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The Mind’s Extremity

By March 20, 2013 One Comment



I often look to honor the words of women in my personal prayers and within my congregational prayers. Too often women’s words are forgotten or dismissed. Women’s Uncommon Prayers has been a helpful resource. There is a poem in the book that is joining me as we finish the Lenten journey. I’ve been sharing it with the different groups I lead and would like to share it here, too.





Lent: The Mind’s Extremity

Into this late winter time
Lent erupts its Wednesday ash;
black dust darkens our sky.
Return. Return.
We follow the lightless fire
down to a place
beyond the mind’s extremity.

Lent leads us down to buried time,
down the mountain
onto fenceless plain,
a dry savanna where all demons wait.
Lent’s unwilled free-fall
plummets us through remorse
and clotted dreams,
into the scarred haunts of hurt,
blame, damage, loss.
We are released into ourselves, alone.

Lent returns us into depths 
deeper than the dead are deep
where we come into openness: two crows
on the bare branch of a single tree —
black carrion birds,
guardians of a slate gray sky.

A cold lightning arcs down
into silence and dim light.
Moment by fearful moment
its sharp pulse flashes
in terror and prayer to the breath’s end —
in dust we are returned
to the place where no secrete are hid.

Here the Spirit’s slow alchemy
melts every easy expectation,
and a final expanse opens
its felt presence
to the edge of visibility.
We are returned to the rim
to look outward toward the cusp
of a new place.

—Ms. Rosamond Rosenmeier 


Jes Kast

The Reverend Jes Kast is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament and serves West End Collegiate Church as their Associate Pastor.

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