Devotions with Mary Oliver: “At Blackwater Pond”

“Well, I built me a raftand she’s ready for floatin’Ol’ Mississippi, she’s callin’ my nameCatfish are jumpin’,that paddle wheel thumpin’Black water keep rollin’ on past just the same” “Blackwater” by The Doobie Brothers, from What Were Once Vices are Now Habits (1974) I know, I know! The Doobie Brothers and Mary Oliver aren’t talking aboutContinue reading “Devotions with Mary Oliver: “At Blackwater Pond””

Devotions with Mary Oliver: That Little Beast, the Poem

Mark Strand’s “Eating Poetry” and Billy Collins’ “Introduction to Poetry” both address the wonder of reading and interacting with poetry. They are probably my two go-to poems for introducing others to the simple joy good poetry can bring to any life. But Mary Oliver’s “That Little Beast” has clawed its way into the poetic fray,Continue reading “Devotions with Mary Oliver: That Little Beast, the Poem”

Devotions with Mary Oliver: “On Meditating, Sort Of”

Out of the blue, my son Benjamin blessed me with a random gift. No reason. No ulterior motive. Just the choice between another disc for disc golf or a book. As much as I love losing to my sons weekly (it’s hard to believe that I ever held the family course record for Memorial ParkContinue reading “Devotions with Mary Oliver: “On Meditating, Sort Of””

We Few, We Happy Few…

“In that day the remnant left in Israel,the survivors in the house of Jacob,will no longer depend on allieswho seek to destroy them.But they will faithfully trust the LORD,the Holy One of Israel.A remnant will return;yes, the remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God.” Isaiah 10:20-21, New Living Translation Working our way throughContinue reading “We Few, We Happy Few…”

Time to Hear the Christmas Bells

On our most recent shopping excursion, my wife shared with me that classic Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem Christmas Bells. I’ve been familiar with the poem for years, more through the variety of interpretations the poem has experienced in song, but the power of Longfellow’s words themselves ring loud and clear. As I sat in theContinue reading “Time to Hear the Christmas Bells”

Longfellow’s Timely Celebration of Life

“1ife: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body” from We have been duped into accepting something as life that by definition is not. Fear, the most infectious disease spreading across the globe, has crippled us. The prescription: isolation. Look at the empty stands of sporting events (where theyContinue reading “Longfellow’s Timely Celebration of Life”

A Father’s Love (or in this case, My Daughter’s Love)

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I apologize for my lack of activity on The Deepening Ground recently. Over the last two weeks, I’ve spent little time nurturing my poetic soul. Rather I’ve finished the flooring in our addition, ripped sixteen foot boards with a friend for the trim, and finished work on myContinue reading “A Father’s Love (or in this case, My Daughter’s Love)”