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A photo showing a close-up of three tomatoes on the vine with other tomato plants blurred in the background.

First Tomato

July 2024 Poetry Selection
The first tomato ripened
over the weekend
I was too busy to notice.

A Conversation Between Two Poets: The Authors of Tobit Detours and Meta-Verse! Talk It...

"My hope is for people to be able to take their time with my books and have many ways to interact with them." Joann Renee Boswell and Elisabeth Mehl Greene discuss their new books of poetry.
A landscape view across the American Southwest showing brush in the foreground and a mesa in the distance. The sun is just visible over the mesa.

Go into All the World

June 2024 Poetry Selection
She watches from her kitchen window
whenever the mesas hide themselves
behind a gray summer mantle,
its hem caught on the desert...
A photo of a swampy swath of forest, showing water and tree trunks.

Land of Grace

May 2024 Poetry Selection
This land is a Bible you can read
with every sense. Even when all the time
is washed from my days...
A photograph of the bird "black phoebe" on a twig against a green background.

Phoebe, The Little Voice Heard ‘Round the World

April 2024 Poetry Selection
Until then, Mercury was the ultimate
messenger in Rome,
as was Hermes in Greece...
A close-up photograph of crocuses emerging from the earth.


March 2024 Poetry Selection

You of the streak of blue cut through
grey billows
You of the brilliant sun slant on
shadowed bamboo...
A photograph of train tracks extending into the distance with the setting sun at the end of the tracks.

How Do You Get Rid of a God

February 2024 Poetry Selection
I heard you are supposed to
make an offering to the gods
so they come to you and
begin to fix what is left.
A photo of a dirt road in what looks to be a scrubby desert and mountain landscape. The sun is setting behind the mountains, the clouds are ominous-looking.

Come, all sisters

January 2024 Poetry Selection
Come, all sisters
join our caravan.
Our journey, far from over,
portends our destination.
A photo of a forest of birch trees in winter, snow is on the ground.

Call Me

December 2023 Poetry Selection
What do you call me when my person-name
is lost between the stars?
Call me Cedar or Gold Birch Woods...
A photo showing a narrow bare branch with a water droplet on it, shallow depth of field, with foggy looking landscape blurred in the background.

Kind of Okay with It

November 2023 Poetry Selection
It’s the age
of kind of knowing:
As in, I kind of know
what a partridge is...
A view of a large spiral staircase looking down from above.


October 2023 Poetry Selection
Bless me, Father, it has been,
oh my God, seven years
since my last confession,
you know, after the accident...
Beautiful Landscape from Croatia, with a stone statue of a woman in the foreground.

Damaris of Athens

September 2023 Poetry Selection
Damaris peered into alleyways, stumbled along porticos,
her eyes enflamed by the hot light of stones...
A colorful abstract graphic suggesting waves and splashing water.

Buoyancy and Splash

This special edition Untold Volumes poetry selection was written by the late Virginia Ramey Mollenkott and originally published in the Fall 1996 edition of "Update," the EEWC Newsletter.
A picture of railroad tracks in an underground tunnel, two tracks merging.

Offering Apples at the Statue of Confucius

August 2023 Poetry Selection
What is the ritual when the statue is
in the open air and my offering is
an apple that slid out of my bag
and rolled along the subway floor?
A boardwalk on the edge of a river. Steep stone cliffs in the background.

Bare Bones

July 2023 Poetry Selection
I jumped into the river
to cleanse myself
from you...
An abstract and colorful graphic resembing organ pipes or metal tubes.

Being Here Without You

June 2023 Poetry Selection
Your people ruined us once
because of something
they feared about me.
It took me years to start looking
for you again...
Photo taken from a boat on rough seas. There's a bird and a piece of land jutting into view.

New Noah

May 2023 Poetry Selection
We travel the waters;
the waters travel us, trace us,
turn us dark and dank. The
trip from pupil to lip: traversed
Stations of the Cross Book Cover

Stations of the Cross: the Weight of Dust

Kathryn Cramer Brown shares a series of clay tiles she created to represent the Stations of the Cross and, with each tile, a poem in her book Stations of the Cross: the Weight of Dust.
A photo of a church bell tower against a pink tinted background


April 2023 Poetry Selection
I saw the conifer—but did not
know it to be a tree—
from the bus window
A black and white photo of ancient ruins in Katakolon. It looks like several broken pillars in a row.

