Monday, July 15, 2019

Mark S. Burrows

Mark S. Burrows is an American poet and professor living in Bochum, Germany, where he is on the faculty of Protestant University of Applied Sciences, and is Poetry Editor for Spiritus (John Hopkins University). He has translated many poets, including in the book-length collections Prayers of a Young Poet by Rilke, and Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart (with Jon M. Sweeney).

His poetry and translations have appeared in such publications as Christian Century, Anglican Theological Review, and Poetry. His newest book, The Chance of Home (2018, Paraclete Press), is a collection of his own poetry; it is the source for the following poem.

A Stubborn Parable

I don’t know what Nature is: I sing it.
—Fernando Pessoa

This morning, sitting in a small enclosed garden,
I notice a sprig of green clinging improbably to

a dark stone wall, its roots rising from a slender
crease where a stray seed once fell, carried by

the winds, perhaps, or some wayward bird—who
could ever tell? It somehow found an edge of soil

and held out against the thrust of winter’s snow
and ice, lifting itself up toward the sun against

an unforgiving face of stone—a parable of grit,
the resilience of song, a strong resonance of hope.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.