Poems for Ephesians is a journal of poetry that leaps out of the images, ideas and inspirations of the Book of Ephesians. These poems, which are the expressions of the poets themselves, do not necessarily reflect the views of McMaster Divinity College. This web-journal is an on-going project presented by D.S. Martin, MDC’s Poet-in-Residence: (martid17@mcmaster.ca).

Watch for new posts every week!

D.S. Martin is the Series Editor for the Poiema Poetry Series from Cascade Books. His most-recent book of poetry is Ampersand (2018). Follow these links to his website www.dsmartin.ca and to Kingdom Poets his online resource of Christian poetry.

  • Voices Raised by Marjorie Maddox

    Voices Raised

    —–Ephesians 2:19

    No longer strangers and foreigners,
    we’re fellow citizens with the saints—

    native and naturalized jointly
    inhabitants of the ethereal,

    mercy in perpetuity—
    a claim so strange it rewrites

    all requirements of residency,
    every psyche’s by-laws.

    No longer partitioned off
    by sin, by regret, by self-righteousness;

    on reservations, on street corners;
    behind walls; behind barbed wire;

    behind preconceived Hallelujahs & Amens;
    flat blessings and fat curses

    of who, what, where, when, why
    we are; behind and for all, yes

    we sing acapella & instrumental,
    harmony & melody;

    we sing citizenship & pledge;
    throughout the holy household,

    with our off-key, shrill, and wobbly
    human notes, by God we sing!

    Marjorie Maddox is a professor of English at Loch Haven University in Pennsylvania, and director of the Creative Writing Program there. She is the author of several poetry collections — including most-recently True, False, None of the Above (Poiema Poetry Series) which is an Illumination Book Award Medalist.

    Posted: 13 February 2019

  • Tychicus by Jean Schreur

    Tychicus

    “Tychicus, dear brother, will tell you everything. I am sending him.” Ephesians 6:21

    I am the messenger
    He remembers the disciples
    The misty walk down Harbor Street
    The baptisms by the river
    “Grasp the width of the love”

    Paul the Apostle
    He knows by heart
    The columns of the lecture hall
    The miracle of handkerchief healing
    “Grasp the length of the love”

    To the saints
    His closed eyes and chained arms
    Still know the form of Artemis
    The shouts from the theater
    “Grasp the height of the love”

    Grace and peace
    He keeps in his heart
    The farewell by the ship
    The elders weeping and praying
    “Grasp the depth of the love”

    I am the messenger
    Paul the apostle
    To the saints
    Grace and peace
    “Grasp and know the love to be filled to fullness”

    Jean Schreur of Hudsonville, Michigan, enjoys writing about Biblical characters and places. Several poems were published in the recent anthology Adam, Eve, and the Riders of the Apocalypse (Poiema Poetry Series). She is a retired nurse and lives with her husband on the family celery farm.

    Posted: 06 February 2019

  • Dirty Jeans on a Kid in Ephesus by Bugg Davis

    Dirty Jeans on a Kid in Ephesus

    As a college student, did you learn to do laundry
    before you left home?

    As a college student did you realize you’d need
    a roll of quarters to get the job done?

    But quarters are hard to come by, so
    jeans are worn two, three, or a pressing four times.

    And by the fifth, going home is a better option
    than walking around smelling like ramen

    Spilled, stirred with sweat from your pick up
    basketball game, where you ripped a hole

    In the knee and bled a little. As a college student
    did you forget that there are people who

    Really do want to help you succeed; who
    want to help sew those holes in your

    Armor; bandage you;
    Feed you some meat and potatoes; and

    Help you wash that laundry?
    Just show up on Sunday and find out.

    Bugg Davis is originally from Mississippi where she completed a degree in English with a concentration in Philosophy. She has been published in a number of literary journals in the Southern United States. Recently, she moved to Hamilton, Ontario, to pursue a degree in Business and Marketing and is working as a Barista.

    Posted: 30 January 2019

  • Ephesians 4:30. Grieve Not the Holy Spirit, Etc. by George Herbert

    Ephesians 4:30. Grieve Not the Holy Spirit, Etc.

    And art thou grieved, sweet and sacred Dove,
    —————When I am sour,
    —————And cross thy love?
    Grieved for me? the God of strength and power
    —————Grieved for a worm, which when I tread,
    —————I pass away and leave it dead?

