Other Poems

Bread baking God

by Ken Sehested

Bread-baking, kitchen-dwelling, breast-feeding God,
We return to your lap and to your table
because we are hungry and thirsty.
Fill us again
with the bread that satisfies,
with milk that nourishes.
Drench parched throats with wet wonder;
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Bread and breast of heaven

The signal of Moses’ ordination
erupted as bread, from the sky—
and water, from the rock—amid the
trackless and barren waste where
no tillage is found, no rivulet is formed.

      Bread and Breast of Heaven,
      feed me ’til I want no more. Read more ›

Blistering Hope

A stonemason’s meditation on perseverance

When cutting capstone, carefully
measured, from a larger block with
nothing but hammer and chisel, you
come to know the necessity of blister-raising
toil to achieve envisioned result.

No guarantees are to be had, of course. Sometimes,
despite calculated scoring, tracing a careful contour
across one edge, ‘round to another, and another, and yet another,
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A Twenty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary Blessing

Twenty-five years ago, in 1982, postage stamps cost 20¢. George Bush the older was merely a vice president. “E.T.” and “Gandhi” premiered on the big screen. Alice Walker turned “The Color Purple” into prose.

Most of all, though, Satchel Page died, after having crossing the color line near the close of his brilliant baseball career.

Page is the one who created what I consider the greatest wisdom statement of the modern era: “Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.”

Marking a quarter century of covenant vows is no small thing. To seek inspiration for this blessing, I turned to that ancient erotic document in Hebrew Scripture, King Solomon’s Song. And came up with these lines. After 25 years, Bill’s hair is no longer like a flock of goats. His cheeks are no longer like beds of spice; his arms, no longer like rounded gold. We won’t mention his back—but his speech, thanks be, is still most sweet! Read more ›

Benedicere

A New Year's Day blessing

by Ken Sehested

May your home always be too
small to hold all your friends.

May your heart remain ever supple,
fearless in the face of threat,
jubilant in the grip of grace. Read more ›