January Thaw

Outside, it smells like spring. The January Thaw has arrived a few days early, and the road is slick, the forest dripping like the eaves over the kitchen window, the paddock growing muddy as the layers of snow melt in a slow progression. Bits of December’s hay and the icy cocoons where the sheep lay…

Turning Back

I entered graduate school. I stood on the brink of the far horizon, and I stared out into the wider unknown. Yet without Art, without the chance to work with my hands, without dance or wonder or sub-creation, I was stifled. Without space to create, I lost my voice. I turned back.

Back Between Horizons

Christmas break is nearing, and I am a week and a half away from finishing my first semester at graduate school. Well. To be more accurate, I am a week and a half away from finishing my only semester at this graduate school. I can’t make this pretty, wrap it up in bible verses and…

The Very Stones

[On Sunday, Becca and I traveled back to Holland to worship with the church we went to in college and to attend a C. S. Lewis reading group, populated by some of the dearest professors at Hope, which meets in the previous head of the English Department’s house. These people are the ones who filled us…

Blood is compulsory.

You now how they say in college you can only choose two of these three: sleep, good grades, and social life? Well, graduate school has three similar options, only the choosing among them is a bit different. To those of my readers who want to know how school is treating me: My roommate and I…

A Gal in Kalamazoo

I’m here. The summer is passing, the weather is cooling, and I am here in Kalamazoo, officially a Graduate Student at the Medieval Institute of Western Michigan University. It feels like very little has changed. And it feels like everything has been upended and turned out and flung wide and strewn far and nothing is…

Summer: Up to the Wrist

There are signs that the summer is ending. A few days ago, I was reminded sharply that in less than a month, I will be returning to Michigan and school, turning my back on these fields and forests and the silence of my land, my home, this middle-of-nowhere, just-shy-of-paradise scrap of the Green Mountains, and returning…

Stars

[I was asked last night why I find such enchantment among the stars. I couldn’t answer–that is a thing I have never tried to put to words before. I’ve tried to respond to the question here, in some small and unsatisfactory way. My faltering words cannot do the most beautiful work of God justice. Not by…

April 30: Evenstar

[Two academic years ago, on October 26th, 2014, my best friend and I embarked on something new and a bit frightening–we gathered together a small group of friends and kindred spirits, a heap of books by Tolkien and Lewis and other like-minded authors and poets, a sheaf of Irish drinking songs, many mugs of tea,…

Spaces: Through the Chinks

In summer, it’s sunlight that filters in through the knotholes in the wood, breaking between the weather-decayed boards and striping the air within with pale gold like water, greened just slightly by the leaves of trees outside. The light looks motionless, sturdy, impossible to break. But peering closer reveals the dust motes that eddy and swirl,…

Sister Miriam

March 8, 2016 It’s the first week of March, and the trees are starting to bud. It’s odd—this much life shouldn’t be, so early in the new year. Not by this North-eastern farm girl’s reckoning. But I don’t mind, and won’t complain. It’s sunny, windy, and 69 degrees (a record high for March 8th, according…

Blackened Glass

I have gone around and around with the title of this poem. I don’t like it as it is. It’s too stark, bland, clinical, vague, or…something. But after wrestling with it for the better part of three days, I’ve given up. It’s adequate as a descriptor of the poem’s matter, and, while it wouldn’t leap…