Finger prints



You were imprinted on my fingertips

written as dim memory

in line and skin


I kept your image at arms length

or balled it into a fist

A turning away

from the violence

As if there is no real death in ascending?


As a child

it is true

I was taught to expect some relationship

while being impressed into the feverish tribe

of Jesus watching


Before me

pale lipped men

created tension

bells ringing


with a tiny chaste taste


Who clothed me

in this rag tag skin of living words?

Held hostage



I fall pummeled and wading

in the waves of this unexpected birthing

Free now to love you simply as a man


A man of flesh and bread and wine

who once lived to turn the world.



Artist: Caravaggio

29 responses

  1. It feels like a bit of a dialogue between our childhoods these past weeks or days. I’m eleven years old sitting on the steps of the altar at Avila Centre. On weekends a few of us would go to the convent with our 60’s spirited Sister Sharon… trying to get to the bottom of things.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. You take me on a rich caravan with each poem Jana. Thank you. No fast food versifying from your pen! There’s several days of eating here, a feast of unfurling. Following the warp and woof of your delicious words I stumble and trip over my own mixed metaphors…Well, what would JC do? Him not me 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning Paul. What a wonderful question! Thank you. The distillation of childhood experience into maturity covers such a broad plane of discovery and renewal, your question is enticing to the poet in me but daunting otherwise. I attended ten years of Catholic school so this imprint is indelible and has given me a wide window into exploring both the directives of collective culture and how I am informed by my own personal spirituality. But just for the fun of it, let’s see what first comes to mind….

      St Francis
      being transported by ceremony
      daily devotion

      I think these must be the highlights….!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The “again-being-ready-to-be-born”
    never really ends, does it? It is
    always there for us, whether we
    want it or not, whether we know
    whether we want it or not.

    I had a similar education/upbringing in the church. 9 years of Catholic grade school, 2-1/2 at a Jesuit high school, and another 2 at diocesan high school.
    It seems that any spiritual work that I do comes in three forms.
    or salvage work.

    There is very little that is entirely free of that time.
    Except perhaps the poetry. Perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good one Johnny… ” whether we want it or not, whether we know whether we want it or not.” It’s all still there for me too although…no wait. That’s not entirely true. What has shifted for me is my anger at how “it” has been regarded and manipulated. This aspect doesn’t have its hold on me any more. I feel I’ve been outgrowing the dynamic. So I’m beginning to take a look at the substance on my own terms and not from a religious perspective….to my surprise it’s a substance which apparently never left.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have been “outgrowing the dynamic” yes but i think that for me much of the anger is still there. i often don’t want to look at it, but yes, it is still there. Even as I outgrow the dynamic. I may not want to look at it, but the anger still has something to say to me, something to teach me, even as I learn to let it go. Perhaps this an aspect of the male dynamic as opposed to the female? Or perhaps it is just a marker that is not so far along the path.

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        • I don’t think there’s a measuring stick Johnny. I think my anger has taught me a great deal too… in all sorts of ways. For me growing up Catholic is generally an uncomfortable topic and besides…it’s all been said so why talk about it. Through circumstances though, this what? relationship? came to the fore and I’ve been challenged to take a look at it… surprisingly more subjectively.

          You’re making my day Gravity…. you really are!

          Liked by 1 person

        • That’s part of it for sure…all the connections. I has been for me. I’m 68 Johnny. This is rather a new development. I was happy enough to simply put it on the shelf of experience….way back because it just made me angry. And then one day it occurred to me that in just about everything this man talked about, he referred to nature. He brought it all back to the rhythms of and relationships in nature. And I thought…hmmmm. Perhaps I could subtract the collective crap and see if what is still there moves me.

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