    Then weep mine eyes, the God of love doth grieve:
    —————Weep foolish heart,
    —————And weeping live:
    For death is dry as dust. Yet if ye part,
    —————End as the night, whose sable hue
    —————Your sins express; melt into dew.

    When saucy mirth shall knock or call at door,
    —————Cry out, Get hence,
    —————Or cry no more.
    Almighty God doth grieve, he puts on sense:
    —————I sin not to my grief alone,
    —————But to my God’s too; he doth groan.

    O take thy lute, and tune it to a strain,
    —————Which may with thee
    —————All day complain.
    There can no discord but in ceasing be.
    —————Marbles can weep; and surely strings
    —————More bowels have, than such hard things.

    Lord, I adjudge myself to tears and grief,
    —————Ev’n endless tears
    —————Without relief.
    If a clear spring for me no time forbears,
    —————But runs, although I be not dry;
    —————I am no Crystal, what shall I?

    Yet if I wail not still, since still to wail
    —————Nature denies;
    —————And flesh would fail,
    If my deserts were masters of mine eyes:
    —————Lord, pardon, for thy son makes good
    —————My want of tears with store of blood.

    George Herbert (1593—1633) is famous for his devotional poetry which was posthumously published in his book The Temple. He served as an Anglican Priest, rector of the small parish of St Andrews Church, Lower Bemerton, Salisbury. In 1632 he also wrote A Priest to the Temple, which expresses his ideals of what a pastor should be.

    Posted: 23 January 2019

  • The Unvoiceable Ever by Laurie Klein

    The Unvoiceable Ever

    Ephesians 2: 3-7

    Mercy, please note
    every ragged corona
    ——our prayers generate: the lone
    blue eye of a pilot light,
    the bonfire crowning a hill.

    Help us welcome the kindly
    eclipse and crumble of ego,
    ——knowing the planet of self
    winks out, only
    to rally. On again. Off . . .

    a pulse like the tide,
    prone to turn, the stoic
    ——glacier, called to calve—
    each tipping point seen, loved,
    unvoiceably nudged.

    Amid the long seam of night
    our desires are rogue stars,
    ——riddled with black holes,
    laden with dark matter,
    still unexplained.

    O Mercy with colored dust,
    re-belt us, all our hopes
    ——fixed anew, within your realm
    where nothing is lost,
    but all is covered.

    Laurie Klein of Deer Park, Washington, is the author of the poetry collection Where The Sky Opens (2015, Poiema Poetry Series). She calls herself, “a contemplative writer, musician and artist, who helps distracted, heart-weary people refocus on God in creative ways that spark hope and wholeness.”

    Posted: 16 January 2019

  • To Do More Than Hide by David Busuttil

    To Do More Than Hide

    Ephesians 4:24

    They
    Made coverings of leaves
    To sheath the bloody weapons they made of their bodies
    The garments hardly holding
    To soft skin
    Scraped ‘til red
    Ashamed of the defiled image they now carried in their carcasses
    Unable to cover it
    They hide
    Their father comes and finds
    And covers their skin in skin
    And they begin
    To be able to do more than hide
    Seed of Eve

    Second Adam
    Comes to me while I cower
    While naked
    Pathetically making insufficient coverings
    And he hands me my new self
    Made of himself
    And I put him on like wedding white
    And I am made able
    To do more than hide

    David J. Busuttil lives with his loving wife Katie in Hornby, Ontario. He won the 2017 In The Beginning Award from The Word Guild. His poetry regularly appears in the magazines Love Is Moving and Ekstasis. David is active in poetry performances in the Greater Toronto Area. His original play Within a Play launched at Georgetown Little Theatre in June of 2018.

    Posted: 09 January 2019

  • Epistle to the Ostensible Church by Scott Cairns

    Epistle to the Ostensible Church

    Isaak, latecomer to the way, sometime
    schmoozer among the diverse and sundry
    heretics, and admittedly a little judge-y,
    a little cranky concerning the ubiquitous,
    blithe, and widespread ignorance unduly
    tolerated among slacker Xians whose glib
    disinterest in the actual fullness of their
    own inheritance leaves me blinking, open
    mouthed—and increasingly cranky—as each
    week seems to bring yet another earnest
    attempt to reinvent the wheel. I write
    to all y’all who labor in your separate
    enclaves to puzzle out why your long-pared
    faith so seldom satisfies the enormity
    of your God-obsessive hunger. Peace.

