Sunday, February 12, 2012

Meditations on Divine Names - A Multi-Faith Anthology

Cover of Meditations on Divine Names edited by Maja Trochimczyk, 2012The anthology of poetry on religious and spiritual themes, Meditations on Divine Names, has been published as a print book and an e-book. The 140 poems by 64 poets are organized into the following sections: Naming, Names, Earth, Water, Air, Fire, He, She, Being, Loving.

This framework avoids the conventional divisions into Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, or Light and Darkness, or Yahweh, Allah, and Christ, or Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Similarly, there is no separation of poems into different religious denominations and spiritual traditions. Different themes are intertwined in each poem and their order follows thematic threads within each section - bread, sunlight, birth, mothering...

The mystery can be approached from many directions. The heart of the visible matter is invisible. Science makes inroads into understanding how matter works, but the more you read about science - especially at the outer ends of the spectrum, quantum physics and cosmology - the more it sounds like religion. This last word, oft maligned and distorted into fanaticism and pride-based hatred, actually focuses on connections between people, between humans and the divine. The word "religion" stems from a Latin root variously translated as "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods," or "obligation, the bond between man and the gods"). St. Augustine connected this word to "re-reconnecting" ("re-ligare") and contemporary theologians emphasize the connectivity inherent in religion.

Connectivity to what? Typically, religions connect people into groups sharing the same beliefs, their dogmas become immutable and a source of hatred. Remember the wars between the Protestant and Catholics in Ireland? During Reformation when the whole European continent was in flux? But religions, at their core, also connect people with the Ultimate Source of Life, the Higher Being, the Absolute, the One and here, despite the divisiveness of language, similarities begin to emerge. The "divine" of the anthology's title is a word introduced into English in the 14th century and it stems from the Latin "divus" or "god." "Divine" pertains to, or relates directly to "deity" - and the Romans had many different gods, who ruled over various spheres of existence.

The poets belong to different religions or religious denominations. They see the manifestations of the divine in many aspects of life - personal prayer, religious ceremonies, singing of psalms, family relationships, nature, sun, sky, bread making, loving, and love making. They admire the colors of the sky and the liquid nourishment of water. The clarity of mountain air and the gentleness of human touch. From the four letters of YHWH to Lada or Pele, the anthology catalogs some unusual divine names. Poets reflect on the act of naming, the facts of knowing and unknowing of our God(s). They give testimony to their hopes and beliefs, and share what they find beautiful and inspirational, or, sometimes, disturbing. There is darkness around and death, but the poets look for ways to ascend above, to illumination.

The following poets are represented: MJ Adams, Nicholas Alexander, Catherine Auman, Jon B. , Marcielle Brandler, Sharon Chmielarz, Joe Decenzo, Carol Dorf, Kate Hallett Dayton, Carl Estrin, Amy Falvey, Elsa S. Frausto, Bill Gillard, Michael Graber, John Guzlowski, Peter J. Harris, Carl Hitchens, Marlene Hitt, G. Bennett Humphrey, Oriana Ivy, Mitch James, Roy Jacobstein, Lois P. Jones, James Levin, Terranda King, Alexis Krasilovsky, Leonard Kress, Sharmagne Leland-St. John, Rick Lupert, Radomir Wojtech Luza, Czesław Miłosz, Rajiv Mohabir, Geoshino Ollscia, Shirley Dunn Perry, Nils Peterson, Lenora Popa, Kate Robinson, Susan Rogers, Mary Kay Rummel, Nicholas Samaras, Peter Shefler, Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Dorothy Skiles, Lee M. Sloca, J.D. Smith, Barry Spacks, Odarka Polanskyj Stockert, Charles A. Swanson, Taoli-Ambika Talwar, Judith Terzi, Maja Trochimczyk, Ann Tweedy, Davi Walders, Martin Willitts Jr., and Kathabela Wilson.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


o        NAMING                                                                                              (3)

o        James Levin – Searching for the Nameless Name                           (4)
o        Nicolas Samaras – The Unpronouncable Psalm                            (6)
o        Jon B. – Delineation                                                                              (7)
o        Marlene Hitt – If I Know Your Name                                               (8)
o        G. Bennett Humphrey – Labeling the Ultimate
Mystery of Being                                                                   (9)
o        Nicholas Alexander – The Name of God                                      (10)
o        Amy Falvey – The Color Blue                                                          (11)
o        Shirley Dunn Perry – Reciting the Names of God                       (12)
o        Maja TrochimczykDead Sea Alive                                            (13)
o        Leonard Kress – Epistemology 101                                               (14)
o        Nicolas Samaras – Naming                                                            (15)
o        Czesław Miłosz – Sanctificetur                                                      (16)

o        NAMES                                                                                               (17)

o        Ann Tweedy – First Letter to G/g                                                    (18)
o        Ken Goodman – Thou                                                                      (19)
o        John Z. Guzlowski – gods                                                               (20)
I.         My God is God                                                                       (20)
II.       Your God is the Devil                                                           (21)
o        Rajiv Mohabir – radha-krishna                                                       (22)
o        Susan Rogers – What Trees Say                                                     (23)
o        Nils Peterson – Philosophy of Life, 201                                        (25)
o        Maja Trochimczyk – Omniscient                                                   (26)
o        Sharon Chmielarz – Yahwe’s First Portrait                                 (27)
o        Marian Kaplun Shapiro – YHWH                                                (28)
o        Sharon Chmielarz – Yahweh the School Teacher                         (29)
o        Lois P. Jones – Shema                                                                        (30)
o        Oriana Ivy – The Twenty-Second Name of God                            (31)
o        Oriana Ivy – The Forty-First Name of God                                    (33)
o        J.D. Smith – The Hundredth Name of God                                     (35)
o        Taoli-Ambika Talwar – Syllabic Bloodlines                                (36)

o        EARTH                                                                                                (39)

o        Terranda King – Ahh                                                                        (40)
o        JB Mulligan – Hymn                                                                         (41)
o        Dale Sprowl – Gift of the Sea                                                           (42)
o        MJ Adams – Be Still                                                                          (43)
o        Mitch James – God in the Midwest                                                 (44)
o        Marlene Hitt – Prayer of Thanks                                                    (46)
o        Joe DeCenzo – With Gratitude                                                        (47)
o        Just Kibbe – Forgiveness Is Not Cheap                                           (48)
o        Leonard Kress – Degrees                                                                  (49)
o        Carol Dorf – Bitter Honey                                                                 (50)
o        Rick Lupert – The Eating of the Jews                                              (51)
o        Charles A. Swanson – I Am the Bread                                          (52)
o        Nils Peterson – Resemblances                                                          (53)
o        Geoschino Ollscia – Appendages of Infinity                                (54)
o        Dorothy Skiles – Morning Prayers                                                 (56)
o        Roy Jacobstein – If They Don’t Have Ritalin in Heaven,            (57)
o        Bill Gillard – God the Father                                                            (60)
o        Nils Peterson – Creation                                                                   (61)
o        Kathabela Wilson – In Jacumba Mountains                                  (62)
o        Susan Rogers – A Mother’s Prayer                                                 (63)
o        Maja Trochimczyk – On Seeing Oak Leaves in Sunlight            (65)
o        Taoli-Ambika Talwar – Opening the Doorway
Of the Universe                                                                    (67)

o        WATER                                                                                                (69)

o        Barry Spacks – A Vision                                                                  (70)
o        Sharon Chmielarz – The Seven Days of Post-Partum                (71)
o        Carol Dorf – Rachamim: Cards from a Kabbalah Deck                (72)
o        Susan Lyttek – Hunab Ku                                                                 (73)
o        Carl Estrin – Choral Prelude                                                            (74)
o        Sharmagne Leland-St.John  – Rain                                               (75)
o        Charles E. Swanson – Evolution                                                   (77)
o        Marcielle Brandler – At the Monastery                                         (79)
o        Marlene Hitt – Saint Andrews in the Rain                                    (81)
o        Dale Sprowl – Winter Season                                                          (82)
o        Maja Trochimczyk – Manna                                                           (83)
o        Kate Robinson – A True Human Emerges                                     (84)
o        Mary Kay Rummel – The Poet Goes Fishing                                (85)
o        JB Mulligan – the smile of god                                                         (86)

o        AIR                                                                                                        (87)

o        Elsa Frausto – Soon a Year                                                               (88)
o        Maja Trochimczyk – Playful (Via Negativa)                               (89)
o        Rajiv Mohabir - tempest of vrindavan:
a folksong for krishna                                                          (90)
o        Millicent Borges Accardi – Air Bath                                             (91)
o        Dale Sprowl – Mystic Mists of Roturua                                        (93)
o        Barry Spacks – Inner Weather                                                         (94)
o        Barry Ira Geller – Doorway to the Sky                                           (95)
o        Nicholas Alexander – Avatar                                                        (96)
o        Shirley Dunn Perry – Great Spirit                                                 (97)
o        Jon B. – Silence also Swings                                                              (98)

o        FIRE                                                                                                      (99)

o        Martin Willitts, Jr. – When the Angels Speak the Truth              (100)
o        Kate Hallett Dayton – On Fire                                                        (101)
o        Catherine Auman – Bliss Sadhana                                                (102)
o        Odarka Polanskyj Stockert – Fire Twirler                                   (103)
o        Maja Trochimczyk – Incandescent (Via Positiva)                        (104)
o        Martin Willitts, Jr. – You Set Me into Fire                                     (105)
o        Michael Graber – Burning                                                               (106)
o        Carl Hitchens – Breath of Fire                                                         (107)
o        Peter Shefler – The Ineffable Fire                                                     (108)
o        MJ Adams – Pele’s Reply                                                                 (110)

o        HE                                                                                                          (111)

o        Lenora Popa – Horus                                                                        (112)
o        Maja Trochimczyk – Buddha with Swans                                    (113)
o        Joe DeCenzo – Faith                                                                          (114)
o        Barry Spacks – My Mentor                                                              (115)
o        Judith Terzi – The Man in the Light Green Shirt                          (116)
o        Radomir Voytech Luza – Augustine                                             (118)
o        Dale Sprowl – Dreaming in Gethsemane                                       (120)
o        Thom Tammaro – Wide Awake in Rome                                       (122)
o        Bill Gillard – If You Love Jesus, and if Heaven’s Got
a Barbed Wire Fence                                                            (123)
o        Radomir Voytech Luza – the second john paul                           (124)
o        Oriana Ivy – Tu Es Petrus                                                                (126)
o        Czesław Miłosz – * * *                                                                     (128)

o        SHE                                                                                                      (129)

o        Dorothy Skiles – I Never Saw Anything Like It                           (130)
o        Marlene Hitt – Mary, Mother of God                                             (132)
o        Roy Jacobstein – Mother Theresa and I
Are Upgraded To First Class                                             (133)
o        Lee M. Sloca – 4 Musings for A-Muse(ment)                                (134)
o        Kate Robinson – Deva                                                                      (136)
o        Maja Trochimczyk – The Hands of Mercy                                    (137)
o        Oriana Ivy – Persephone’s Kitchen                                                 (138)
o        Odarka Polanskyj Stockert – Mami Wata                                    (139)
o        Davi Walders – The Shekinah                                                         (140)
o        Alexis Krasilovsky – Shekinah                                                       (142)
o        Lenora Popa – Goddess Light                                                          (143)
o        Shirley Dunn Perry – Goddess                                                        (144)
o        Sharon Chmielarz – And She Said, Let There Be Light              (145)

o        BEING                                                                                                 (147)

o        Martin Willitts, Jr. – Angel of Mercy                                             (148)
o        Roy Jacobstein – Heaven                                                                  (149)
o        Oriana Ivy – Lilacs for Persephone                                                  (150)
o        Susan Rogers – What Does the Sky Know?                                  (151)
o        MJ Adams – Solstice                                                                          (152)
o        Charles A. Swanson – The Dip of the Darting Swallow            (153)
o        Peter J. Harris – Dap                                                                         (154)
o        Dale Sprowl – Someone to Watch over Me                                    (155)
o        Martin Willitts, Jr. – In the Beginning we Tumble
into Light                                                                              (156)
o        Oriana Ivy – Let There Be Light                                                       (157)
o        Susan Rogers – A Seated Buddha                                                   (159)
o        Maja Trochimczyk – Convergence                                                 (160)
o        Elsa Frausto – Sometimes…                                                             (162)
o        Nicholas Alexander – To Be a God                                               (163)
o        Barry Ira Geller – Invocation of the Name                                     (164)
o        Taoli-Ambika Talwar – Open Palms                                            (165)
o        Lois P. Jones – To Sail                                                                       (168)
o        Nils Peterson – Words and Things                                                 (169)
o        Rick Lupert – Conversation with God                                            (170)

o        LOVING                                                                                             (171)

o        Les Silverman – Love a Rock                                                           (172)
o        Mary Kay Rummel – Love                                                               (173)
o        Taoli-Ambika Talwar – A Prayer for All Time                           (175)
o        Thom Tammaro – The Lover Within                                             (177)
o        Les Silverman – To Proclaim Beauty Almost                                (178)
o        Odarka Polanskyj Stockert – I, Lada                                             (179)
o        Michael Graber – This is a Test                                                      (180)
o        Charles A. Swanson – “See how he loved him!”                         (181)
o        Rajiv Mohabir – Unknown in Your Own House                          (182)
o        Michael Graber – Breaking Bread                                                  (183)
o        Susan Rogers – The Light that Finds                                             (184)
o        Maja Trochimczyk – The Great God Experiment                        (185)