Delilah in Gaza

March 2023 Poetry Selection
You have heard of Samson and the wreckage of pillars.
Listen to me. Samson had the strength of a giant and the soul of a brute...
A photo of a sliced loaf of bread with a knife on a cutting board.


February 2023 Poetry Selection
Mass after Mass, it’s the same.
The priest raises the chalice
declaring it the blood of Christ.
Parishioners bow, tap their chests...
A photo of a pomegranate cut open on a piece of slate

Opening a Pomegranate

January 2023 Poetry Selection
Surely this is the fruit
That Eve once plucked—
Not a bright, wholesome apple
With thin skin and pale flesh...
Black and white photo of tree silhouettes in a forest with the sun setting in the background.

Do not tell me God is light

December 2022 Poetry Selection
Do not tell me God is light
My God is dark
She slithers through the crevices of night
and kisses pain with love...
A photo of a whale just under the surface of a blue body of water

Song Without Words

November 2022 Poetry Selection
What if
instead of developing language
we had chosen to remain content
with gestures and with music?
A close up photo of white flowers with a blur effect against a green background

The Angel Gabriel Balks

October 2022 Poetry Selection
Say what? She’s not going to buy it.
Another Leda and the Swan or Perseus?
Why another myth?
A photo of a stone figure on a rocky and desolate plain and a cloudy sky

Why I’d Look Back

September 2022 Poetry Selection
Perhaps it was the vase handed down from my mother
or maybe the albums of my children’s photos...
A close-up of the frame and ropes of a multicolor hammock against a green leafy background

How to Do Nothing

August 2022 Poetry Selection
Give yourself permission to sit this one out—
not everything needs to be fixed today.
Your sofa is the destination of the route.
A stark image of an empty chair against a white wall and resting on a rough hardwood floor

The Woman Who Refused

July 2022 Poetry Selection
Xerxes was drunk, no other way to say it.
For six months, he strutted, bragged,
showed off his riches. For a full week,
he feasted and drank with princes
An enhanced image of the Milky Way at night.

Polaris Abandoned

June 2022 Poetry Selection
The north star has fallen
It's still there, in the sky
but we've tilted away
and it's no longer a reliable guide
Mountains and blue sky in the distance, looking over a patch of lavender plants

That is You

May 2022 Poetry Selection
I looked out upon the white-cloaked mountain
and All that is Holy, She said “That is you.”
Several brooms of different colors lined up, to the left is a ceramic cat statue


April 2022 Poetry Selection
Thanks to that plucky holy man,
I’m happy to report they are packing up.
I filched his trick: invite them to live in harmony.
Sand sculptures of biblical looking figures on the beach

Jesus Illuminates His Latest Work of Art

March 2022 Poetry Selection
With all due respect, I call it “The Boss’s Dinner.”
We’d hang out in this upper room frequently
to debrief and strategize...
Two women running along the beach holding hands

Pastoral Counseling

February 2022 Poetry Selection
She told me
that she believed in the covenant of marriage,
that she had decided to leave her husband...
Stylized photo of a solar eclipse in blue and gold

See in the Dark

January 2022 Poetry Selection
One day
the moon got bored
of being worshipped
all the time
Wave breaking over a long dock, in sepia tones

A blessing or a curse

December 2021 Poetry Selection
Called Mary of Magdala
I was possessed by seven demons.
They subdued me,
trampled my body, invaded my soul.
photo of the milky way on a clear night

Adventus Elizabeth

November 2021 Poetry Selection
Behind closed doors
the men talked, unwelcoming
no one asked
pink salt lake with salt crystals on wooden pillars on sunny day

Pillar of Salt

October 2021 Poetry Selection
First Thought With the Kevlar glove of the angel on her wrist she spoke: I know
we have to go. I know the smell of fear...
Piano keyboard over a wooden floor

Salome Listens to Yeshua

September 2021 Poetry Selection
Yeshua saw at parties
that I was polite,
that I feigned interest
in most men’s revelations about God...
Multicolor Hot Air Balloons in the Sky

God’s Response to Being Asked: What’s Your Preferred Pronoun?

