By Luci Shaw

Poems for Contemplation: "Manna"

This summer The Well is featuring a series of poems by women. Ruth Goring invites you to approach them curiously and meditatively.


by Luci Shaw

They asked, and he brought quails,
and gave them food from heaven.
 — Psalms [sic] 105:40

I’m not asking for quails for dinner
and, if they flew in my window, at mealtime, 
in a torrent of wind, I would think 
aggravation, not miracle.

Time is so multiple and fluid. If I lose a day 
flying the Pacific and gain it back 
returning, perhaps the prayer I offered 
this morning at first light 
was known and answered last week.

You never know what a simple request 
will get you. So, no plea for birds 
from heaven. Rather, I will commit myself 
to this quotidian wilderness, watching for what 
the wind may bring me next— 
perhaps a minor wafer tasting like honey 
that I can pick up with my fingers 
and lay on my tongue to ease, for this day, 
my hunger to know.

This poem can be found in What the Light Was Like by Luci Shaw.

Photo by Nature's Beauty from StockSnap.

About the Author

Luci Shaw was born in London, England in 1928. A poet and essayist, since 1986 she has been Writer in Residence at Regent College, Vancouver. Author of over thirty-seven books of poetry and creative non-fiction, her writing has appeared in numerous literary and religious journals. In 2013 she received the 10th annual Denise Levertov Award for Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University.  Her most recent collection, Eye of the Beholder, was released by Paraclete Press in 2018.

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