Poetry and Prayer

Maybe because I am Irish, it seems to me that poetry and prayer come from the same place.

More than 600 pages of poetry, Heart Left Open is from the same heart-source as the novels.  The cover photograph is by Bulgarian-German photographer Radmila Krieger.

In my evening I am folding a package of palm leaves 
so that in your morning you can unfold them 
and find the sun 

 It is a craft we learned in that school: 
moving hands above someone beloved 
feeling the energy rise from them and 
(instead of letting it gather, to become either desire or movement) 
spreading it softly through the body-aura 
as combing hair spreads the oil of the skin to all of the long strands. 
 Done right it lets the recipient sleep, 
but sleep refilled, untangled, and wake alive and glad – 
so they taught us in that school where we learned this craft.

German composer Christiane Strothmann was kind enough to set a number of the poems to music and perform them. You can hear them on Soundcloud.

Praying for Others is about the different ways people pray to benefit others. People need to find a way to pray that matches their nature.  As religions mature, they accommodate more and more personal styles.   

If another religion’s style of prayer appeals, it is usually not necessary to leave the religion you love.  Research may find that same style forgotten in the history of your congregation.  When I was doing my dissertation I noticed that most religions have most styles of prayer somewhere in their “attic.”  Judaism, for instance, has monasticism in its history.  Christianity has both personal devotion and a vast mysticism. 

It is my hope this book introduces some of those styles of prayer.  It has been available since 2003.