Grant me grace, God, as befits Your kindness.

Psalm 51:1a, Robert Alter’s translation

The charge: conduct unbecoming.
Actions unsuitable to one’s station
and rank. A waste of power spent
on unworthy, debased ends with
or hope of any gain.
But what if the accused
doesn’t care about whether
it’s becoming or not?
What if stooping
is better?


What is a concrete poem?


Hugin and Munin (decima Italiana)

Ache beats and batters like Mjöllnir,
Returning to its master’s hand
To hammer again while Loki sneers
As each thunderous blow lands.
The spear-gashes curtain the eyes
And slick the sword-grip, slip the stance.
Will the bear-shirts ever wear out?
Will the memory-maddened trance
Yield to oblivion and fade out?
When will the bruises dim more than rise?



What is a decima Italiana?


It’s foolishness to think
Making sacrifices is enough to
Please God, as though the
One who allows the
Sun to rise in the east and
Set in the west
Is starving for food or attention like a
Baby squalling for momma.
Look at His magnificent radiance,
Enveloped in storm clouds and fire.

What could you possibly bring,
Infinitesimal though it may be,
That He would accept?
How could He want anything
Out of weak, nanoscopic
There is a sacrifice He will accept:

Full-hearted, raucous thanksgiving,
Acknowledging His mercy and goodness
In all He gives, especially His glad welcome
To all who throw off everything for



Fresh Baked Bread (Shakespearean Sonnet)

Grain ground into meal, mixed with oil, and baked
Over glowing stones, yeast rising within
Exhales and gives room to breathe in the cakes
Made to be broken when strength wanes thin.
The labor of making dough from the grain
Must be repeated, for the loaves do not last.
The heavenly aroma of bread-rain
Awakens hunger for a deeper repast.
Put off your apron, dust off your hands:
Cede the oven to a better Baker,
Himself ground to meal with oil, as bread He stands
Before you as the Father-sent Savior.
What can you do to do the works of God?
Take, eat the Bread broken on the rood.


What is a Shakespearean Sonnet?