    That we are all of us adopted and appallingly
    co-opted into the holiness of Jesus is a simple
    given, and a certainty. So relax. His good
    pleasure will surely accommodate at some
    future end of time our patent sloth and habitual
    dim wittedness. Meantime, have a stretch.
    The faith you hold is not so much a grip
    of propositions—nor even, nor especially
    that queer array of anxious propositions you
    have preferred to what the fathers taught; such
    a paring keeps the body blind, and deaf, more
    than a little dumb. A far more efficacious grip
    would be the one that gathers at the supper
    of the Body and the Blood. The cup is not
    so much a good idea, but is your living portion
    poured into your hungry gut, the animating
    spirit joined unto an elemental, and a bright
    reconstitution, joining your sad persons
    to the joy investing all and everything
    with theanthropic agency. Remember
    to love one another, and please forgive
    your cranky Isaak, whose love for you
    may yet prove—please God—incorruptible.

    Scott Cairns is the author of eight poetry collections, including: Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems (2015, Paraclete Press). He is Professor of Poetry and Director of the MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University. His poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, and The McMaster Review of Theology and Ministry.

    Posted: 02 January 2019

  • God’s Lavishness by Sandra Duguid

    God’s Lavishness

    the unexpected snow
    clusters weighting
    the small evergreen branches
    like multiple hands extended, pressed
    organ keyboards, Bach Cantatas—
    with orchestra, choir, rich-voiced
    soloists—a triplesauce on an entrée in a French
    restaurant on play-full
    Broadway, local bookstores,
    cafes, all manner
    of things—like melons;
    the return of health,
    a friend’s assisting
    lepers in Uganda, the churches’ gathered
    shoe boxes of gifts delivered
    to children around the world,
    children themselves, parents’ love, the iconic
    snow-covered car in the driveway—
    and she, of all days, minus a brush—
    mysteriously cleaned off,
    a day’s dawn,
    a birth in dark Bethlehem,
    sheep afoot on a hillside, their tangled
    wool, Angel voice upon voice,
    the soft arrival
    of gold, myrrh, and frankincense,
    the Christ Child in a makeshift cradle
    asleep in his own Bright Nursery—
    Grace.

    Sandra Duguid is the author of Pails Scrubbed Silver (2013, North Star Press). Her poems have also appeared in the recent anthology Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse (Poiema Poetry Series). She and her husband live in New Jersey. This poem is drawn from several passages, including Ephesians 1:7-10.

    Posted: 26 December 2018

  • Daily Grace by Bonnie Beldan-Thomson

    Daily Grace

    Theologically and philosophically
    I rejoice in my salvation. But,
    practically speaking,
    I am carried
    by little salvations
    that buffer my bumps
    and colour my days…
    offer of a lift in driving rain,
    patch of shade in smothering sun,
    a ticket for Handel’s Messiah, reminder
    of a bountiful gift that gives anew,
    groceries on sale when I need them,
    sunset display, exuberant from my window
    is subdued the next street over, my private showing,
    the extra dimension of a thin place after
    a long time of walking by faith alone,
    flat back tire in my driveway, not on the highway,
    words of a Celtic prayer make
    translucent and malleable
    the granite wall of my cave,
    comfort of flame
    on a bitter winter night.

    Ears to hear,
    eyes to see,
    a heart to receive
    and give
    love.

    Bonnie Beldan-Thomson of Pickering, Ontario, wrote this poem in response to the opening verses of Ephesians. She is part of Adonai Creative Arts, through Forest Brook Community Church, where she helps facilitate The Writing Room — a place of spiritual care and creativity. She received the E.J. Pratt Medal in Poetry from the University of Toronto.

    Posted: 19 December 2018

  • My Father's Place by Vilma Blenman

    My Father’s Place

    Forgive me if I behave as if I’ve lived
    somewhere else, was someone else.
    I was
    an orphan at the gate, waiting, wondering
    until he came and chose this unlikely child
    gave me a new name, gave me gifts in profusion:
    hope to hold, peace to pass on, grace to grow
    See this signature?
    It’s his insignia, inheritance guaranteed.

    So now I live here, where largesse is norm
    where rooms open into other rooms,
    where colours celebrate shame’s downfall
    and hues of blue blanket grey:
    indigo, cobalt, azure
    reassure,
    a palette of reds speaks bold words:
    scarlet, crimson, carmine,
    all call, “No fear!”

