e-mail us



I held out empty cups,
Dipping into streams
Running past my door,
Leaving me in dust-dry thirst

I turned back,
Knowing now
The spring flows
From within,
In stillness.

-- Betty A. Boudreaux
Metairie, La.


(a.k.a.: dirt)

Deep, dark, fragrant, moist,
rich soil of the Earth.
Yes, and more.
But dead earth? Just dirt?
I don’t think so.

Earth is busy, always working,
greening herself for our pleasure
and our sustaining.
Busily she knits grasses and trees
and flowers and fruits,
telling stories all the while
of other days when she was stardust,
embers cooled from the fire
of God’s creating love,
and of all her transformings
into trees and grasses and flowers and birds
and fish and animals and people.

Like me, you say? I can’t quite hear,
I don’t understand the words you speak.
Not yet, but someday.
Then I’ll join you in your knitting,
and in your storytelling,
and in your transforming.

Some call this joining death.
It sounds like life to me.

-- Christine M. Baty
Arlington Heights, Ill.


cherished in gardens
free in fields
and printed
on a variety of clothes
more or less
blossom for the joy of those who see
and love.

-- Sr. Martin Dominic Austen
Casco, Maine


Some days, I will skip daily mass,
And take up worship in the park.

Under cathedral vaults of sacred oak trees,
I will spread a crisp white napkin
Over a dingy splintered park bench,
While overhead, God orchestrates hymns with
Gently gusting winds through the canopy of leaves.

There is no lector, and so I sit in stillness,
Calling forth a litany of deeply buried Psalms,
That rumble from my heart.
Inevitably from the river, the fisherman’s bell
Will signal consecration.

Ignorant of rubrics, I unceremoniously break out
A baguette from my brown tabernacle sack.
Like Francis of Assisi, I minister first to gulls,
Then to squirrels, who resound amen
With a flap of a wing, and a flick of the tail.

Then, homeless Ben crouches in front of me,
Concealing every bit of his holiness.
Crudely Ben polishes off the loaf,
And in a gruff reciprocal gesture, offers me
A swig from his nasty flask.

Bread and wine, body and blood. I find myself shaken
And so the proper wording of liturgy escapes me.
Meanwhile, in all his wildness, Ben watches and waits.
Reluctantly, I close my eyes, purse my lips and
Take a quick burning sip.

Ah, the mystery of faith!
Definitely not a Guardini liturgy,
And yet is suffices.

-- Sascha T. Moore
Port Huron, Mich.

National Catholic Reporter, October 1, 1999