Showing posts with label Virgin Mary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virgin Mary. Show all posts

Monday, January 26, 2015

Early Christian icon, the Virgin of Vladimir

Painted with egg tempera on a wooden board, this icon of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus has been treasured in Russia since the middle of the 12th century when the painting traveled from Constantinople to Kiev and on to Vladimir.

To the Icon of the Virgin of Vladimir
by Mary Harwell Sayler

Your eyes
bear the world's
incredible sadness,
your lower lids
into cups
that cannot contain
your grief.

Your mouth
the close touch
of your Son's cheek –
only a newborn now
but shown
as a miniature man
already ready
to comfort.

Did you sense this?

Did you feel your
heart steadied
by your Infant
and His
infinite hand?

©2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. The poem “To the Icon of the Virgin of Vladimir” first appeared in 2011 on Catholic Lane and then in the book of Bible-based poems, Outside Eden, published by Kelsay Books.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Virgin Mary: Conceiving God’s Son

by Mary Harwell Sayler

"Rejoice," the angel said to me.
"The Lord is with you, blessed one."

Yet I wondered how that could be.
Could anyone conceive God's love,
much less His Son?

"Receive the power of
the Most High, Mary, for with God,
nothing is impossible."

Fear left me then on wings
until my spirit, soaring, sang,
expectantly awaiting anything –
conceivable or inconceivable –
the Lord would bring.

©2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, poet, writer, and lifelong lover of Christ, the Bible, and the church

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Present in the Hand of God

Turning Handsprings
by Mary Harwell Sayler


"Give me a hand,
would you?" -- a hand-
some metaphor for asking help when feeling hand-
i-capped by lack of time on hand,
energy lagging behind the task one has been handed.


In Michelangelo’s creation on the Sistine ceiling, the Hand
of God stretches, pointedly, toward Adam’s hand:
the human palm turned from a firm hand
shake, thumb down, into a limp hand
loosely situated to receive a synaptic leap from Hand
to hand
as heaven and earth keep a hand
in designing this hand-
book to be handed
down for generations to those hand-
picked to hold the well-woven hand-
kerchief, handy
now for wiping ancient markings from the hands.


If I hand
myself over to Your keeping, Lord, will You handle
me carefully -- perhaps hand-
feed and caress me, O Living Hand
of God? Give me Your Hand
in marriage. Let me be Your Hand-
made hand-
maiden -- Your Hand-
i-work reflecting Your likeness in my hand-
mirror, hand-held along the life-line of Your undying Hand.

©2014, Mary Harwell Sayler. All Rights Reserved. The poem first appeared in the poetry book, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Christmas greeting from angels, messengers of God


In God's presence
angels stand,
awaiting the command
to speak again the word –
the heavenly message
they have heard:

Fear not.
God is with you.

Fear not.
God is.

Fear not.
Let fear be broken.

Fear not.
The Lord has spoken.

©1998, ©2013 by Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. The poem, which depicts the Virgin Mary’s encounter with the Angel Gabriel, originally appeared in my chapbook, Saints Alive, Now & Then, now out of print, and in my book of Bible-based poems, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mary, first teacher of The Word

The Lyricist Generates Life Lessons for The Word
in honor of Mary, Mother of Jesus
by Mary Harwell Sayler

The poem she had in mind would seldom rhyme, except
for joy or emphasis, but would assist the rhythm of the
breath and help her Child to sense each subtle variation.

The poem would be a living thing composed of words
comprising people: So many people, so many ways - the
song might require a choral refrain to be conveyed.

The best she could offer would be wordplays to gain an
ear’s attention into the world in which they moved – a
place where matter mattered more than navigation. It
would be up to God to save it; up to her to keep well-
versed in idioms of nature and diverse patterns of the self.

Somehow she’d fill the little spaces with smells of roses
and wild onions, the sounds of insects, a touch of wine
on the tongue, a taste of olives and fish, and yes, she'd
describe to Him small details known only to a woman.

The poem she had in mind would bring a life-time filled
with stories, embodying emotions wrought with worries,
wishful thinking, and disappointment too, yet remaining
true to nuance and her persistent stance on possibility.

Stanzas would vary, of course, subject to the insistence
of each soul, but she would keep the lyrics going as long
as she could speak with clarity and ease for the whole
world’s body and not raise a voice against it but in plea.

© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. Originally published in the 2012 anthology Poetry in the Cathedral, this poem later appears in Mary's book of Bible-based poetry, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Consent of Mary and conception of Jesus

after reading Yeats
by Mary Harwell Sayler

This was no swan who came upon
the girl – no underworld of violence
Leda experienced by bruise, by force
as Zeus insinuated the curse of Troy
upon her -- but the peaceful purpose
found in the pure Down of The Dove.

Word asked and answered in a mating
of the mind and will as in the beginning
God said, “Let there be,” and she agreed,
“Let it be to me all that You have said.”
And Mary's consent met God’s intent:
speech and spirit fusing – expressing
Perfect Passion for our recovery.

© 2012,Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. This poem first saw print in Windhover journal and later appeared in Mary's book of Bible-based poetry, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.