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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

A Few Poems for April


As most of you know, April is National Poetry Month. Before this special month comes to an end, I’d like to share a few poems with you. I suggest you read these poems aloud… and slowly… and maybe even more than once…


My Divine Love, please let us touch your face…
(photo by Aron Visuals – Pexels)

The first two short poems are attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. They are from Daniel Ladinsky’s book, Love Poems from God, a book I have referred to before on this blog:



Dear God, please reveal to us your sublime beauty

that is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere,

so that we may never again

feel frightened.


My divine love, my love,

please let us touch

your face.


************************************************


The result of prayer is life.

Prayer irrigates the

earth and

heart.




********************************************


Our next poem is by one of our readers, John Hopkins, from his new poetry book Make My Heart a Pomegranate. I featured this book on my March 6 post. I chose the poem “Mend What Is Shattered, Lord.” This beautiful prayer is actually a sonnet. As you might recall from your high school years, a sonnet is a highly structured poem—a poem very challenging to write. John’s sonnet here consists of three 4-line stanzas with a rhyme scheme of a, b, a, b. It concludes with a couplet that rhymes too. It also has a definite rhythm—but I won’t go into that. For our purposes, just enjoy this heart-felt plea to God to “mend us…” A glance at our headlines shows us how much we need mending and healing in our world today….


Mend what is shattered, Lord. Enter the breach

and piece together the peace of lost days.

Gather the shards of broken we cannot reach.

Fire us to whole in the kiln of your grace.

Tend to our roots, O Lord
(photo by Thirdman – Pexels)



Tend to our roots, O Lord. Steady them strong

so we can bend like cedars in the wind,

catching your spirit to give our voice song

amid—within—this cacophonous din.


Rend our sin, dear Lord. Weave us into new,

for we, your garment, are torn, ripped, and frayed.

Send your bobbin, beat-bar us back to you,

no longer thread-bare, riven, or afraid.



Remind us, Lord, we are one with your earth,

where first you shaped us and breathed us to birth.




**************************************************



The scent of one sprig of lilac…
(Photo by Pille Kirsi – Pexels)



The fourth poem today is one of mine from my book Picking Strawberries. It’s called “If All I Ever Heard” and it celebrates creation—very fitting for spring…



If all I ever heard

was the chirping of a single robin,

If all I ever smelled

was the scent of one sprig of lilac,

If all I ever tasted

was the sweetness of one strawberry,

If all I ever touched

was the softness of one bunny’s ear,

If all I ever saw

was the vastness of one starry night,


I would have had reason enough

to fall hopelessly in love with Thee,

my Creator God.

*****************************************

Did any words or phrases from any of these poems catch your eye or heart? If so, which one(s)?


In John’s poem, he employs three main images. He asks God to 1) “mend what is shattered”… 2) “tend to our roots”… and “rend our sin and weave us into new.” Did you resonate with any of these? If so, which?

In reference to my poem, are there any small or huge aspects of creation that cause you to marvel at the Creator–or even fall more in love with our Beloved Creating God?




Let us conclude today’s reflection with a poem by Mary Oliver who passed away in 2019. She is one of my favorite poets. Here is her beautiful poem, “When I Am Among the Trees,” read by Amanda Palmer. In this poem, the trees seem to be telling her that life is simpler than we humans think it is. They direct her to become more like them… and to “go easy… be filled with light… shine…”


I invite you to comment on this blog… perhaps by sharing your thoughts on the poems presented… or sharing the names of some of your favorite poets or poems…

5 Responses

  1. Good Morning Sr. Melanie – I’ve been reading your blog for years and love what you do for me on a weekly basis. This one was particularly lovely and touched my heart and soul. Just the beginning words of each line of your poem and the poem by John Hopkins were so meaningful to me as something I could carry in my heart all day.
    Your poem – I added my own responses this morning to – If all I ever heard. . . , If all I ever smelled. . ., If all I ever tasted. . . etc. and felt such gratitude.
    The beginning lines from John’s poem resonated with me: Mend what is shattered. . ., Gather the shards. . ., Tend our roots. . ., Rend our sins. . . Reminds us Lord we are one with your earth. Those words alone were enough.
    From Mary Oliver: Walk slowly and bow often and from St. Francis: The result of prayer is life. /
    Prayer irrigates the earth and heart.
    To add to this, I was listening to NPR this morning and a portion of a poem by Shaul Tchernichovsky written in 1894 In Odessa during a time of war was concluded with these lines: Let the time be dark with hatred / I believe in years / Love at last shall find all peoples / in an everlasting bond.”
    Thank you Sr. Melanie for today’s gift and for all of those that came before. I appreciate them very much.

  2. I LOVE Mondays because I get another of your posts (which still don’t come-I have to find them, but I’ve got it). This post with all the poetry-oh my. The images are powerful/moving and bring comfort and smiles. Thank you! Blessings to all.

  3. You ask, “are there any small or huge aspects of creation…” A friend on Facebook has been posting pictures which I think are from the Webb telescope…amazing pictures of distant galaxies, black holes and I don’t know what. A recent one was of a galaxy a mere 300 million light years away. Try to wrap your mind around that. It can’t be done.

    I am reminded of the awe-struck words of St. Francis: “Who ARE you Lord? And who am I?”

  4. Such a nice way to start of the week with such beautiful poems. I especially love the one about the trees. I have a lilac tree outside my window. I am going to pick some and bring them inside so I can enjoy what has God has given us even more.
    Thank you and God Bless

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Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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