Monday, January 11, 2016

Laurie Klein

Laurie Klein is active in many aspects of the arts including as a poet, songwriter and visual artist. She has taught theatre arts at Whitworth University in Spokane, and is one of the founding editors of the journal Rock & Sling, which now makes its home at that university. She won the Predator Press Chapbook Prize for Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh (2004), and the 2007 Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred. Her first full-length poetry collection Where the Sky Opens has recently appeared as part of the Poiema Poetry Series from Cascade Books. As her editor I am thankful for the chance to work with Laurie in making this fine book available.

Her poem "Lauds in a Pocket" appeared at my blog The 55 Project in May of 2014, and is included in her new book. The following poem is also from Where the Sky Opens.

Jonah’s Whale Addresses the Almighty

Ruler of oceans, who can fathom
your summons? Pity my moans,
this small throat aching for everyday air.
Doubts are lice. They eat into brain and heart.
With a word, I’m consigned to an unknown shore.
Oh, maker of magnificent tails, reconsider
stranding me, far from the circle of my kind!
By your gift, salt is my song; your call
unleashes this sonar lament.

Never mind. You command my breath, as ever,
so let the columns of bubbles
rise, like prayers, our net
to enfold a wayward son. I’ll do as I’m told, only
ease the lung-numbing gulp, the intestinal hell.
Then, may whatever end you design
close its mouth over me.
Not to leap, not to swim—but this I ask—
let me sink into you, before beaching.

Posted with permission of the poet.

This is the first Kingdom Poets post about Laurie Klein: second post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest 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.