    Yet, l do confess,
    love like this frightens me.
    How difficult to fathom its dimensions:
    the length, the breath, the depth, the height,
    it takes a lifetime to fill a fatherless heart
    full,
    to displace doubts, to replace the broken seal.
    How fortunate that we have forever…

    Vilma Blenman has published a poetry chapbook First Flight, plus stories and poems in the Canadian Hot Apple Cider anthology series. She lives with her family in Pickering, Ontario. “My Father’s Place” is influenced by Ephesians 3:18, but also Ephesians 1:13 and 14.

    Posted: 12 December 2018

  • Sundown by Ryan Apple

     Sundown

    Ephesians 4:26

    In pre-marriage counseling they told us to never
    let the sun go down on our anger.
    Whimsy notwithstanding,

    the warning seemed quaint
    since electricity has deemed our clocks
    the arbiters of time,

    and sailors now watch weather.com,
    having jettisoned their nursery rhymes
    about red skies.

    But in the wake of our disagreement,
    with the sky so overcast
    (I circled the same point;

    turning, you drifted off),
    I just stared into the clouded night, wondering
    how we might navigate to common ground.

    Ryan Apple is a Music Professor at Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing, Michigan — where he and his wife live with their six children. His guitar music is available at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/go/606553867. His poetry has appeared in the anthology Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse (2017, Cascade Books).

    Posted: 05 December 2018

  • The Architecture of Prayer by Mary Willis

    The Architecture of Prayer

    I hardly recall now the place, the view:
    stars burning light years off
    like tongues of fire snapping softly
    in a vacant house,
    winter branches with their hieroglyphs,
    birds clenched on twigs like frozen buds—
    all that language of the dispossessed.

    I know I’d picked up fuzzy suns
    of peaches, late glowing apples
    and shelved them in my darkest closet—
    seasoned proofs, potential food for afterthought?
    And long before of course
    I hunted out the spring,
    stored earliest recorded light,
    his words, which I drew on
    interceding for family or friends,
    but not too often, pulling back
    from draining the source
    with appeals for anything specific or routine . . .

    until I stumbled on a promise
    hidden there boldly in plain sight:
    exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.
    Extravagantly upsized, straining
    our reasonable dimensions of space and time?

    Not according to the blueprint of the mystery.
    Translated by the working hand,
    it clearly says our house is,
    its foundation laid,
    saving us from lostness.
    Windows, though yet to be set,
    are framed and open for intimate speech,
    silent music between ear and Ear.

    Mary Willis lives in London, Ontario. Her poems have appeared in Canadian Literature and other journals and anthologies. She has also published three chapbooks through Fiddlehead Poetry Books, including: Earth’s Only Light. “The Architecture of Prayer” is built on Ephesians 3:20.

    Posted: 28 November 2018

  • Sonnet From The Ephesians by Barbara Crooker

    Sonnet From The Ephesians

    ——-Ephesians 1:16

    I do not cease to give thanks, especially in November
    even as we lose an hour of light, drawing
    the curtains at 4:30 to keep out the cold. To remember
    you are dust seems appropriate now. Crows are cawing

    black elegies in the bare trees. Just past the Day of the Dead,
    and I’m thankful for every friend who has blessed
    my life, gold coins in a wooden chest. Who said
    no man is an island? We’re all peninsulas, I guess,

    joined to the mainland, part of the shore. We’re the sticks
    in the bundle that can’t be broken. Even if
    it doesn’t seem that way, the bickering of politics,
    the blather on the nightly news. Maybe we speak in hieroglyphs,
    unclear, always missing the mark? So let me be plain.
    I’m grateful for the days of sun. I’m grateful for the rain.

    Barbara Crooker is the author of seven poetry collections. Her eighth, The Book of Kells, will appear from the Poiema Poetry Series early in 2019. She and her husband live in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania. Her poems have been featured many times on The Writer’s Almanac as read by Garrison Keillor.

    Posted: 21 November 2018

  • Adoption by James Tughan

    Adoption

    Not very many know what it’s like
    to be weightless, cut off from a home,
    any home of familiar welcoming,
    like Cheers, like the court of the Sanhedrin,
    like a synagogue in any Roman outpost,
    and perhaps even with the brothers of the Way
    who cannot let go of the finality
    of the dying cries of Stephen.

    Not many know what it’s like
    to be weightless, grasping for a foothold
    of decency and grace, in a mosh pit of gods
    and goddesses nastily scrambling about
    round and round on the circumference
    of perhaps a Greek vase, or a sad Roman copy
    which can’t really hide the humanness
    of engineered bullying from Rome.

