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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday evening Eckhart

I read a sliver of a poem by Lorri Neilsen Glenn a couple of days ago that keeps rippling through me. A friend who must have a copy of her collection of poetry Lost Gospels shared it with me...just a few lines, but I keep hearing them again and again pulsing through my head. So I googled Lorri and was surprised to find out that she lives in Halifax--a city I visited often while living in Atlantic Canada, and yet I have never read any of her poetry. I tried entering her information into the library database here in California, hoping I could order a few of her collections through inter-library loan, but there was no listing for any of her work. So far the only poem I have been able to find in its entirety on line is the one I share below, which I absolutely love. I want to use this blog as a place not only to share my own writing and experiences, but also a place to share writing that inspires and moves me in the hope that you will also discover writers that you might otherwise not have, or be called back to re-read a book, passage or poem that you read long ago but is no longer fresh in your mind. For tonight, let me introduce you to Lorri Neilsen Glenn. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.   

You think of Meister Eckhart, by Lorri Neilsen Glenn

as the wind rises in the eucalyptus, follows tunnels of light
the queltehue have shaped in the air, tunnels that disappear inside

their own creation. Breath is to story as running is to horses, all wild eyes
and urgency, dust and dream flank, rush of imagination. And you wonder:

how does she find her way with those invisible hands? But when she whispers
at night as you try to steer stars, you wake with only the taste of the answer

in your mouth. And you think of Jesus, of the Buddha, of St. Teresa,
of the poet who drank wine from blue goblets, wrote

green lines on driftwood, slept with women he kept mistaking for the sea.
Can you learn to be as empty as a clay pot, to be that simple.

that lavish?
-and you walk on seashells among angels and devils,

from lanzas and pirates whose treasures won’t last, and you tap
your small crystal heart with the lightstick of the world, and listen:

you know music cannot be as sharply drawn as the eyes of a captive hawk, nor
pinned down to staves with clefs and a rest. It is bird shriek at dawn, chug-

churning engines hot with promise, murmuring cows that trail swollen udders,
generous whispers of the fig tree summer-heavy with fruit you break open

in your palm and lay on your tongue. It is what you have already known
and tasted, mystery that grows in tears and bone, in death and rock and ocean,

the space on the stairs between this step and the next, in the red muscle
of mercy. It longs and it is longing and it wants you as virgin, wants you

as wife, lover, child, over cloud, under water, wants your throb
and blood-thirst, buried tears, and more. It shows you that soft is stronger

than hard, that you – rapt listener, ripening soul – always knew how to dance
this river, this winter, to compose out of the distant cry of stars.

(From Lost Gospels, Brick Books, 2010).


  1. wow, how lush and ripening this poem is, Ariana. I've had the pleasure of meeting Lorri and hearing her read her poems. She is a beautiful writer. Her poems share the rapturous journey of living opened to life.

    Thanks for offering it here to be read.


  2. Really? I hope to hear her read some day. I love this piece, and wish I could get my hands on this collection of poetry. So happy you enjoyed it!