Many members of Seekers write poetry. The poems in this collection were produced, submitted, and edited by members or alumni of Seekers Church.
Several times each year, members of the community gather at Seekers Church on a Tuesday evening between sessions of our School of Christian Living to share and talk about poetry. Many new poems by Seekers are first shared there. In the future, some of those will make their way to this page so others can share them. Stay tuned: More poems are on the way!
Here are the poems in our current online collection, grouped by the poet who composed them.
When I write a poem, I have to be very patient as I sort out the confusion of words until I recognize the true ones, the ones that finally and somewhat grudgingly reveal themselves. When I write a poem, I am trying to distill a fleeting sensation that does not seem at first to have any language to surround it. I have been writing poetry when inspired since I was very young.
Most of the time I find poems rather than write them. That is, there will be poetry-barren months, and then some idea or image pushes words into my head. Sometimes, though, just for fun, I decide to constrain myself in some particular way with a structure like a limerick, or one like “Seekers’ Palindrome,” that reads in both directions. Then, part of the discovery is finding things that will be lively and still fit inside the chosen structure. But then a lot of life is like that: finding things that are lively and still fit inside existing structures.
Poetry comes to me usually as a completed gift. I write it down and usually make few if any changes. Such was the case with Two Headed Nails.
Emmy Lu Daly
I write poetry to bring some insight into what I think and feel about the joys and challenges I’m confronted with every day, and to thank God for giving me the gift to express it with some originality.
Alan was a long-time member of the Seekers community. He was a research scientist and poet, and a 30-year member of the Seekers’ Artist’s Mission Group. He and Mary Carol raised two daughters in Seekers. Alan died in the fall of 2007, but his spirit remains with us.
Any little fragment can evoke a feeling that wants exploration: the scent of a passing doe, an owl who barks like a dog, an old photograph of a man in spats. Then comes the wrestling with words that, always imperfectly, finally shape the feeling into something that looks like a poem. It’s very physical.
I have always wanted to write poetry, and I began just about the age of 19 (pretty terrible stuff) when I had my first job as a proofreader for a Lancaster (Pa.) newspaper. I have continued off and on and published some in poetry journals. My most productive time was when I was in a poetry group, called P-3, in my 60s and 70s.
Poems come to me first as voices, or lines, or images. Sometimes these fragments suggest what the poem might be about, sometimes not. Writing the poem is discovering what I mean. The music of the lines is, of course, part of the meaning. Formal constraints, when I use them, add another level of meaning. I like lucid poetry and try to write it.
The Musician, Approaching Sleep (a chapbook)
“Poetry of deep composure, wrought in the face of what at every moment awaits in life to still the phrase, the line, the breath of the musician.”
Mary Clare Powell
Mary Clare was the first “new member” of Seekers Church in 1977. She moved to Massachusetts soon thereafter and has been teaching writing and poetry at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Things Owls Ate (Amherst Writers and Artists, Amherst, MA, 2001). A first collection of poems.
Academic Scat (Extra Virgin Press, 2002) Poems from academia, published through a faculty grant from Lesley University.
In the Living Room (Greenfield, MA: Extra Virgin Press, 2006). Chapbook of poems about aging.
Box of Water (Greenfield, MA: Extra Virgin Press, 2013). Poems about God, light on water at the YMCA swimming pool.