“Poetry arises from the natural action of the human spirit. Does not every human being strive and compose at every moment?”
— Novalis, Heinrich von Ofterdingen
Poetry Night / Winter Solstice Celebration
On December 17, 2022, the Section for the Literary Arts and Humanities of the School for Spiritual Science in North America met by Zoom for another Poetry Night. This was our last meeting of the year. Our regular Section meetings will resume in 2023. During the “intersession” watch for irregular events such as New Moon Salons and impromptu gatherings. Follow the Flow at TheLiteraryArts.com.
Original Poetry Read During the Meeting
All original poems are ©2022 by the signed poet.
Poems by Philip Thatcher
Philip read two poems from his recently published book Good Time. For more information on Philip’s book Good Time, click this sentence.
Reading the First Letter of John
in a time of Covid-19
The Great One
Poems by Peter Rennick
Ides of December Valentine
This world is only Maya in the morning
In the darkness when the fading light
Of dreams slowly merges with
The rising light of day and we
Are neither asleep nor awake laying there
But paused at the point
Of crossing over in the middle
Of the swaying bridge of time
Of two minds and two hearts really
Loving both worlds equally and torn
Sorry to leave you but I’ll be back
Like someone with two families
Every day a sad departure
Every day a welcome home
It’s hard to think of a single sin
That wasn’t committed against him
Or the cleverness of their execution
Motherless fatherless locked away
In a darkened room for years
A whole childhood devoured
But they say he had two wooden
Horses to love and play with
Feeding them first on the bread
And water he was given every day
What could be so feared in him
He had to suffer such a fate
And even after his release it followed him
Except for those few summer months
When he learned to dance and paint
Amazingly delicate leaves and flowers
Leaving us stunned with his forgiveness
When the clouds of history convene
Their annual conference in a dream
Full of grumbling-weeping storms
And lightening-bolts like augurs
The darkness comes back to us
Immense as falling snow
And we are summoned to appear
Before the throne of a single star
To hear the verdict of a child
Echo through the empty fields
The dark days of our renewal
The sun’s first steps returning
Light extinguished to a simple flame
That in our hearts is burning
Like on the old maps
The face of the wind appeared
In the only cloud in the sky
Long strands of hair streaming behind
Gazing up at the full blazing moon
Immaculate as Mary’s womb
Sailing above my little house
Slowly that cloud curdled itself
Into the shape of a coiled snake
While slowly the moon escaped
Sweeping its light around it like a cape
Feeling the child inside her kick
The dark around her hard and thick
Having It Both Ways Valentine
While time flies south in coach
Eternity prefers a walking stick
And a good pair of mountain boots
A cold fire in thick woods
And even if time arrives
Days before enough to spend
Lounging by the ocean
Reading books watching surfers
Eternity trudges on losing its way
Sometimes forgetting where it’s going
Free of destination full of purpose
Making steady progress every day
But we all just get old as time
While eternity stays young and fresh
One Evening After Childhood Valentine
Tell mama about your sore leg.
Show papa your missing teeth.
Give them both your widest grin.
Let them catch your hiding again.
How strange to walk the overgrown
Path together. When you were six,
You peed right next to these trillium,
Their still-unraveled flower spikes
Like you, a whole new species.
I went there tomorrow. It must be
The dead who shout out these petals,
Who whisper to me these childish words.
Poems by Daniel Davis
nina someone’s blues
Saltarello for green and red
winter so wakens
Poem by Novalis
From the novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen
Translation by Bruce Donehower
When Number, Math and Figures
Are no longer keys to every creature,
When those who sing and kiss
Know more than learned scientists,
When the world takes joy to be alive
And in rejoicing, breathes and thrives,
When once more, shadow and light
Espouse the birth of true insight,
And in poetry and story, the human being
Grasps the world’s eternal meaning,
Then forth before a secret word shall fly
That thing of falsehood – error, lies.
Poems by Nicholas Morrow
It is late afternoon and a gentle breeze blows through the wood where I walk with my companion, Nadaline. We often walk at the end of a busy day, sharing our thoughts, experiences, and concerns and let them be. This day, like so many, lives as longing in my soul.
The wood is alive with shadows from the sun, shifting as if enchanted by melody from the breath of twilight, sheading as we the day, preparing for the moment when we emerge from the wood, shadow behind us and before a panorama of light, the sun setting behind distant hills, clouds laced in silver, drifting in an aquamarine sky. The atmosphere seems alive, teeming with presence and I can feel Nadaline next to me. The moment is full, to full to talk about, beauty weaving its magic, intimacy without words, without naming, dissolving in a blue-black sky, stars blinking in, celebrating life like breath, two worlds, one body.
Who Wants to Know?
Why do I paint what I want to see?
An amazing question, pun intended,
a kaon of sorts, rhetorical in nature,
enlightenment the goal,
the Buddha laughs.
Who is the I of which we speak –
the I who paints or the I that sees
or the I that wants to see,
or the unseen I asking the question
and more amazing still,
from whence does the question come?
Was the guardian a God or Man
who carved in stone – “Know Thyself”
and “Neither too much or too little.”
Was it destiny that brought us here
or curiosity that always wants to know?
Enter the temple and the journey begins.
I paint what I see that is perception
an image imprinted on my soul,
or an image arising in my soul
that I paint to make visible.
The “why” can only be answered
in the process and act of painting,
discovering oneself, gift and giving.
Or is there more –
to share what can be seen through art,
feeding spirit and leaving everyone free
to enter the fray with Michaelic sword,
Sophia heart, and Christ will,
knowing that the mark is not the goal,
but what comes before, after and between?
Our Eagle’s Eye
Listen! Listen well! Listen deep if you dare.
There are no puppets in this crowd,
only eagles with pinions strong,
wings of wonder far from your reach,
eyes sharp to see through your masquerade
and penetrate your heartless heart,
and free the doves you have enchanted.
Oh yes, we are in the open free
and your evil cannot touch us,
cannot protect you from our gaze,
and will be as cancer is to living flesh,
will short your circuits beyond repair,
and although devastation will ensue,
we have destiny on our side.
For eons we lived in denial,
pursued the sweetness of desire,
suffered the sting of guilt and shame,
accepted your gifts, chains in disguise,
mundane tasks and listless days,
lost our focus and served your agenda,
sacrificed beauty to kill our pain.
Annihilation is upon you as well,
yet you have no hope for resurrection,
no mirror to identify your faults,
no freedom to choose or alter your course,
and we will come around again,
like a phoenix from the ashes rise
with love informed, materialized.
You may be able to predict the future,
program the present to serve your vision,
but you cannot still the human spirit
that created you as an ultimate foe
that we no longer need to slay
once our eagle’s eye sees the truth –
another chapter on our journey home.