Monday, August 28, 2023

Jason Myers

Jason Myers is a Texas poet and Episcopal priest who, this year, is a participant as a writer in the Artist-in-Residence program at Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine. His debut poetry collection Maker of Heaven & has just appeared from Belle Point Press. His A Place for the Genuine: Reflections on Nature, Poetry, and Vocation will be published by Eerdmans in 2024. He is Editor-in-Chief of EcoTheo Review.

Jericho Brown has written "Maker of Heaven & is a book of wonder, and in it Jason Myers suggests that what we wonder can indeed be made into art as God must have felt wonder when making the cosmos…”

The following poem first appeared in Diode.

Women Praying

In the oak-dark darkness becoming
light under the phosphorous exclamations of a magnolia tree
three men work.
They solder steel, sparks amber & orange shoot & spit
& hang, for the briefest moment, little bits
of fire on the now-blue, now-gray air.
It’s cold out there, on the other side
of the windows, & I have no idea
what those men are really doing,
or how dangerous it is.
In here, in the hospital cafeteria,
I’m eating spinach & eggs when
two women at the table next to mine
begin to pray.
Who or what their concerns are escapes
earshot, but I hear that sweet name, Jesus, sail
the lake of their lips,
& every few seconds
one or the other
raises an affirmation
here three measures,
here more,
like they are reassuring God
as well as themselves,
like they are rocking
a baby to sleep
the words slip
out & over the room & sing,
Mary’s arms wrapped
around her boy,
first an infant
delicate & unfathomable as those on the NICU,
then a man
covered in blood
like the woman
on the gurney
in the trauma bay
who’d been bludgeoned
about the face
by her boyfriend’s
baseball bat.
I don’t know
who these women are
praying for
but I will take
their Yehhhhhss
word become chant become river
of sound
sound most close to silence
near to music
nearer my God to thee
I will take it, Lord,
spread it across
my day
my life
like balm
like globes of fire
soldering us together.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Wipf & Stock.