De Profundis

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Laurie Klein.                                                                                           

De Profundis

Poor sand dollars—
low tide and pillaged by gulls
on a jag—every shell
beached. Raw,

as we are. Shaped for the breath,
edges have slits
fine as buttonholes.
Noonday’s stun of beaks
collapse the central star,

and five tiny doves
fall from its heart, as if
pieces of heaven
salt this desolate shore.

Torn, yet tacking
my haphazard way
through the incoming chop,
come, let me be, through
prayer, an ark for your sorrow.

First appeared in Where the Sky Opens (Cascade)


Laurie Klein is the author of the poetry collection Where the Sky Opens (Poeima Poetry Series, Cascade), and an award-winning chapbook, Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh. A past recipient of the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred, Klein has also been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in poetry and Creative Nonfiction. She lives in the Inland Northwest.

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About the Author

Tim Bete, ICL Poetry Curator To submit poetry to be considered for the Catholic Poetry Room, visit our submission guidelines page.


Tim Bete is Poetry Editor for IntegratedCatholicLife.org and always searching for the best Catholic poetry from today's poets as well as those of the past.

Tim's poetry has appeared in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, The Asketerion, and the Poet and Contemplative Blog of the Discalced Carmelite Friars (Province of St. Therese). His first book of poetry is The Raw Stillness of Heaven, of which one reviewer wrote, “If you are Catholic and think that you do not like poetry, this book will change your mind.”

Tim is former director of the national writers' workshop at the University of Dayton—a Catholic, Marianist university. He's a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) and often trades poems with his oldest daughter, who is a Dominican Sister. He says she's the best writer in the family.

Tim's writing has also appeared in several editions of the Amazing Grace anthology series (Ascension Press), theChristian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest magazine, and numerous parenting magazines. His latest book is Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim

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