New Poem

The Dogwood Tree
For a Papal Visit

My garden has an ancient dogwood tree,
grown from a cutting from a tree that dates
back beyond all living memory.
The old gardener loves that tree, and relates
the tale of how one tree was kept alive
for thousands of years through bad times and good;
how some cuttings would falter, others thrive,
yet all, both weak and strong, bore the same wood.

As I gaze on the old tree another thing
comes to mind. With its blossom white and pure,
it stands like a solemn sentinel for Spring;
it holds together youth and age—and more:
I see that each bough like an arm clad in white,
bows under the world’s ancient dark affliction,
then lifts to grant a fragile benediction
That banishes the darkness and renews the light.

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  • my15minutes

    Wow. That is a lovely poem, and so appropriate for the visit. The proofreader in me, though, has to point out the apostrophe in “it’s” shouldn’t be there. :-) Correct that, and you could publish that one. Well, you actually have published it, sort of, but you know what I mean. :-)

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Thanks! I actually have a lead on a publisher who may be interested in doing a book of poems, so it is the motivation to write more.

  • niggle

    “I see that each bough like an arm clad in white,bows to the world’s ancient dark affliction,then lifts to grant a fragile benedictionThat banishes the darkness and renews the light.”That’s our Pope right there.Quick fact: the white “blossom” of the dogwood is actually not part of its flower, but are “bracts”, a kind of leaf, while the flower is the wee inside part. Not that that makes any difference to the poem. Beautiful.

  • truthfinder

    If the poems are all like this one (and the one before it) I can’t wait until your book is published! Thank you for a breath of spring.

  • kkollwitz

    I ‘m curious if and how your poetry changed as you became Catholic.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    My poetry has always been Catholic, and in many ways it is the poetry that first helped me ‘see’ Catholic and then finally ‘be’ Catholic