Calcutta to Cannon Beach


 I have His darkness – I have His pain –

 I have the terrible longing for God. Mother Theresa


That at times this future saint

could not sense her Lord while sweating


words with pen read as a revelation

to me, disclosed that she was human, too.


God’s omnipresence still too far – boils, sores,

and scars too near, so faith meant treading


the waters of theology’s raw mystery,

their paradox: belief is doubt 

that we can know with certainty.

And so I cup the ocean with my hands,


though fingers leak, dry, then crack.

Yet for a moment, I can clutch the ocean


with my makeshift bowl, taste salt

my everyday eyes cannot see.


View from a Window Facing West


Corn well past knee-high shifts

like late-night static made green:

never the same, no cycle, no pattern.


Boughs of shelter-belt maples flex,

hazy in the heat, from a southern gust

that swings the finch feeder –


Mason jar, transparent bluish green –

strung from a hanger on the awning

with its plentiful cache of seed.


Windows sealed to prevent July

from entering, little sound penetrates.

Leaves bob on branches sans rustling.


Yet for all these dirt-filmed panes prevent,

I can hear the goldfinches, can almost

hear the broom grass in distant ditches.

Nathaniel Lee Hansen’s poetry and fiction has appeared in such publications as Rose Red Review, Slurve, Bluestem, Bryant Literary Review, The Evansville Review, and South Dakota Review, among others. He is the founder and editor of the online literary quarterly, The Blue Bear Review.  He also serves as the editor of Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature.

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