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Nalani Garward

Honorable Mention 2007 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
I have been writing poetry for a while now, and see it as a means to find deep and healing clarity about what the mind has imagined and conceived—along with the pleasure of finding the aesthetic, and rhythmic structure that wants to be found.

I wrote this poem for my beautiful sister, Donelle Peta, whose image I have held in my heart since childhood. For me this poem has carried much grace because really it is about the healing of images—of perception—by the Holy Spirit, the Teacher of innocence, and how kindly one is held while the old and painful image is transformed. So it is also a poem of gratitude and love.

for Donelle (poem for my sister)

my sister it is raining
and in this heart of night
I look and see that on
the white of your body
each and every desperate
silver thorn
is black
with falling

you are almost lost in dying
severed like a rootless
but for love.

In the wolf's mouth you cried
and gave your heart to me

I saw in your face
how the far off pain
vaulted to its pitch
and fell in sudden streams

your heart gave to fate
just one look
and bled away

and yet
how fierce the angels came
who made your beauty blaze
exquisite and around
your undefended heart
they set the crown
of the terrible ones
the burning gold
of innocence

they, whose hands
in kindness
held you then,
hold my face—
that I may gaze unsheltered
in a virgin face and weep
in your lake of shining tears

Copyright ©2007 by Nalani Garward