Poetic Reflections

   Spring 2019

Poetry gives wings to language…

It helps us see beyond the confining habits of perception by offering a voice and cadence allowed to roam wild and free of conventions that would corral it in predictable terms. Poetry invites our habitual domain and the imaginal realm onto common ground where revelatory conversation between the familiar and unfamiliar can take place.

All art appears to serve this basic function of articulating deeply felt experience in a way that common conversation struggles to remain faithful to. Artists offer us a glimpse of what their souls perceive and hold dear, whether it be a trial or a joy seeking shared companionship. We are gifted, not only with an experience of another’s revelation, but also with an urging toward a more intimate engagement with our own soul’s presencing in our lives—the sacred experienced within the mundane; the mundane embraced as sacred.

Activism that does not embrace art is doomed to surface reform at best. As students and practitioners of sacred activism, we are focused on transformation of laws, yes, but also of minds and hearts. We recognize that when the aesthetic dimension of life is lost or marginalized, human culture literally becomes anesthetized and de-moralized. Under such a life-depleting atmosphere, it is no wonder that empathetic connections become unplugged, leaving values such as love and justice with thin soil to root in.

With this in mind, we bring a more deliberate recognition of art into the forum of conversation for Turning Point Journal. The following collection of poems and poets bring our attention to the physical and spiritual sustenance that Earth and nature provide—to the intimate interfacing of our human and beyond-human nature—offering the ground for reclaiming our humanity in the fullest sense possible.

Joseph Jastrab
Editor in chief


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Sue Sorensen

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Peter Pitzele

Attenborough Lament

“Our Planet,” episode one, unfolds before me,
this latest hymn from our bard of earth.

I watch spellbound as the camera
scans the vistas, probes in micro-frames,

the violins, the impeccable cinematography,
the Olympian voice over the globe

that broods on our fate, admonitory.
I can barely watch, for my own foreboding

is calving hope as the sea warmth calves
the ice. I sit as if in witness

to episode one of our global funeral.
All my private loves, of mountains, gardens, groves

ghost in my heart. A mute lament
rises as the credits run:

In the name of what ambition,
under the aegis of what false god

have we backed ourselves onto this frail cusp,
where the hot abyss sends up its fumes?


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