Peregrinatio #5: Window, Weeping

I received a mysterious letter today, marked “Priority Airphost,” with a stamp that pictures “The Wild Atlantic Way.” I’ve never heard of this. I immediately want to walk it.

The mystery turns out to be my own forgetfulness: Skylight 47 has just published one of my poems in its Autumn 2019 issue. (Theme: Language, Landscape, Migration.) As I could not be in Ireland for the launch party, they said they would send me a copy. And it’s beautiful:

Skylight 47 is based in Galway. I’ve never been there (yet), and I know no one who lives there, so I’m unsure how the magazine crossed my radar. I’m so glad it did. Really, it’s a newspaper, but in color. It smells delicious, it catches just briefly beneath my thumbs, it crackles invitingly whenever I turn a page. It requires two hands to read: an immersive experience in a time of fragmented attention. And it’s full of poetry, mostly by Irish folx. I’m enchanted.

My contribution is Peregrinatio #5, subtitled Window, Weeping.

There are nine Peregrinatio poems, and initially I thought they might make a single piece–maybe someday they will. At the moment, they’re a) not all finished, and b) standing sturdily on their individual feet.* So I’ve started sending the finished ones out to publications I think might offer them good homes. And I’m honored to see this one here.

Wrinkles on the page pictured above are brought to you by d’Artagnan the black-and-white cat, who cannot resist a paper artifact intended for human reading.

The Peregrinatio poems do have a story, but that may be for another time, maybe when they’re all in a form as finished as poems get. For now I want only to acknowledge that they are descended (distantly, but importantly) from a writing exercise I learned from Christine Valters Paintner’s gorgeously named book concerning modern Celtic Christian practice, The Soul’s Slow Ripening. So big thanks to CVP for that inspiration.

Come to think of it, CVP lives in Galway. Perhaps it was one of her own poems that sent me first to Skylight 47. That’s a lovely convergence to imagine.


*Except it’s free verse, so technically no feet! (…Sorry.)

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