Monday, July 7, 2014

Susan McCaslin

Susan McCaslin is a British Columbia poet, who taught at Douglas College from 1984 to 2007. She is the author of eleven poetry collections, most recently, Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press), and this year's The Disarmed Heart (St. Thomas Poetry Series) which features poems about peace and war.

The following poem first appeared in Christianity & Literature. Susan also included it in Poetry And Spiritual Practice, an anthology she edited, which includes poems by such fine Canadian poets as Richard Greene, John Terpstra, Margo Swiss, Hannah Main-van der Kamp and George Whipple.

A Midrash on the Kingdom Prayer

better known as the Lord's Prayer
or the Our Father. It obviously addresses

someone more affectionate than a storm god,
someone more like the parent who listened.

The Kingdom Prayer is not about a kingdom.
It is about a presence on a lawn.

It is a prayer about the balancing of rhythms,
what we hear and what we don't hear.

Heaven is within, invisible while
the Name is expressed, pressed out.

These are both true, as if to say,
Holy what we see, holy what we don't see.

Then we get to forgiveness or reciprocity.
Everything forgiving everything is the kingdom.

It has no head of state.
Lead us not into temptation and deliver us are one.

There are always the holes to step into.
the scrabble and the helpers.

The delivering is active, like birth.
The kingdom is a child's kite winding in.

All you have to do is imagine it
and here it is. The presence now.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His new poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.