Jenna K Funkhouser

Jenna K Funkhouser is a poet and nonprofit writer living in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has recently been published by the Ekphrastic Review, the Saint Katherine Review, and Vita Poetica, among others. Her first book of poetry, Pilgrims I Have Been, was released in October 2020. In her spare time, she explores the world of mosaic and textile design and imagines many lives for herself around the world. 

The Canticle

St. Francis stands within the warm canopy
Of the pines. 

With his soft laughter, he sings
To the sun
Kissing the bright warmth 
Of God’s fingertips in glee.

In this moment, he trusts
That humility endures over strenglth
That joy dwells within sorrow 
That suffering, held close, 
Becomes a brother.

He knows now that there will be music 
Despite everything.

He goes forth from the trees astonished
At this company of bright, inhabited lives.

Lake Swim

Like satin sheets, one could feel
the sun-dappled lake receive you 

a weighty gift, gliding in and out
of its tucked-back corners
fresh and cool and alive

and you are indistinguishable,
fused into movement

you exert yourself for the pure joy 
of reaching, your breath heavying

your heart singing into your brain.

You could stay weightless 
forever, if only the shoes
(so practical for a summer’s hike)
did not recall you to ground…

St. Clare in Her Cloister

She sweeps the simple room.
   Each stroke coaxes prayer
Out of the silent witness 
   Of the stones.

She limps the hall
   Beside her garden,
Enters, weak as a poem
   Cradling the blue gentians
Words singing in her eyes.

And her heart
   Like a stick of incense
Smolders with memory

How once the whole city
   Dashed up 
Towards the burning woods

Arrived
   To see she 
And Father Francis
   Speaking of the love of God,
Faces flaming like the sun.

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