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Josh and Will explore the most recent Forecasts: 'The Perpetual Pilgrim: Paul Cornelius and Pilgrimage' (Ep 51), 'The Way of a Pilgrim: Prayer and Pilgrimage' (Ep 52), 'What Do We Do When We Arrive?' (Ep 53) and 'On the Camino: Pete Kelly and Pilgrimage' (Ep 54). Among other topics, they discuss leadership in a Christian context, how we can benefit from the Jesus Prayer and the purpose and meaning of devotional practices when arriving at a holy place.
Josh Seligman and Will Shine are co-hosts of Forecast.
By Joseph Teti
A poem with folly.
Before or after naps, after labor,
after being lowered into my bed
with tiredness, I’d glance about my room,
weighed down still with my anxious, hasty thoughts
and graspings after straws.
On my right side,
above me, on the windowsill, there stood
an icon of the Pantocrator.
my gaze hesitated—my vision blurred--
my right eye looked on Him in clear, straight lines,
but my left eye blocked itself on my nose!
I winked each eye to prove my theorem, but
too dead to hold my left eye shut for now,
I satisfied myself with half-veiled sight
until it would be time to get up--soon--
Joseph Teti is an emerging poet from Hyattsville, Maryland. He is a recent graduate from Hillsdale College and a fierce defender of Platonism and Romanticism.
By Alina Sayre
hungry ribs and tin loincloth,
sculpted figure on a wooden cross
the size of my thumb.
Loop of smooth wood beads:
all the prayers I haven’t said,
a chronicle of shoulds--
but also prayers said
and not answered,
an infinity loop
of asking and denial,
stones and scorpions,
each bead a rock in a mountain
too massive to move.
And at the end again:
bronzy emaciated tin Jesus,
knobby knees and nailed hands.
Can you hear me,
Can you teach me to move the mountain
Alina Sayre is the award-winning author of five books, a graduate student of theopoetics and an editor of Foreshadow. You can learn more about her work here, and you can find her book of poems Fire by Night here, where 'Rosary' was previously published. The poem has been republished here with the author's permission.
Alina's other work on Foreshadow:
By Sheila Dougal
Said the Pilgrim to her friend,
“Let's go home!”
He looks at her blank
He doesn’t understand
The language she speaks
She points and signs,
But his wrinkled brow
Said the Exile to the colonized,
“Let's wander on home!”
She’s looking for kin
Longing for another
Who knows this tongue.
She’s young in the language
Her Brother taught:
Love means reaching
Truth and grace make a complete thought
Said the Sojourner to the resident,
“Let's gather at home!”
She’s looking for a companion
To walk this thorn-covered road
Neglected by those who have abandoned it
Our mother, wayward as she was,
Told us the way.
Ammi to her husband,
She nursed us in faith
Asked the Wanderer of the lost,
“Do you know the way home?
Will you walk with me?
We’ll go the way where free means
You can bend your knee.”
Asked the Redeemed of the bound,
“Do you want to go home?”
Won’t you walk with me?
There’s a way where high is low
And lost is searched for till found
Come home with me, friend
I’ll motion and sign
I’ll walk slow, and if you need to stop,
I’ll take the time
Come home with me, friend
I know you’ll see
The goodness of walking this road
And when we get home
The air will be sweet
The land I’ve heard is vast
Our Brother we’ll meet
Sheila Dougal lives in the low deserts of Arizona with her husband and sons. Some of her poetry and essays are published at Fathom Mag, Clayjar Review, The Gospel Coalition, The Joyful Life Magazine and other publications. You can also find her at her blog, Cultivating Faithfulness, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Sheila's other work on Foreshadow:
Descent (Poetry, June 2023)
Ode to the Day (Poetry, July 2023)
By Michael Lyle
who never pays attention
who wants me gone
scribbles in the bulletin margins
while his wife holds a Bible
between her face and mine
beside her nodding husband
studies me like a child
might an ice cream cone
I mention evil,
and heads turn
to follow a wasp’s
in winter’s dim-lit nave
the elderly usher
by the door
hands a bulletin
to the buzz-cut man
in a black duster
who threatened the secretary
Michael Lyle is the author of the poetry chapbook The Everywhere of Light (Plan B Press), and his poems have appeared widely, including Atlanta Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Crannóg, The Hollins Critic, Mudfish and Poetry East. He lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Michael's other work on Foreshadow:
Wick of the Soul (Poetry, October 2022)
Tennis Players (Poetry, October 2022)
Yahweh (Poetry, October 2022)
Family of God (Poetry, October 2022)
"Carvered" for Christmas (Non-fiction, December 2022)
By Patty Willis
My heart opened wide yesterday,
Thanks be to God
cracking from the force
of my gifts aligning with your urgings.
Each time this happens
I wake the next day
in wonder at how connections
like arteries and vessels can be rerouted
until they flow unhampered
to and from the heart
bursting out with such energy
and then slowing as horses do,
after a sprint
as runners do—bending forward,
hands on lower legs,
and then in a split second
they remember that big board
with their name and time recorded
for everyone to see.
We watch from our comfortable chairs:
no longer tired,
a second wind
that carries them in a victory lap
around the field.
But who deserves our thunderous praise,
our feet slapping the bare stone?
We learn to be silent,
tears coming to our eyes.
Even when we are alone,
we’ve lost the habit of falling
to our knees.
My heart broke open when I saw them arriving:
slipping into back rows,
but not to You.
Thirty minutes before,
they had heard a call to come
not bothering to comb their hair
or iron a shirt:
Come as you are,
You will be fed.
