by Julie Sumner

Singular surrogate for Van Gogh’s sun,
Ochre drawn from the mud-caked earth and
Transmuted to the starlight of heaven,
Bright sideways glance on the edge of vision–
Taxi, school bus, daffodil,
Warning and warming both cause commotion–
Impending carnage or spring’s explosion?
The golden iris stare of a lion,
A Tibetan monk in a robe of saffron,
An admonition to pay attention–
Because you never know what can happen!


Hi folks, hope you are enjoying the intoxicating spring weather this week. Here is a new poem that I will quietly suggest you read aloud–it’s more fun that way, anyway. Seriously, fun is what this poem is–wondering what it would sound like if you could play Saturn’s rings like an old forty-five. A few things worth noting: our universe is continually expanding (in theory), and Saturn has at least 62 moons that have been discovered so far. Confused? Please don’t be–just read and have fun. Oh, here is a great pic of Saturn’s rings from the wonderful people at NASA:

by Julie Sumner

If the boundaries of possibility
are continually expanding,
leaving behind contrails of light shifting
to red,
then possibility’s ability
resides in the country of infinity,
resides in this cosmic audiophile’s
crescendo of musical affinity–
note that each nook of the universe
can keep three-quarter time with rhythm,
paint sound waves in each color of the spectrum,
and sing B.B.King into night’s deep vacuum.

If these are the boundaries of possibility,
it should be no problem then,
to play the song of Saturn’s moonlaced rings
like a dusty, red vinyl forty-five,
needle skipping every once in a while,
adding extra staccato downbeats in time
to its grungy, funky bass guitar line.

And at the song’s sound playing in hi-fi,
possibility snaps its fingers and sways,
eyes closed, head inclined.

Prayer for Unity

Help us to dwell in the unity
That you share with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
Loving each other
As you have loved us,
Love covering a multitude of sins.
Draw us nearer to you
And nearer to each other,
That your name may be glorified
In all the earth.
Help us to remember
Those who are separated from your body
By persecution,
For we are all members one of another,

Double Helix

Just to nerd out for a bit, the double helix is how our strands of DNA are arranged–two interlocking strands which twist in a perfect coil as they write the code for our very existence.

Double Helix
by Julie Sumner

Such a perfect pearled protein strand, clasped tight,
doubled back as it curls, spun spiral like
the tidy bedchamber of a sea-snail–
rounding itself, infinitely instructing
the gritty geometry of breath and bones,
the freckled parabola on your left elbow.
It winds blindly, unaware of small details,
the constant tide of predicted pattern
is on certain artful occasions
by the force of the full moon
or the sound of the miraculous: laughter.

Prayer for the Captives

Gracious Holy Spirit,
Dwell with our brothers and sisters
Who are captive for Jesus’s sake,
Give them a sense of your loving presence
In the midst of their horror.
We know you were with Paul
As he was imprisoned many times,
And we ask for your power and mercy
For these saints.
Jesus, please turn the hearts of their captors to you,
We know that no one is out of your reach.
We plead for the captives’ release
And protection from harm,
Lord Jesus have mercy on your brothers and sisters,
Deliver them from the hands of evil,
And remind us to continue to guard them with prayer.

Mont St. Victoire

Mont St. Victoire is a mountain located in Provence in France. It is a striking geologic formation made famous by painter Paul Cezanne, who painted the mountain over fifty times in his lifetime. I like to imagine that he had some question he felt the mountain could answer if he could only paint it just so…but maybe he just liked the way it looked!

Mont St. Victoire
by Julie Sumner

This mountain is not so big as Cezanne
would have me believe,
but its commanding presence demands
a certain severity of seeing
to apprehend the shadows of the land.

Gravitas in granite, it punctures
sand-soft plains striped with lavender–
its fractures of knife-edged rocks
are a sharpness that never dulls,
its whitish stones, monuments to secrets still locked,

a massive mystery which remains, endures,
despite reason’s onslaught
and history’s aftershocks.