Community Voices

Plop!: On Bashō’s Most Famous Haiku- Clark Strand

Plop!: On Bashō’s Most Famous Haiku- Clark Strand

I have a confession to make that may not go down well in official haiku circles, but I can’t hold it in any longer. It has been fifty years since I first read Bashō’s little poem about the frog jumping into the old pond with a plop!—and I still don’t get it. Not that...

Haiku and the Art of Play- Clark Strand

Haiku and the Art of Play- Clark Strand

Every art form has its basics—those fundamental principles, forms, or techniques that must be set in place before you can learn the finer points of the craft. Watch children in any beginning ballet class, and you’ll see them learning the same five positions. Art...

Black Horse Wisdom- Linda Kohanov

Black Horse Wisdom- Linda Kohanov

Many people associate the black horse with evil knights and renegades, but this universal archetype represents something more profound than reckless defiance. From the perspective of the Mexican aristocracy, Zorro rode like the devil on his magnificent black steed....

The Natural World As Spiritual Guide- Christine Valters Paintner

The Natural World As Spiritual Guide- Christine Valters Paintner

“How necessary it is for monks to work in the fields, in the sun, in the mud, in the clay, in the wind: these are our spiritual directors and our novice-masters.” -- Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas Thomas Merton, the 20th century Trappist monk, knew that the true...

Re-Pairing Opposites- Jan Phillips

Re-Pairing Opposites- Jan Phillips

“The quality of true genius is the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts simultaneously without losing your mind.” —Charles Baudelaire I’m a photographer. I‘ve been looking through the lens of a camera for fifty years, and through its tiny aperture, I find myself...

Are You Cheating Your Children?- Polly Young-Eisendrath

Are You Cheating Your Children?- Polly Young-Eisendrath

Today's parents are too often fed fictions of parental "love."Most of us think of love in terms of the comfort, passion, closeness, or tenderness it will bring. We imagine the enjoyment of passing hours and days with a beloved who pleases us in every way—touch, smell,...

Turning the Pandemic Into Poetry- An Interview with Sapphire

Turning the Pandemic Into Poetry- An Interview with Sapphire

Sapphire is the author of two bestselling novels, Push and The Kid. Push was made into the major motion film Precious, which received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. Sapphire’s work has been translated into thirteen languages and has...

Ghosts- A Poem by Sapphire

Ghosts- A Poem by Sapphire

Ghosts There are thirteen windows in this room.I see the tops of trees and sky, my parentsrun thru my mind; my fatherscurrying like a mouse. My mother is sitting. Why have I comehere, and what do their ghostswant with me. I know I’m not writing poetry but trying to...

Some Thoughts on My 80th Birthday- Matthew Fox

Some Thoughts on My 80th Birthday- Matthew Fox

Rev. Matthew Fox, PhD, author, theologian, and activist priest, has been calling people of spirit and conscience into the Creation Spirituality lineage for over 50 years. His 36 books (translated into 74 languages), as well as his lectures, retreats, and innovative...

How Important is Truth?- Matthew Fox

How Important is Truth?- Matthew Fox

To grasp what is happening in America at this time, it might be good to first meditate on Truth. For many, Truth is another name for God. In my recent book on Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable God, Truth is one of...

Where Are the Dead Now?- Perdita Finn

Where Are the Dead Now?- Perdita Finn

What happens to the dead? Do they vanish into oblivion, their molecules assumed back into soil and strata? Or do they ascend into heavenly realms beyond our comprehension? Do they lurk in graveyards as vampires and zombies, ready to reach their bony hands up through...

Help! My Grandchildren Keep Changing- Jane Isay

Help! My Grandchildren Keep Changing- Jane Isay

In the time of Covid, we grandparents may worry that the kids are lost to us. Here’s a moment to remind us that they are growing—and they are dealing with this scary time—the best they can. I learned this lesson on a trip to the beach.I had lost him. My grandchild was...

Written On The Bones- Alison Luterman Interviews Kim Rosen

Written On The Bones- Alison Luterman Interviews Kim Rosen

In the early eighties I was part of a production called Crooked Eclipses: A Theatrical Meditation on Shakespeare’s Sonnets, put on by the Boston Theatre Group. We didn’t just recite the sonnets; we learned dozens of them by heart and moved, sang, wept, and wrestled...

How Ireland Changed the World—and Me!- Christine Valters Paintner

How Ireland Changed the World—and Me!- Christine Valters Paintner

On my first trip to Ireland in 2007 with my husband John, I read Thomas Cahill’s now-classic book How the Irish Saved Civilization, in which he describes the essential role of the Irish monks and their work on illuminating manuscripts during the Dark Ages. I was...