By Sister Regine Fanning

This is the second reflection in our Poetry and Mercy series as part of National Poetry Month. Read the whole series here.

I love words. I’m fascinated by them. To me, their mystery pairs with gift. As a child, when I would ask my dad the meaning of a word, in his own gentle, nudging way, he would say, “Ask the dictionary.”

As a primary school teacher, words became my challenge. When I later taught intermediate grades and then high school, poetry became my specialty. Typically for most students, poetry proved at first a challenge, but later a delight.

Pursuing degrees, my chosen courses for theology and spiritual direction opened me to a whole new vocabulary. Now, in my later years, their gift lies in the depth of their power in seeking God’s gift of the word.

Three Poems by Sister Regine

Sister Regine shared the following poems for the blog:

Wandering with Words

I have grown taller
wandering with words.
At first, floundering,
but their spirit kept
tugging – drawing me
to mystery.

I basked in richness,
texture with color,
iridescent scenes,
rainbows of nature,
fields of wild flowers,
one smiling sky.

I found rare power—
“I’m sorry.”—healing.
“I’ll help.”—affirming.
“Come in.”—welcoming.
With teasing—tickles.
Radiant joy!

Satire so sluggish,
I ran giddily
with rhyme and rhythm,
unearthing fullness.
Danced my own ballet,
words energized.

Coming to quiet,
Seeking THE WORD.
Why not choose new words
to share the story
my life is writing
anew each day?  

Loved into Life

Listening within
where Sower seeds words.
Seeds ripe with wisdom.

Wisdom that uproots,
deepening, bursting
through green selfhood seed.

Feeling with Christ’s heart.
Seeing with Christ’s eyes
people, events, life.

Extravagant Sower,
passing fields more fertile.
You seed your word in me.

Cloud on Fire

When I encounter mystery,
life soul-stirs,
time stills. Expectant,
I quiver
with questions. Not in
hope of answers, but
the fact of
my having been there – –
the thin place.
Beholding beyond.

Life! I cannot grasp.
Even though,
I am grasped by it,
but inseparable.

There is promise of
Life in its fullness.
Trusted promise,
wrapped in mystery—
Cloud on Fire!