I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

I am so grateful for Luci Shaw’s new book of poetry, The Generosity. There is such wisdom in these poems, offered by an incredible poet who is now over ninety years old and who has published over thirty-seven books of poetry and other writings. The particular poem that I am sharing here reflects on life in the midst of this pandemic, and offers a powerful reminder to us all to trust, in the midst of all the chaos in our world, “that which has proven steady for generations.” Here is her poem:

How?

How shall we sing the Lord’s songs
in a strange land? The old rhythms,
the melodies of praise, strangle
in our throats and the words
fall to the ground like leaves in autumn.
The air thickens with suspicion and doubt
and who’s to say anymore, what
is true enough to last, to prevail?
 
Isolation feels like a punishment
for offenses we never performed.
 
Let us trust, now, the ground under
our feet—that which has proven steady
for generations. Look up. The heavens
are still there, unclouded, beatific.
We breathe, even though masks clothe
our faces. Prayer surrounds us, close
as our skin, weaving for us garments of
trust and solace. Even in our isolation
we are joined in love, never alone.


Luci Shaw’s newest collection of poetry, The Generosity, can be found at bookshop.org or amazon.com.

One thought on “How? by Luci Shaw

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