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Lenten Poems - 2005


This year's retreat was titled "The Wisdom of the Desert," led by Professor Kathleen Deignan of Iona College, NY. The meditations for the retreat followed a path from Eliot's wasteland, to the desert of the ascetics and mystics, and returned to the garden. To quote from the introduction to the retreat:

"Kathleen Deignan, CND, will take us through a series of meditations exploring the Lenten terrain of the desert and the garden as metaphors and sacred locations for the work of spiritual renewal and transformation. With spiritual master Thomas Merton and poet Mary Oliver as guides, we will be invited to move into these subtle realms of soul to do the Lenten work of clearing, seeding and cultivation in preparation for the celebration of the Easter Mysteries."

A number of the poems are departures from Mary Oliver's work which was liberally quoted during the second half of the weekend (e.g., "Turning Over.") Some have their origin from David Whyte's program on "Midlife and the Great Unknown," which I listened to in the evenings or Anne Lamott's new book Plan B, which I was also reading (e.g. "Prayer" and "Dunes.") Some are based on the surroundings and abundance of the Trinity Conference Center in West Cornwall, which always provides a rich muse (e.g., "Snowy Night" and "Cross country.") Finally, there are a few poems that had been percolating for a week or two before the retreat, and found their expression during the quiet of the weekend. ("Silhouette" and "Eavesdropping.") Of these fifteen short pieces, "Prayer" and "Turning Over" are my favorites, about paying attention to the openings in our lives to experience the mysterious.

I hope you enjoy the poems. If you have thoughts or questions, please send me a note at . If one or more speaks to you, then I am honored. While on our web site, please take a look at the current issue of The Fairfield Review at . To read the poems, click here.

Ed Granger-Happ
March, 2005

P.S. For notable quotes from the retreat, see Fr. Mayberry's notes, here.


Ash Wednesday, February 2005
Snowy Night
Only the silence
Turning over
Silent Lunch
Cross country
Telling Time
Train in the distance
Easter service, 11:31 AM

(to read the poems, click here.)

All Poems © Copyright 2005, E. Granger-Happ, All Rights Reserved.

Other Lenten poems are here:

Lent, 2005
Lent, 2004
Lent, 2003
Lent, 2002
Lent, 2001
Lent, 2000
Lent, 1999
Lent, 1998

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