    Not many know what it’s like
    to be weightless, hung out in space
    hung between heaven and earth, sold out
    by friends and foes, orphaned by everything
    that fathered you into this world
    save perhaps for wounds and a thorn
    now woven into certificates of adoption
    for children of immeasurable belonging.

    For Mark

    James Tughan has been called “one of the world’s foremost pastel artists.” He has served on the faculty of Tyndale University, Redeemer University, and Sheridan College. Even so, Tughan has immersed himself in course work at McMaster Divinity College. One of the many influences on his poem “Adoption” is Ephesians 1:5.

    Posted: 14 November 2018

  • The Misuse of Scripture by Daniel Klawitter

    The Misuse of Scripture

    ——-So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the
    ——-truth to our neighbors,
    ——-for we are members of one another.
    ——-–Ephesians 4:25

    The truth is, neighbor, your lawn is looking rather shabby.
    (I tell you this in a spirit of Christian kindness.)
    And yesterday you seemed a little crabby:
    (Love may be blind, but that’s different than blindness.)

    So, let us shun falsehood and speak the truth:
    I see your sins and…Joshua judges Ruth.
    I stand firm in faith and shall not be budged.
    And if you judge me…ye shall be judged.

    Daniel Klawitter of Denver, Colorado has published three full-length poetry collections – most recently Quiet Insurrections (2018, White Violet Press). His children’s poetry chapbook Put On Your Silly Pants received an honourable mention in the 2017 Dragonfly Book Awards for Children’s Poetry.

    Posted: 07 November 2018

  • Ephesus by Sarah Klassen

    Ephesus

    ——-To everyone who conquers
    ——-I will give permission to eat from the tree of life
    ——-that is in the paradise of God. Rev.2:7.

    Now as then we are dismayed when business falters,
    baffled when rains fail,
    alarmed when another riot erupts in our city.

    Now as then we have among us the hungry. Also
    the scrupulous. We have those
    who regularly bow and bend and those who don’t.

    We know a house must have a sure foundation,
    a solid cornerstone. We know, though we keep building them,
    dividing walls must fall. How else

    can the stranger and the alien enter? We do not know
    why the lovely bird of peace nests over there
    while here at home the vultures flap their hostile wings.

    Now as then noise streams from the market place,
    applause from the crowded theatre.
    The hungry lions roar. On quiet evenings

    you can hear, above the drone of time,
    the whisper of leaves
    on the tree of life.

    Sarah Klassen is a Winnipeg-based writer who’s won numerous awards, including The Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry for her collection A Curious Beatitude. Her eighth and most-recent collection is Monstrance (2012, Turnstone Press). Her poems have appeared in many journals, including The McMaster Journal of Theology & Ministry.

    Posted: 31 October 2018

  • The Ordering of Time by Nicholas Samaras

    The Ordering of Time

    The road to Ephesus was flat and open-aired,
    a lined mixture of blue and earth, mounded cairns
    rising from the open fields, like bee-hives a man

    could walk into and disappear. And why travel there
    but for a heritage of history? Native people still
    tilling the biblical earth, airing their laundry on lines,

    the empty forms of their bodies waving in air.
    Land by itself always appears primitive
    until we encounter on the threaded paths there

    a rise of buildings, an ordering of the times
    when they are complete. We pilgrimage to Ephesus
    to witness the past and measure the present.

    For a place to sense the saints of perseverance,
    we leave our too-civilised countries to experience
    a land, a field, a time in its journey. We leave our lives

    and go to read the earth, to remember any small heritage
    of who came before us and who long brought us here.
    The dusty road to Ephesus was a boat, a bus,

    and walking, was blue hours of water and earth,
    was winding and tiring, but worth the beautiful ruins,
    a true word, a lasting witness, travel the first-fruit

    of our heritage. In the ancient shell of Ephesus,
    beyond the resting amphitheater, the cell of Saint Paul,
    the best building standing remains the whitened library.

    Nicholas Samaras is the author of two poetry collections – Hands of the Saddlemaker, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and the extensive American Psalm, World Psalm (2014, Ashland Poetry Press) which contains 150 poems to emulate the Biblical psalms. His poetry also appears in The Turning Aside: The Kingdom Poets Book of Contemporary Christian Poetry. He lives with his family in West Nyack, New York.

