© Nancy A. Henry
Posted by Picasa
Oh you old broken jar 
you are like me, 
no use, no use
but Jesus
if You won’t mend
my shattered soul
let me spill light
from all these cracks
leak life to these dry acres,
be refilled 
from some unseen source
to pour and pour.
Let every gap be a door
into grace.
Let me remember
what blooms from seeming death
in the secret place,
faith multiplying underground
like jonquils
out of the light
under the feet of the disbelieving
who stand shivering
expecting forever
frozen ground.

© Nancy A. Henry (2000)

Happy Earth Day

© Nancy A Henry (2011)


Your first adjustment will be hardest;
the wild spinning.

Brightness is easier, though shocking—
and breathing air—

but this movement,
even in the container
that keeps you from exploding
back into light,

even with this pump
that exerts a constant argument
against gravity—

even then you’ll feel it,
the vertiginous swirl of all of it,
the surging,
rhythmic advance of sea;
the shrugs that heave mountains
out of shale plain.

Every one of us is overwhelmed by this at first.
Cry about it all you need to.

You will make your surefooted way in time,
a sailor on a rolling ship.
You will forget.

Can you trust me, stranger?
one day you will attune to this mad dance.
One day, nothing will seem to move at all
but the rivers,
and the wind,
and your own wild heart
as you run.

© Nancy A. Henry (2001)

Posted by Picasa



This holy picture was painted with starpoints of light
shining from the body of Christ like knifeblades.
I am taken by the reverse image,

the darkness coming at him, shards of obsidian,
malevolent arrows. At Meteora

we tour a shot-up chapel, the eyes of the Blessed Mother
two crumbling bullet holes. Some soldier’s
unknowingly eloquent sacrilege, this
Madonna of the twentieth century,

this Madonna of man’s brutal blindness.
Yet, later, the bus crests a hill, and
I’m startled by a sunset so beautiful
I genuflect without thinking.

© 2001 Nancy A. Henry

Posted by Picasa

Family Resemblance

I’ve been going through photos and realized for the first time that I looked, at 16, a lot like my Nana did back in the early 1900s when she was 16. I like that. I have her chin, mouth, and nose. I never knew. That’s my mother on the right; it’s pretty clear we share some genes.

Posted by Picasa

On Friday night, March 12, friends and fans of poetry had a meaningful and, at times, enchanted evening at the Harlow Gallery in charming Hallowell, Maine.

The setting was enhanced by the Young at Art Exhibit, featuring the work of area artists in grades K-12. At right, top are: Long Hair, by Annie McKee, Grade 6; Chinese Ribbon Dragon, by Emma White, Grade 1; and Purple Self Portrait by Erin Ballew, Grade 8. What a vibrant array of images on display from these young talents!

Here, the Portland area poet
Pilgrim admires the work of young artists in the Young at Art Exhibit.

Karin opened the evening with her brave and heartfelt poems. She gave a very powerful reading of her poem The Making of Power, which can be found here in the online publication Trivia: Her dedication of the poem is wonderful: “Ode to Gertrude Stein, Mary Daly, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa, bell hooks, Cherríe Moraga, and everyone of us”.

Karin also shared an exciting collaboration with Gary Lawless, among others, celebrating our crucial “little fish”. You can read more, along with Karin’s “Sardine Manifesto”, here:
I highly recommend you also view Karin and Gary’s video “Red Herring Caper”:

Thanks to Karin, many of us took home not only memories of her powerful poems but a red herring for “a little change”. More information about Karin Spitfire and her book “Standing With Trees” can be found on the Illuminated Sea Press website:

Ellen Taylor, Dr. Ellen M. Taylor, is well-beloved to Maine audiences and has appeared twice before to grace the Harlow crowd with her sensitive, evocative work. She read selections from her most recent book, “Floating”, and cast a spell as she read a rich and varied selection of poems wonderfully conjured from her loving but unsentimental memory. When Ellen reads, I can see and smell and feel her family home, animals, cooking. Leaving childhood, she floated us on her magic carpet to Nicaragua, land of her recent sabbatical, and then closer to home, to a hospital waiting room, and the pain, anxiety, and endless waiting one endures when a loved one is seriously ill.

Information about Ellen’s book, “Floating”, along with a sample poem, can be found here: You can learn more about this accomplished poet and professor at her faculty webpage:

Poets came from far and wide to hear the featured poets.

Here are Dennis Camire of Kennebunk and David Moreau of Wayne.

Here, feature poets Ellen Taylor and
Karin Spitfire share a light moment enjoying a “red herring”–or is that “read herring”?

Ellen and Karin with the reading’s co-host, Ted Bookey. Ruth Bookey, our other host, is in the background at the book table. As David Moreau says, “it wouldn’t kill ya to buy a book!”

Ted Bookey and Ellen Taylor, discussing poetry and the upcoming Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival at UMA:

Ellen Taylor signs a copy of her book for fellow Moon Pie poet Claire Hersom.
Posted by Picasa