Two Summer Poems

Two Summer Poems July 15, 2022

Photo by Photophilde, at Wikimedia Commons

This past week I’ve been homemaking. Cooking, hosting family. Saying my prayers while watching the barn swallows on my patio hatch. Sitting and reading while my daughter rides her horse at the nearby farm. Rather than my usual meditation on text or idea, I’ll depart into the (for me, less safe!) literary landscape. Here are two poems. The second I imagine as a hymn, though I suppose musicians (I am not one) would need to play around with the lines and meter.

The Swallows are Nesting

The swallows are nesting again

in the corner of the patio walls.

The hatching and feeding a generational affair,

as last spring’s fledglings 

come back with beaked insects,

A noisy potluck for a long planned reunion.


And the love swarms all around.


Parents and siblings and tios y tias

offer tips on what to eat

and how to lunge one’s neck forward when flying.

Each one knows just the way

the hatchlings ought to begin. 


It’s like Christmas Eve in Medellín, 

and everyone’s talking at once.


Lord let me nest in the angle of your house

like those birds on my patio, 

or the altared sparrows from the Psalm.

Let me crouch down low behind stuccoed walls

high above the heads of all who wish me harm.

And when it’s time to fly,

toss me out into a noisy flock 

who all want to love me at once. 


Gentle My Spirit, Lord of Israel’s Land

Gentle my spirit, Lord of Israel’s land.

Through high stony passes and narrow ravine,

Lead me at night, when my path is unseen.

Gentle my spirit, Lord of Israel’s land.

Teach me to trust in your guiding hand.


And yet when my heart wells up restless within,

Take me to meadows and your well-kept places,

Flat stoneless ground, your own favored spaces.

When you feel morning break and my breath rise within,

Turn me lose in your fields and I’ll outpace the wind. 

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