    Posted: 24 October 2018

  • He Also Descended by Laurel Eshelman

    He Also Descended

    On Albrecht Dürer’s woodcut, Christ Descending into Hell, from Ephesians 4

    Dürer’s gouge flings gates from hinges,
    stretches a lean arm to snap prisoners’ chains.
    He tastes pearwood dust,
    cuts a body, blood trickled out
    and stilled on Skull Hill,
    a living man whose standard rides
    the blaze from demon horns.

    We shuffle past the woodcut,
    hear a flapping overhead
    and smell smoke
    but miss the gates
    wide open
    the throng rushing out.

    Laurel Eshelman of Elizabeth, Illinois (population 700) works a few blocks from home with her husband at Eshelman Pottery. Her chapbook, The Red Mercy, was a semifinalist in the 2014 Palettes and Quills Chapbook Contest. She was one of the participants in D.S. Martin’s festival circle group at the Festival of Faith & Writing 2018, in Grand Rapids.

    Posted: 17 October 2018

  • Seating Plan by Neil Paul

    Seating Plan

    first day of school…
    ———–the bell rings,
    thirty children
    ———–rummage
    to find their seats,
    determined by the teacher’s
    ———–seating plan

    the twinkling of an eye.
    the trumpet sounds!

    and there,
    engraved by lightning laser
    on a clear white stone,
    I find my name
    and gladly take my seat
    among the galaxies.

    Neil Paul – of Caledonia, Ontario – is a retired English teacher who has been taking courses at McMaster Divinity College. I met him last year in Gus Konkel’s insightful class on the Psalms. He has self-published two books of verse. This poem was inspired by Ephesians 2:6.

    Posted: 10 October 2018

  • A Prisoner of Christ by Philip C. Kolin

    A Prisoner of Christ

    for Father Donald Francis Derivaux
    A Gethsemane monk, psalming
    an honorarium of prayer, work, plainsong,
    he interceded for those who fed
    on empty words from the kingdom of air.

    He shared raven’s bread with Merton
    and letters brined with tears over
    black souls shorn of dignity.
    But the sounds of Trappist silence
    contained too many echoes for him.

    He longed for the life away
    anchored in the most quiet dwelling–himself—
    moment by moment seeking eternity;
    he lived alone with the Alone

    until he was called to be a prisoner of Christ
    in a different kind of hermitage
    salving souls in cells at Parchman Penitentiary
    teaching unschooled monks in striped habits
    to sigh the name of Jesus.

    Philip C. Kolin is the Distinguished Professor of English (Emeritus) at the University of Southern Mississippi. The title of this poem alludes to Paul’s reference to himself as the prisoner of (or for) Christ (Eph. 3:1 and 4:1). This poem will be included in Kolin’s forthcoming poetry collection Reaching Forever (Poiema Poetry Series) which is edited by D.S. Martin.

    Posted: 03 October 2018

  • Approach With Boldness by Tania Runyan

    Approach With Boldness

                            —Yellowstone National Park
                            —Eph. 3:12

    We creak on boardwalks above geothermal pools—
    Black Opal, Morning Glory, Emerald Spring.
    Clear and bright as cups of Easter dye,
    they sputter and hiss to remind us that we stand
    atop a caldera heaving molten rock.

    Each path begins with the illustrated warning:
    a boy in a baseball cap breaks through the surface,
    parboiling his feet. I hear the story about the 9-year-old
    who lost himself in the steam and plunged into Crested Pool.
    They recovered just eight pounds of his body.

    Or the man who swan-dived into Celestine Pool
    after a yelping dog, emerging with blanched irises.
    That was dumb, he mumbled for his last words,
    skin peeling in sheets. Thousands of years ago
    the first hunter to wander into this basin

    must have thought he discovered a second sky
    breaking through the ground, a miracle of sorts,
    if he knew about those, radiating in the snow.
    He laughed, bent his face over the rising steam,
    and thought nothing of reaching in.

    This poem by Tania Runyan is from her poetry collection Second Sky (2013, Poiema Poetry Series), which is a book of poems inspired by the life and writings of the apostle Paul. Her new collection What Will Soon Take Place (2017, Paraclete Press) is inspired by the Book of Revelation. Her poems are also included in the anthology The Turning Aside: The Kingdom Poets Book of Contemporary Christian Poetry. She and her family live in northern Illinois.

    Posted: 26 September 2018

If you like what you see, and would like to submit a poem of your own to Poems for Ephesians, please contact D.S. Martin, MDC’s Poet-in-Residence: (martid17@mcmaster.ca).