face
reflecting in our window panes.

Carolyn Martin is happily retired in Clackamas, OR where she gardens and writes. Her poems have appeared in publications such as Naugatuck River Review, Becoming: What Makes A Woman, Drash, ninepatch, and On the Issues. Her first collection, Finding Compass, was released by Queen of Wands Press, Portland, OR, July 2011. Currently, she is president of the board of directors of VoiceCatcher, a nonprofit community that connects women writers and artists in greater Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA.

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