Monday, September 16, 2013

Robert Cording*

Robert Cording is a Connecticut poet who has now published seven poetry books. Since he was previously featured at Kingdom Poets, he has published two further poetry collections. The first is Walking With Ruskin (2011, CavanKerry Press) and his new collection is A Word In My Mouth – the newest book in the Poiema Poetry Series from Cascade Books.

The poet Baron Wormser has celebrated Cording’s poetic achievement by saying , “The wonder of Cording’s work is how off-hand it seems...The humility at work here is genuine yet the dark questions about our time on earth remains...To look human failing in the eyes and not blink is an achievement, to join praise in the same breath is very special.”

I am honoured to have been able to assist as editor for Robert Cording’s new collection. A Word In My Mouth primarily consists of poems selected from his six earlier books, particularly focusing on his spiritual musings.

Last Things

I am always thinking about death—
my own mostly, but this morning

Augustine’s, he who asked to be left alone
at the end, his only company

the six large-lettered penitential psalms
he tacked to his cell walls, a map

even a saint needs, I guess, on the journey
toward death the self keeps trying

to prepare itself for. So often I have prayed,
Teach me the way I should go, and O Lord,

heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror,
as if, in the repetition of those words,

each larval stage of my life might be let go.
But just as often I have been distracted

by dust on the windowsill dimpling with rain
or the yellow shine of afternoon sun

on the grass, by the rush and babble
of voices talking all at once in the next room,

or even a dog’s barking—as Augustine
may have been, looking up now and again

from his prayer, arrested by an ordinary cloud
passing across the face of the sun

and the new shadows pooling on the floor,
the next thing still happening, still arriving

and being replaced, still restless, all of it
part of a world so hard to finish loving.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Robert Cording: first post

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: