Scott Eagan's Green Fire

It’s officially summer! Enjoy a seasonal poem from our friend Scott Eagan, farmer and poet at Madonna House in Combermere, Canada. For those of you who are new to the blog, you can enjoy more of Scott’s very personal, nature-inspired, religious poetry on my blog page by scrolling down and selecting “Scott Eagan’s Poetry” under “Blog Categories” along the right margin of the page.

Thanks as always to Scott for sharing his work.
 

Look at the green fire that moves across the spring earth.
Fed by sun and rain, it nonetheless arises from within.
-
 Fr. Robert Pelton – Circling the Sun

GREEN FIRE

I lie in bed, in the dark
and outside my open window
in the blackened spring night, fire
green fire is covering the hills
eating away at the dry wood of winter
spreading cool flames, a foliar carpet
breaking the frozen hold of many months
day growth, night passage.

I wonder as I lay there,
who minds the forest while we sleep
what force watches as men rest
and nocturnal life awakens
surely God must sleep sometime
so much work to be accomplished in
these long days of May, short
nights of solstice.

I rest my weary head upon the pillow
falling asleep is not easy while nighttime
mysteries unfold right outside,
my house all asleep, even the sun
has gone to bed, a few hours
and light will flow softly over the canopy
spring rain blessing leaves and roots
imperceptible growth.

I dream of thunder until early morning
visions of mighty forests and wide fields
a vast carpet of leaves, the secret life of plants and animals
springing to life under the power of sun and showers
heartfelt energies lifting the sleeping spirit
resurrection of what was dead and buried
peace arising as an ever new Sunday
and from within, an emerald fire signaling hope.

Scott Eagan
May 27, 2018

 Baby Queen Anne's Lace. Photo by Mary Weems, Simsbury, CT.

Baby Queen Anne's Lace. Photo by Mary Weems, Simsbury, CT.

The Poetry of Easter

Our friend Scott Eagan speaks the poetry of life restored!  In this holiest of seasons, may your hearts speak "the most beautiful word ever uttered in any language" to one another.

Happy Easter, friends!

SUNDAY

Very early
on the first day of the week
when the sun had just risen…

in the darkness of a new tomb hewn out of rock
a naked man steps out of his burial linen
the Son of Man clothed in Light
marked with Passion
and places his foot upon the stony earth.

The Lamb who had been slain and shorn and silenced
Jesus the Christ arises, returning from death robed in glory.

He strides through the rolled-away-stone opening
startling the disbelievers
wiping away every Mary’s tears
encouraging all the disciples
and opening the radiant Flower of everlasting Life.

He greets those who wait
and those who had run away
with the most beautiful word
ever uttered in any language – Shalom
Peace.

He is Risen. Alleluia!
— Scott Eagan, April 16, 2017
 Lithograph of the Risen Christ by Benton Spruance. Courtesy  Sacred Art Pilgrim .

Lithograph of the Risen Christ by Benton Spruance. Courtesy Sacred Art Pilgrim.

 

 

Still

The changing of the seasons means it’s time for one of Scott Eagan’s poems.  For those of you who are new to the blog, Scott is a member of the Madonna House Community in Combermere, Ontario.  He is what you might call a contemplative farmer.  Scott shares his poems with me, and I’m so pleased to share them with you.  His gentle imagery and heartfelt prose makes me feel like I am in Combermere too, living the simple spirituality of Madonna House and basking in the bounty of God’s creation.

Enjoy this season's window made with words, a glimpse into Scott’s beautiful, prayerful world.

STILL

In the small hours of the morning
on the pillow of night’s awakening
all is still, all suspended.

The singing lake loons quieted
forest’s leaves forgetting to shed dewy tears
all the world so beautifully still.

As I poke my head outside my little tent
a gracious gift covers me
a transient thin treasure.

Just to breathe it in and let it go, breathe it in again…
- creations prayer -
can it be absorbed?

And the day begins.
— Scott Eagan
 Van Gogh,  The Sower with Setting Sun , 1888.

Van Gogh, The Sower with Setting Sun, 1888.

Our Forest Is Burning

This week I would like to publish another poem by Scott Eagan, farmer and poet in residence at Madonna House, Combermere, Ontario, the community of prayer and service established by Servant of God Catherine Doherty.  His poem “Dry Lightning” was inspired by the recent Canadian wildfires, but as I’m sure you will see, the poem resonates with the fires that rage within.

DRY LIGHTNING

The air is charged
overfull with heat and smoke and ash
our forest is burning
beast of a wildfire bearing down
torching the houses, the place where we live
we can only pray for rain.

Try as we may, no tears
it is all consuming, nothing left unscorched
flashes from heaven to earth
and from earth to heaven explode as they meet
thunder rolls round the heart
we watch, we wait, we run
while the flames rage in their course
and inside us, the rains pour.

©2016 Scott Eagan
  Storm on Fire  by Allen n Lehman

Storm on Fire by Allen n Lehman

Then Time Is Always Ours

For the past year or so, I have enjoyed a “creative correspondence” with a gifted poet named Scott Eagan.  I was delighted to discover that Scott lives and farms at Madonna House, the ongoing apostolate of one of my heroes, Servant of God Catherine Doherty.  Within the Madonna House community, Scott lives the simplicity and quiet of the Holy Family of Nazareth.  He works the land, he prays and writes.

Scott’s poems reveal the heart of a farmer, one who is close to the land.  In a time when so many of us are somewhat disconnected from nature, Scott’s poems provide an intimate window into the beauty of rural Canada, the changing seasons, farm animals, wild animals, harvests and crops, sun, moon and stars.  My own world is broadened by the images he shares and his interpretations of life and nature.

As the longest, darkest days of winter approach, and as we wait with both patience and impatience for the birth of our Savior, I wanted to share with you one of Scott’s poems:  “Winter Time.”  If we learn to appreciate the gift of each season, the rhythm of life that God has prescribed, then no time is ever fallow, no season wasted. 

And so before we look forward to spring, may we pay winter our respects, and find in her darkest night the Gift that, like nature herself, can never be rushed – the unity between God and human beings.

Thank you, Scott.

 

Winter Time

 

Times change

what once was our summer

warm sun and rains

almost as if God had smiled on

every solid working day

and every blessed night of rest …

then autumn passed

crimson and gold washed away

by cold, grey rains

through gusty winds ofpassage

and we are left with winter.

 

Our axis has tilted

our face turned north of the sun

almost as if His face has frowned

warm rains become white flakes

cold on the cheek, melting

on our summer passed by

washing across our autumn

now clinging to winter time.

 

Know that if we wait

if we may learn to enjoy frost

the cold and the crystal

the days when our face, low

to the sun’s waning light

- yet a loving face nonetheless -

perceiving the distant possibility of spring

and its rising warm smile to return

then time is always ours.

 

Scott Eagan

November 23, 2015

 Claude Monet,  Grainstacks at Sunset, Snow Effect,  1891

Claude Monet, Grainstacks at Sunset, Snow Effect, 1891