nina coyle

welcome, neighbor.

NINA COYLE

 
 

Some days I feel brave enough to write.

The other days I’m learning to write, anyway.

Place one hand on heart, one hand on belly.

Breathe your own resilience—and let’s begin.

 
 
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Divine Curiosity (On the Incarnation, and other small wonders.)

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Did you have to come here and 
experience it for yourself?
The way cream drawn 
from the depths of a cow 
meets sweet amber tears 
dripped from a comb 
—and we call it all, holy? 

Did you just have-to-know
color for yourself
through human eye? 
Pistachio green and
golden grain, how pomegranate
jewels are hid, 
juicy like rubies tucked in 
white pithy caves? 

Or perhaps it was music?
Cool earthly sounds,
warming harmonies,
melodious and murmured,
leaping, then falling, from
hearts and throats  

It could have been feeling…
who wouldn’t love to know the 
slow sinking of sand upon the shoreline
much less the skimmed tickle
of a wave beneath your step? 

Maybe it was something of it all steeped together
breath and bone
flesh-made-home
the yeasty aroma of 
love-thirsty life
wafting steady through the night.

 


Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
— Extracto de Proverbios y cantares (XXIX), Antonio Machado
Pathmaker, your footsteps
are the path and nothing more;
Pathmaker, there is no path,
you make the path by walking.
— Excerpt from XXIX, Antonio Machado via David Whyte
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Please Don’t Ask

Please don't ask me to
try for promotion
or forgive myself, or share
my thoughts with
people clearly more advanced
than me.

Please don't ask me what I ate
for dinner last night
or breakfast this morning,
as if You don't know the answer
to both questions is:
pancakes! and butter! and syrup!

Please don't ask me to answer
the question I don't
know the answer to.

Please don't ask me to
be vulnerable with my dreams.

Don't ask me to call myself
An artist. A writer. A leader. A businesswoman.

Please don't ask me to be
the girl who isn't put together, again.
The girl who can't seem to get things right,
who slips into the stall crying,
and feeling wrong about it all at once.

And please don't ask me to walk back inside
and be brave.

Unless.

My failures aren't finales,
and brightness rests around the bend.
and redemption isn't mocked
by weak faith...
and love still has the final word

Then, I suppose
by all means  
Ask away.

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Litany for Light

I.
“And there was light.”
Cartwheeling across the horizon
Tilling the earth where redemption would grow
A blanket, unfurled
Preparing the world
To cradle the dawn, and
the day.

O God, as we meet each morning
Let there be light
To stir in us a hopeful curiosity
Let there be light
To awaken our hearts in praise
Let there be light
To turn our paths toward peace
Let there be light

II. “To dwell among us.”
Not from the mountains, circled in grandeur
Nor from the sea, swollen with song
But a womb would contain
Heaven’s humble refrain
—a heart, ripe for freedom
and joy.

Incarnate God, in the height of our days
Let there be light
Before us to guide our steps
Let there be light
Behind us to reveal our shadows
Let there be light
Beside us to comfort in sorrow
Let there be light

III.
“So, go forth rejoicing.”
Lift your eyes, heart and glass
The desired Beloved does ever draw near
He will come through the wild
Holy mess of a child
To riddle our souls with
that oft-rumored love.

God-of-our-hope, when darkness comes
Let there be light
As a refuge for the world’s forgotten
Let there be light
As a ransom for those frozen by shame
Let there be light
As a rest upon mercy’s great welcome
Let there be light
Amen.

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Chores

If you want to catch
a poem:
build a nest

Be deliberate,
not
too eager

Simply gather
gather, gather...
then
make a quiche
or pie?
Sweep the hardwoods
start the laundry
(oh, apple pie would be
delicious!)

Do not try
to coax the creature
nor go parading words
across the page

Ignore it.

Set the table for a guest
forget the spoon, and
remember yesterday's deer
dissolving among the trees
or was that Sunday?

Twigs will do
perhaps, frayed jute
the clinging of moss
to a rock,
any old things...
any gold things
the sound of marimba!
and flute