Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Unmerited Grace

The title comes from Annie Dilliard's book on writing. I'm alittle "blue" writing this poem today(blue being the Poetry Thursday prompt this week) but blue is one of many colors in the fabric of my life these days.

Unmerited Grace

It slides through the window—
an elongated ribbon
Carousing the room,
A floating catapillar
With a mid air swish
Down the hall
into and over the lazy couch
And busy stove.
There it branches off blanketing
My footprints and car keys
And even my worn sweatshirt
With the Arizona decal on it.

I’m showing up here!
I’m trying to piece together
The cutting confusion
And the magnificent moments.

This unmerited grace
Wraps itself around my ankles—
Holding me in place
When I fall short
And pushing me forward
When I know better.
I’ve seen enough, really.
I know life can work when it doesn’t
And it can’t when it does.
I know prime can’t assure admission
And good people die
When they should be sunning.

I know all this
Only too well.
When that ribbon
Of unmerited grace
Finds me spent and shaking
In the far end corner
I could so quickly fold
like a dollar bill
Passed through too many idle hands.

But I don’t fold.

I shake and shudder
And sometimes whimper
From a place so deep
I can say
I’ve never been there.

But I don’t fold.

Finally, I know enough
To appreciate
The arrival of unmerited grace
In any form
And by any means.
When I see it
Sliding through my window
Swishing down the hall
Branching and blanketing,
I drop to my knees
And recite the only
Real prayer
I’ve ever known:
Thank you.


  1. Wow, kj -- this is beautiful. There are so many lines I love that I don't know where to begin...

  2. Beautiful poem KJ, but why is your fabric blue? I hope because you just like the color not because it is so.

    P.S. I am painting a new picture and my background is blue. What a coincidence.

  3. Okay ... that's it ... you NEED to publish a book of your poetry, because I need it here on my desk!! I love this, KJ ... the beginning is awesome and had me following that blue ribbon through the house (that I can not picture due to your photo thirteen ...) and felt all the imagery and wisdom applied to my own life at the same time. Awesome! Thank *you*!

  4. absolutely beautiful!

  5. Hi KJ!

    I got your post on my blog. You are so sweet! I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been very busy work-wise and also started a new interest/hobby that has taken up a lot of my time – jewelry…beading, designing, etc. So I’ve been reading and learning about jewelry and been buying lots of stones, beads, supplies, etc. I figure I would post pictures of my little work area at home and some of my creations. I started right before going to Bar Harbor and have been engrossed ever since.

    Thanks, KJ for caring! You really are special!

    BTW, it’s so sad about the Red Sox – especially since they started out pretty strong, but as we used to say every year...WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!

  6. Grace, merited or otherwise, grows from ribbons and dust and even the breezes off any body of water, or just the imagined swish and sway of the waters in our imagination. Your poem caused trickles of thought and new ideas to crystalize for me on this lovely Vermont afternoon, when I can remember a happy weekend with good friends. May you, KJ, have a grace-filled week, especially Friday, and may you only find truly unique driftwood on any beach walk you take. Am I completely anonymous?

  7. Grace, merited or otherwise, is welcome on ribbons or dust bunnies or even blowing in from large and small bodies of water. Your poem suggests grace and thinking. And my thoughts are more crystal than the sparkles off the sunny lake. May all your beach walks lead you to very interesting driftwood, KJ. Best of luck on this and every Friday. Am I so anonymous?

  8. everyone, thanks for all your comments.

    cindy, i got both your "anonymous" messages. i hope you liked your first introduction to the blogs.