Prayer is not a thing to get done,

but rather a coming undone —

letting go of all the handholds

we cling to so tightly,

feeling our bodies pull away

from the cliff face we’re scaling.

It is being certain that

uncertainty can’t kill us,

and that getting to the top

is not true victory anyway.

Prayer is coming undone


and together

until all we have are eyes

for the miraculous.


The Turkish Inspiration Fairy

Yesterday I was sitting in church when a few words of poetry floated into my brain…in Turkish. It took me a moment to realize that I had just began my first poem in Turkish! I immediately opened the notes app on my phone and began tapping down the words (insert sheepish comment about not paying attention in church here). I’m not saying it’s perfect or beautiful or even good at all really in Turkish (thought I definitely owe credit to my friend Didem who helped me with editing), but I still feel something indescribable right now. I feel like Turkey and my life here has wound its way deeply into my heart. Something feels different. Good. Mystical. Like home. Here’s my poem, along with a photo I took last year of my brother and his wife.

Yalnızım dedim

Here’s a translation in English, although it doesn’t really sound the same to me…I didn’t think of these words in English first, so it’s kinda funny to hear them like this.

I’m alone, I said.

You said, I’m here.

I’m so afraid, I said.

You said, I will never abandon you.

I have no strength, I said.

You said, There is strength in weakness.

I have no one, I said.

You said, I am yours.

My spirit is weary, I said.

You said, Come, I will give you peace.

Ok, ok, I said. But do you love me?

You said, My darling, don’t you know?

You are a part of me.

I love with with all that I have.


In this earth


forest daily illumination

We walk among parallel trees,

our feet beating patterns in the same soft earth.

Yet peering at your distant peaks my heart leaps –

imagining with joy that day that I’ll reach you,

unaware that there is no reaching you

because you are already here,

in these trees,

in this earth,

in this place

where I now

am standing.


Since creation

mwegner photo
Photo credit: Michelle Wegner

Whatever is most precious to you –

that wildly beating heart

in the alcoves of your soul –

bring it to me,

lay it before me,

and let’s gaze on it together.

Why do you tremble,

as if I would uncreate

what is already complete?

No, my child:

I have longed for you since creation.


The melancholy of winter

The leaf of a weed
beautiful in death,
or is its life just arrested,
like me in this moment,
petrified by hushed silence,
fingers of fear
melting, wrapping, squeezing?
Ready acceptance of the present,
colors not even yet dulled,
but all I feel is suffocated,
tricked by perfect stillness,
trapped by encroaching cold.
I gaze again at the mystery.
The grip loosens.
A binary constructed
of blood and sweat is
revealed as a lie
swallowed whole
in fear and pride.
The melancholy of winter
stirs souls and whispers
a painful promise of hope.


Suddenly all I feel are your

hands on mine, rough and warm;

your heartbeat disrupts

the chaos, a welcome reprieve;

your fragrance clings to the

strands of my hair

and finally, I can breathe;

the world shrinks to just


and just me,

and I sense in the thickened air

that everything is OK.

One of those days

Hard to get up and go days,

Hard to put on that smile

To just feel normal days.

Feeling the air press against me days,

Feeling like I’m not awake

Like I can’t find my center days.

Seeing the darkness days,

Seeing my own frailty

The horror of separation days.

Finding you with me days,

Finding you gentle

Finding you listening

Finding you solid ground

Finding you here

Finding you loving me

Finding you with me days.