August 2021 Poetry Selection
Imagine that awkward moment when mortals arrive
at my pearly gates only to find I am neither XX nor XY.
Black door and brass handle and lock

When Mystery Knocks

July 2021 Poetry Selection
You feel like you’ve been waiting forever
but instead of a robed savior, it’s the Unknown
easing onto the porch and knocking.
A facemask hanging on a clothes line

To Mend Them

June 2021 Poetry Selection
Some days I’m tired of the making
but that might be an indication
I’m trying to do it alone
and that’s how you end up with armor
A multicolor piece of weaving, partially done

Divine Seamstress

May 2021 Poetry Selection
We, the childish, wear our clothes like skin,
Like a birthright.
But a divine cadre of women sew
In the deep of the maze, and far from the exit.
A close up of a beautiful bright green bird

True Religion

April 2021 Poetry Selection
On Easter Sunday, we paraded white and pink
patent leather shoes past Mrs. Criple’s porch.
She offered applause, foil wrapped coins that
tasted more of wax than chocolate.
A Pieta carved in stone


March 2021 Poetry Selection
See how his lovely long body drapes
over her motherly thighs...the way
her so much younger still-virginal face
gazes down on her blameless man-child...
Ruin of a gate with autumn leaves in the background


February 2021 Poetry Selection
When we named you,
we imagined
the divine love
and gentleness...
Abstract dark painting resembling a sunset

In the Beginning…According to Eve

January 2021 Poetry Selection
It was color,
calling from across the field
or through the woods.
Close up it had shape
and I got to name it.
Sparkler in a hand with blurry lights in the background

When something new is on the way

December 2020 Poetry Selection
I lost hold of all I thought I could keep
Lost all hope for what was to be
The knowing of what I had come to do
Woman's hands playing the guitar

Preparing Jesus for Sunday

November 2020 Poetry Selection
Anyway, try not to doze during the homily.
No one can best your show on the Mount.
The way you used anaphora was brilliant
and so was ... but I digress.
Outer space image to illustrate the poem Groundless


October 2020 Poetry Selection
The Virus can kill,
but so can breathing
hate on my neighbor.
Blue bowl filled with mustard seeds

Mustard Seed

September 2020 Poetry Selection
she fixed her eyes on her own feet,
small compared to others’ prints fencing
her in for fear she’d stray
without patronizing trail markers...
flying white dove isolated on black background

Gender-Bending Rhetorical Strategies in the Odes of Solomon

"Unlike the Western Church, which developed a propositional theology using the language of philosophy, Eastern followers of Jesus expressed their theology in the language of poetry – a fundamentally different, holistic approach."
Sunset in pinks over water, with a flock of birds


August 2020 Poetry Selection
Who is like the Lord?
A woman who helps a child walk
An eagle spreading her wings over young
A woman who searches for something lost...
Water, Shore, and Sky

From Under the Air

July 2020 Poetry Selection
When you weep
and grow weary
of the pain
in this world you made...
Washing machine Image

I Bow to You

June 2020 Poetry Selection
I bow to every flower I see and
every flower I remember,
every scent that surprises or lingers
that I can still recall years later...
Cosmic Pockets Book Cover

Cosmic Pockets

"This is a collection to be pulled from the shelf that you may be struck by their wise thoroughness of Truth's vital beauty."
A Glass of Milk

Redeeming Mother

May 2020 Poetry Selection
I cannot forget you, child.
“I ache to nurture you, to feed you;
my breasts fill and must give.”
Shopping Cart Image

Passover 5780

Special Poetry Selection
in this plague spring
when the leaders fail us
we try to keep each other
alive we are midwives
of solitude and survival
Colorful butterfly on black and white background


March 2020 Poetry Selection
I will give myself
to wind's mercy, listening
where voices are muzzled,
cries stifled
Spoon in Bowl of Raw Sugar

Ash Wednesday Thirteen Ways

February 2020 Poetry Selection
I have never trusted
a priest with
my whole heart,
not one.
Female hands, infant feet


