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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

935: Have you noticed?

Day 935: Friday, October 7, 2022

Have you noticed? (Make sure to read Victoria’s announcement at the end of the reflection!)

Ghosts by Mary Oliver


Have you noticed?


Where so many millions of powerful bawling beasts

lay down on the earth and died

it’s hard to tell now

what’s bone, and what merely

was once.

The golden eagle, for instance,

has a bit of heaviness in him;

moreover the huge barns

seem ready, sometimes, to ramble off

toward deeper grass.



near the Bitterroot Mountains:

a man named Lewis kneels down

on the prairie watching

a sparrow’s nest cleverly concealed in the wild hyssop

and lined with buffalo hair. The chicks,

not more than a day hatched, lean

quietly into the thick wool as if

content, after all,

to have left the perfect world and fallen,

helpless and blind,

into the flowered fields and the perils

of this one.


In the book of the earth it is written:

nothing can die.

In the book of the Sioux it is written:

they have gone away into the earth to hide.

Nothing will coax them out again

but the people dancing.


Said the old-timers:

the tongue

is the sweetest meat

Passengers shooting from train windows

could hardly miss, they were

that many.

Afterward the carcasses

stank unbelievably, and sang with flies, ribboned

with slopes of white fat,

black ropes of blood—hellhunks

in the prairie heat.


Have you noticed? how the rain

falls soft as the fall

of moccasins. Have you noticed?

how the immense circles still,

stubbornly, after a hundred years,

mark the grass where the rich droppings

from the roaring bulls

fell to earth as the herd stood

day after day, moon after moon

in their tribal circle, outwaiting

the packed of yellow-eyed wolves that are also

have you noticed? gone now.


Once only, and then in a dream,

I watched while, secretly

and with the tenderness of any caring woman,

a cow gave birth

to a red calf, tongued him dry and nursed him

in a warm corner

of the clear night

in the fragrant grass

in the wild domains

of the prairie spring, and I asked them

in my dream I knelt down and asked them

to make room for me.

Announcement from Victoria

forEmmaus Intentional Faith CommunityLiturgy

October 9, 2022

About a year ago, the Liturgy Committee gathered (over Zoom) to schedule our calendar and discuss our theme for the 2022 year ahead. And even though it has only been just a year, it may as well have been four or five years at the rate of crises, pandemics, deaths, hurricanes and the constant breaking news stories that have come our way over this year!

During that meeting, we discussed having a liturgy composed of mostly poetry…especially because the current Liturgy Committee members are, for the most part, lovers of all things poetry! So, this coming Sunday night’s liturgy is just that!

We’ll gather, for only our third time at Knox Church (and also over Zoom), to celebrate the gift of poetry…six liturgy committee members will offer their longtime favorite works of poetry and then offer a brief commentary as to why and how their chosen poem has affected them. Then during our dialogue homily, we will all have the opportunity to offer our reflections and insights on these same poems.

Poetry offers us so many gifts: the gentle reminders to take time to “sit” with a poem; to breathe in rhythm with the words and feelings expressed; to listen for the feelings that the words may evoke within each of us; and to relish in the shared experiences that have brought meaning to us, through our coming together all these many years.

Come, this Sunday, with your heart open to receive these and so many other presents that poetry can provide to each of us.

Come, sit, breathe, relax, and find refreshment for your soul.

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