To Etch the Stars


This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Mary R. Finnegan.                                                                                                                          

To Etch the Stars

It is a day without form, dark
as night, a dirty rain falls.

Still, I walk out, into the chaos,
see the cosmos as it was before:

a sea in storm, everything waiting
for the breath of God

to tame the wild ocean of the world.

Leaves blow like dust devils,
branches break limb from limb,

birds huddle under bushes, under eaves,
squawking, trembling, forgetting

even their young in their fear.

I wait at Doon Well, the prayer rags
and ribbons on the hawthorn tree

flutter in the wind. I stand my ground,
still, in chaos, storm, waiting

for the breath of God to conjure
a new world, to separate light from dark,

to etch again the stars onto the sky,
to raise the sun, to call us good

as He names each of us, one by one.


Mary R. Finnegan is a writer and nurse living in Philadelphia. Her essays and poems have appeared in Dead Housekeeping, PILGRIM: A Journal of Catholic Experience, Catholic Digest, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Speak Easy–WHYY , The American Journal of Nursing, Lydwine, and elsewhere.

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About the Author

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


Jeffrey Essmann 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.

Jeffrey is an essayist and poet living in New York. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review and The Road Not Taken. He is a Benedictine oblate of Mt. Saviour Monastery.

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