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Nalani Garward

Third Prize 2006 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $100

I have been writing poetry seriously for about 2 years. "The Song of the Dove" is the first serious poem I ever tried to compose. It is about an experience I had of feeling a river of fear in my heart and of holding that feeling—just holding it—until it blossomed right from its dark centre into the inner image of the dove, the holy spirit, the healer of perception. So it is meant to be a poem of thanks, of gratitude.

The Song of the Dove

White bird
you have rinsed clean
the salt-straited sea
eaten whole its reef
of deep
like bread

Plain and white giver
you have brought to flower
the first broken tier
of the darkened crystal river
streaming silted to its shores
and strung with ghosts

White bird I watch
at black streams for morning—
pouring in that dark
geography my heart
Your hidden bliss
of wings
describe an arc

Copyright 2006 Nalani Garward