Their hunger is the thread
that holds my Sabbath
like the fence around
a medicine wheel upon which
we can tie our hopes.
Our hunger satiated at last
by the wide view,
the wind moving clouds,
the mountainsides once covered in
at last seem hospitable for their return.
Pray for us,
we say to the stranger
next to us
as if we each hold
a piece of the puzzle.
All put together we
would become the night sky
that waits above the clouds
for us to roll out our sleeping bags and lie back,
each star a heart asunder.
Thanks be to God.
Rev. Patty Willis is a minister, writer, artist and translator based in Arizona. She has also been active in immigration justice and reconciliation between white settler descendants and indigenous people.
Patty's other work on Foreshadow:
Pumping Station in the Desert (Poetry, July 2021)
Openings (Poetry, May 2023)
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Last September, attorney Pete Kelly walked 500 miles with a friend on the Camino de Santiago, a historic Christian pilgrimage that ends in northwest Spain. Pete highlights the solitude and reflection that the Camino gave him even in the midst of sharing a journey with countless other pilgrims both living and dead. Hearing the diverse stories of other pilgrims sustained him through challenges along the way.
Related work on Foreshadow:
Into the Mystery (non-fiction and photography by H. Jacob Sandigo, July 2023)
Will Shine is a co-host of Forecast.
Pete Kelly is a career attorney and avid boater who plays guitar on the music team at Hyde Park Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida.
By Bryant Burroughs
“I carry my chains for Christ, which are to me spiritual pearls, more prized than all the treasures of the world.”
Ignatius, as he walked from Antioch to Rome to be martyred
My chains are my pearls
as I hasten to Rome like a bride
stepping from her father’s house
to her bridegroom’s side.
Pearl-adorned, I trek toward one
who thinks himself divine
and stamps his coins with pride:
“the divine Trajan,” conceit upon conceit.
"Choose!" he roared at me:
"Deny, and you will live.
Hold fast, and you will die.
My lions will silence you."
But will I not surely die
whether I hold fast or deny?
How, then, could I betray
the One who also chose this Way?
Devour me, you lions!
Roar over my flesh and bones.
I am the wheat of God
sifted for his Bread!
Bryant Burroughs is a writer and lives with his wife Ruth in Upstate South Carolina with their three cats. His work has appeared in online literary sites such as Agape Review, Clayjar Review, Pure in Heart Stories and Faith, Hope & Fiction.
Bryant's other work on Foreshadow:
The Widow Whose Son Lived (Fiction, July 2022)
The Youngest Day (Poetry, November 2022)
The Widow's Psalm (Poetry, February 2023)
The Leper and the Healer (Fiction, May 2023)
By Noah Craig
In the heat of the day faded to white
Their clothes weren’t tattered, their shoes were not torn
And even when the warmth left them for the night,
You would hold them safe until the next morn
The mountains and valleys of the desert
Exposed them to the truth about our lives
That we are but dust crawling over dirt,
Utterly helpless to breathe, to survive
They’re in the desert but not deserted
For God turns on the sun to shine and throws
The wind around to make the dunes girded
And tells the worm to eat or plant to grow
What is the desert to a Provider?
A canvas to fill with coats of colors
He will sustain because He has died for
These specks of dust crossing the desert floor
Noah J. Craig is an author and a poet who hopes that his words will glorify the ultimate Author. Originally from New England, he currently lives in Henderson, Nevada. If he’s not writing, reading or drinking coffee, he is most likely halfway up a mountain wishing he had more storage space on his camera. You can visit him online at noahjcraig.com.
Noah's other work on Foreshadow:
Strength (Poetry, March 2023)
Paramount, for the Speechless (Poetry, July 2023)
A Writer's Prayer (Poetry, August 2023)
By Nicole Rollender
I prayed to fashion something beautiful in words before
I died. My wingbones turning to dust in this world. I swept
myself up, pouring back bitterness of broken glass & ash,
fragile baby’s breath fragmenting in my son’s small hands,
& my earned wordlessness. Yet, I heard You within my depths:
“You can choose Heaven. Now, change your life.”
Unlike a cloistered monk kneeling in silence in his cell --
only the wind, the birdsong in the wind, wind’s leaves blowing
past, Your voice in all the noise & silences — disarmed, I enter the world’s
chatter again from a quiet stairwell. The sunshower falling on
a stone chapel beyond in the woods, You there --
You in light through the stained glass.
The light could radiate through me, if I opened my ribs.
This is the beginning. They say Heaven’s right there — just a few
footsteps. Your words to St. Dismas: “Today, you will be with Me
in Paradise.” The window in the monk’s cell where he isn’t
afraid to be without a night candle — warming
to the afterlife, since he knows You, luminous & sweet shadow,
look in. Trimming back prickly pampas grass in the yard --
my prayer now: “Lord, make me beautiful before I die.”
Fanning palms on the dirt, the start of my eternal poem --
my soul’s endless holiday — the anguish here. O, the water
of the beyond ready to heal my cut hands.
A 2017 New Jersey Council on the Arts poetry fellow, Nicole Rollender is the author of the poetry collections The Luster of Everything I'm Already Forgetting (Kelsay Books, 2023) and Louder Than Everything You Love (Five Oaks Press, 2017), and four poetry chapbooks. She has won poetry prizes from Center for Interfaith Relations, Catholic Literary Arts, Palette Poetry, Gigantic Sequins, CALYX Journal and Ruminate Magazine. Her work appears in Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, Ninth Letter, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill Journal and West Branch, among many other journals. She's managing editor at THRUSH Poetry Journal. Nicole holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania State University. Visit her online: www.nicolemrollender.com.