January 2020 Poetry Selection
God, did you have to walk gingerly
after giving birth to me
Had you grown heavy with the weight
of my becoming
Sunlight streaming into a dark cave


December 2019 Poetry Selection
I sealed my fate with my yes—
soul sanctified, body broken
confluence overflowing
I am the Lord’s servant
King Crown jewels in Louvre, Paris, France

I’m ceded, I’ve stopped being theirs

November 2019 Poetry Selection
The name they dropped upon my face
With water, in the country church,
Is finished using now...
Golden Thread and Shuttles

Golden Thread

October 2019 Poetry Selection
Maybe I am just a golden thread
on God’s spindle,
tethered from within.
Laundry on the Line

Herstory: A Proverbs 31 Woman

September 2019 Poetry Selection
Burning the candle on both ends
she does not dream anymore
except of dishes and stitches so
it seems her work never ends...
Pink and white Hollyhock flower

Behind the Scenes Theodicy: Three Stories of Why It Happened

August 2019 Poetry Selection
I. The angels stood guard like the hollyhocks
In my garden: swaying in the wind, yet
Immobile. A portal had opened, how they knew not...
Bread and Wine

Passed Over

July 2019 Poetry Selection
Why should anyone die a sacrifice
when living blood flows in me
poured out and refreshed each moontide?
Bluebird Pair

Birding at Lemon Bay

June 2019 Poetry Selection
For weeks, I tried to spy a nesting pair
through a mounted white pipe;
peered at moss-padded sticks lodged
in the crown of a longleaf pine.
Metal containers and lightening


May 2019 Poetry Selection
You are electric
waltzing aware of privilege
storing that excess
energy in masculine swagger
Ladybug on Grass


April, 2019 Poetry Selection
Worship is no more
No less
Than the gentle bow of the branch
Tail of a whale in the sea


March, 2019 Poetry Selection
Jonah would laugh,
no doubt,
at this miracle
of reversal:
Considering Liberation, image detail by Catharine Gellings

A Visual Diary

February 2019 Poetry Selection
These grew and became works of art.
Reared and fostered by my own hands.
But these were not my literal children.
Falling Rock Warning Sign

Glenmary Sister

January 2019 Poetry Selection
Fresh out of high school, a novice in a shortened habit
scoured remote hollers, visited coal camps, argued scrip...
Small Old Camper

The Pastor Delivers a Box of Groceries on Christmas Eve

Christmas, 2018 Poetry Selection
Hail, darling, full of grace
Half grown, half girl, all of eighteen
That night I made pilgrimage to your trailer
Pale, sweaty, stringy blonde hair
Framing your sapphire eyes.
Nativity Scene


Christmas, 2018 Poetry Selection
Young woman, boo-boo healer,
songwriter, wonderful comforter,
mighty good, everlasting Mama,
peasant of peace,
filled with grace and grit
Beautiful Butterfly

The Last Stone

December 2018 Poetry Selection
I will not cobble together
a defense of myself
with lines from your holy book.
Ancient Women


November 2018 Poetry Selection
Manoah’s wife was one of those women / with closed wombs who inhabit pages / of the Bible, women like Sarah and Elizabeth, / too old to conceive, Rachel and Hannah, / who also yearned for children...
Dirty Dishes in a Sink

Minimized Memoir

October 2018 Poetry Selection
Luke secondhand remembers harshly / Overlooked Martha: upset, anxious, aggressive, / distracted, troubled, bothered, encumbered, / fretting, fussing, busy, missing...
Keyboard with letters in Hebrew and English

Ancestor Alphabet

September 2018 Poetry Selection
I see the shape of the Alef and the shape of the Lamed / I see the shape of the final Tzadi and the shape of the Hay / I see the shape of your Nose and the shape of your Hands
Hands and Weaving

Conjuration, Of Poet-Prophets and their Translators

August 2018 Poetry Selection
We are conjure women,
we who traverse portals opened by ancestral song,
we who dream the dreams and speak the tongues
of lands we have never seen.
Chocolate Cake Image

“Eve’s Summons” and “Maryam’s Labor”

July 2018 Poetry Selection
Maryam is giving birth
Her face is sweaty like a laborer,
like a marathon runner
God is her Doula massaging
the small of her back with a tennis ball
Bride holding bouquet of flowers

If Jesus Were Married

June 2018 Poetry Selection
If Jesus were married
it would help explain why
he valued women higher than his contemporaries
and risked his life to go against church teachings

A Christmas Prayer

God of sun and God of snow, we thank you for the grandeur of creation, for the variety that surrounds us, for your limitless creativity.

