Poetry of a Faith Journey


I felt like posting some poems today written by others, rather than anything of my own. I chose these three because they have each been influential to me, religiously, and otherwise. But mostly religiously. The thing is that I have posted them in the order I encountered them. I feel like I’ve been through a recent sort of transformation as far as my faith and world-view are concerned. In the last few years, probably since moving out of Utah, I have begun to see the Big Picture differently. Starting with Emma Lou Thayne’s poem about questioning, and moving on to exploring my questions (some are about the nature of God) with Carol Lynn Pearson’s “Motherless House.” Finally, realizing that I can think more wholly about my Mother in Heaven and godhood in general, and not get in trouble for it! How sad that I had to go through some of the faith struggles that I have in order to get there–that our doctrine of the Mother is so scarce that it felt “bad” to talk about Her. However, I still see the value in struggling through something to learn it. And a big part of that value is in the friendships and closeness that developed between myself and others who were feeling some of the same things. So here is a section of my faith journey, in three poems:

Without Question

Did you ever start to think
what happens to saliva while you sleep?
Don’t.

Or which way your arms swing with your legs
walking.
I wouldn’t.

Most particularly unuseful
is to investigate

how you swallow
or go to sleep
or make love

or keep in touch with God.
You’d better not watch out.

I’m telling you.
It will be too late.

Emma Lou Thayne
Dialogue, Summer 2002

***

Motherless House

I live in a Motherless house
A broken home.
How it happened I cannot learn.
When I had words enough to ask
“Where is my mother?”
No one seemed to know
And no one thought it strange
That no one else knew either.
I live in a Motherless house.
They are good to me here
But I find that no kindly
Patriarchal care eases the pain.
I yearn for the day
Someone will look at me and say,
“You certainly do look like your Mother.”
I walk the rooms
Search the closets
Look for something that might
Have belonged to her –
A letter, a dress, a chair,
Would she not have left a note?
I close my eyes
And work to bring back her touch, her face.
Surely there must have been
A Motherly embrace
I can call back for comfort.
I live in a Motherless house,
Motherless and without a trace.
Who could have done this?
Who would tear an unweaned infant
From its Mother’s arms
And clear the place of every souvenir?
I live in a Motherless house.
I lie awake and listen always for the word that never comes, but might.
I bury my face
In something soft as a breast.
I am a child
Crying for my mother in the night.

Carol Lynn Pearson

***

God Says Yes To Me

I asked God if it was ok to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was ok to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it ok if I don’t paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes she said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

by Kaylin Haught

Brooke

I am a children's librarian. I have 2 kids. I have a professor for a husband. I obsess about writing and about making things.

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  1. Caroline says:

    Brooke, I love these poems. Particularly the last two 🙂

    I had read Thayne’s poem before and I was a little unsure. So I’m going to ask a stupid question. That whole poem is tongue in cheek, right? Totally sarcastic? That’s the only way it makes sense to me.

    I connect very deeply with Pearson’s poem. Crying for my mother in the night. How absolutely perfect and true.

    Haught’s poem is a gem. I love the image it evokes of inter-female validation, of diversity, of a She-God that affirms uniqueness and eschews prohibitions in favor of affirmations. A perfect poem.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think the first poem is saying there are some things that just come naturally, but if you think too hard about them, you will become self-conscious, and that will interfere. I don’t think it’s saying to never be analytical, just that once you start taking the analytical approach, you will have a hard time regaining that comfortable, natural, direct experience (not impossible, though).

  3. AmyB says:

    Brooke, these poems are exquisite. Poetry has so much power in it. Thank you for sharing them.

    Pearson’s poem about a motherless house is so poignant. Tears came while I was reading it.

    I love this blog!

  4. EmilyCC says:

    Oh, these poems are great! Do you think I could pass them out in Relief Society? 🙂

    I like Emma Lou’s poem, especially since sometimes, I think I have a tendency to overthink the more mystical aspects of religious experience. And, I love Kaylin’s casual conversation with HM. I think the look of poetry captures that casual and intimate relationship better than prose could.

  5. Deborah says:

    Thank you! I may copy this idea for a future post — I also have poems that have been markers on my faith journey.

    Oh, and try reading the last poem aloud; it’s just *joyful.*

  6. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful, thank you for sharing.

  7. Sandra says:

    Hi my is Sandy and you touched my heart with your poem “God says yes to me”. You inspired me to write about my faith journey with God and i want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are one amazing writer and person and i hope you keep writting till there is absolutely nothing else to write about. Thanks so much

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