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Seanse Lynch Ducken

Honorable Mention 2008 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest: $50

About this Christian Poet:
Seanse Lynch Ducken graduated from Central Washington University in 2008 with a Master's Degree in English Literature. She now works at the University as an adjunct English Instructor. She resides in Ellensburg, WA and spends a portion of her free time writing poetry and creative non-fiction.

About this Poem:
I wrote this poem, initially, to voice my sorrow for a friend's loss. Her mother passed away very suddenly, and I felt compelled to write something for her. However, I also felt that words of comfort are ultimately hollow. What could I say that would possibly make her feel better? The answer, of course, was nothing. The only thing that sooths the ache is Christ's sacrifice. After this, I began thinking of how valuable that salvation is and how lightly we treat it. So, I wrote the second portion to try and illustrate how two-sided my own faith can be. I want God to speak to me, but it seems I spend a lot of time avoiding him. I set it during Communion partially because I was in church when I heard about my friend's mother, but also because Communion is so symbolic. It's a time when we, as Christians, reaffirm our beliefs, and, in a way, that's what this poem is expressing—reaffirmation.

Communion
(For Ginny, May 18th, 2008, after hearing of her mother's death)

The Bread
Extending prayers
like outstretched arms. Hands
open, palms up:
take this bread. We accept
his sacrifice with little thought.

In moments such as these,
when death looks into our eyes,
in memoriams seem
weak and
vague and
entirely ineffectual.
Facing eternity, all else falls behind,
melts away like chalk
portraits in the rain.

In moments of insanity,
I have spoken to death,
told him that we are weary of grief.
He did not listen. 
And so, I hold the bread,
a symbolic key,
remembering one who not only
met death, but
conquered it.

The Cup
I hide,
slip away behind half walls,
moving my naked body away from
lighted windows in dark nights.
Not entirely unaware,
I conceal my shame.

Taking a small glass filled with
crimson juice, I wait to hear
from you. And somewhere,
outside the music, beyond
the room which makes me
self-conscious,

I hear your inaudible voice
behind my eyes, above my ears.
You speak in less direct ways
than I would like.
And I am waiting for a vision.

In Sunday morning songs, I have asked,
"who am I,"
and you, in rhythmic, gracious language,
have answered,
"My well loved." And so,
I move about in blindness,

like a character in pantomime,
taking nothing seriously.
But you, waiting outside windows,
well-lit so you see all, lean toward
me, granting me life.

Someone says at the front of the room,
just as you whisper
in my ear:
Now receive the benediction,
It is a joyful thing,
what has happened.

Copyright ©2008 by Seanse Lynch Ducken