The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays and Lyrics

Her essays in this volume are thought provoking, the golden prize being her commencement address this past June at her alma mater. She offered three lessons for life: “be kind, be true, and pay attention.” In her essay “Miracle, Light and Considerable Magic” (p. 70), she refers to “the mysterious nature of the Sacred,” the Light that appears in daily moments.

Hagar Poems

Centering Hagar Poems on Hajar’s tale, a problematic moment in sacred narrative, the profusion of viewpoints contributes to Kahf’s nuanced approach. Looking at Hajar from her own point of view, as Sarah and Abraham see her, in anger, in forgiveness, as heroine, foremother, and exile, Kahf shows how the different sides of the story have much to say to one another.
Lady Midrash Book Cover

Lady Midrash: Poems Reclaiming the Voices of Biblical Women

I am so thankful for the honor given to these biblical women by these poems. This collection, spoken through the voices of women in both testaments, puts flesh and energy into what have too often become stale stories from our early Sunday School days—if we heard them there at all.

A Charleston Lament – #BlackLivesMatter

I am convinced that this is the lesson of Gethsemane / Not Jesus crying humanly about his own impending suffering and death / But rather Jesus's awareness of the depth of the intractable ruin of us / The universal suffering of the other who threatens the status of the entitled just by being
Audre Lorde

Feminism Is: Audre Lorde— Fighting Oppression with Poetry

Daughter of immigrants from Grenada, Lorde was born in Harlem in 1934, was married and bore two children before she became openly lesbian and radically womanist.

And Be Thankful

November 27, 2014   Click image to view larger version. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in...

All You Were Before— #ThinkOfAPoem

October 2, 2014 was National Poetry Day. I thought I'd join in the fun and post a short poem and an image. This year's theme is "Remember."

Oriented to Love – Of the Mystery and Miracles

When we stop paying attention to the mystery and the miracles of God, when we ignore that which we cannot describe, cannot understand, cannot categorize, cannot explain-- when we ignore that, we ignore God. Because God is not our logical, ordered existence. God is not the sure thing, the safe bet. God doesn't make sense. God doesn't dream safe and steady dreams for our lives. God doesn't move us in comfortable directions.

An Epiphany

The Ruler’s life has been irrevocably changed as a result of absorbing Christ’s world view, and his epiphany results as he sees for the first time his position in his own world. The pathology of that position is now clear to him: he sees the poor and their condition, and he sees in their watchfulness that they are Christ’s emissaries to him.
In the Land of the Living

In the Land of the Living: Prayers Personal and Public

I have just retired from college teaching, but I wish I had had this book earlier to read prayers to my Bible classes. Each professor, teacher, worship leader, and preacher who cares about justice and contemporizing our scriptures could enrich their own tasks by using this book of prayers.

My Pastor

Last Sunday when she served me communion / I said “Blessed be.” / I don’t know where I’m going. / I do know that I’ve again said “Yes” to God.
Woman smoke abstract

Calling Her by Name

When I call Her by name, / especially in community, / I find comfort, support, solace, strength, / I am held in Her loving arms. / In relationship, I pray / and worship.
God the Mother

God the Mother

You cannot be God / Without being mother / To those you have birthed, / Whom you have held in your arms / And fed at your breasts.

Poets on the Psalms

Poets on the Psalms engages heart and mind and opens many windows into the ancient treasure house that is the Psalms. May these essays be given the attention that they so richly deserve.

Semisweetness and Light

I think Semisweetness and Light will delight and move every reader. Its small size makes it easy to carry around, and you will find yourself having a conversation with Cartledgehayes sooner or later.

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