Poem Published On-line This Morning at * Your Daily Poem*

I’m happy to share that my poem “Amazing Grace” is posted this morning at Your Daily Poem, an on-line journal. About this poem, the editor, Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, says:

“Today is the birthday of John Newton who wrote the beautiful hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Penny’s poem not only pays tribute to that song and occasion, it also ties right in with the travel theme on which we’ve been focusing the past few days. Says Penny, “This was written some years ago when [my husband] and I lived in the magical landscape of Northern New Mexico. I miss the “land of enchantment” and the times Bill and I shared there. I’ll get back there one of these days but, for now, I have the sea.”

Hope you enjoy the poem, and that if you have not been there, you get to Echo Canyon up in O’Keeffe country sometime in the future. The Canyon is in the Georgia O’Keeffe country of Northern NM, and the landscape is absolutely breathtaking. The spiritual beauty of the Canyon needed to be celebrated, so I sang my favorite song. Amazing Grace echoed around me, and the tourist’s request for me to sing the song again was an extra blessing.


Here’s the poem just in case the link doesn’t work for you:
Amazing Grace
Penny Harter
in Echo Canyon, New Mexico

Deep in the canyon, I begin to sing Amazing Grace.
Far above us, white-throated swifts dart in and out
of crevices in this curved embrace of red rock
holding the cerulean sky.

That was my mother’s favorite song.
Please sing it again, another tourist asks,
her eyes filling.

Each phrase shimmers around us, counterpoint
to canyon winds; ancient sediment flows down
the rock-face onto a bed of red dust; the stone
lion crouched on the edge of the highest cliff
lowers his head,
and the dust rises.


About penhart

I am a poet and writer, published widely in journals and anthologies, and my literary autobiography appears as an extended essay in "Contemporary Authors." My poems have recently appeared in "Rattle" ,"Tiferet," and "U.S. 1 Worksheets". Work has also appeared in "The Valparaiso Poetry Review," and "Umbrella." Recent books include 'One Bowl" (2012); "Recycling Starlight" (2010); and "The Night Marsh" (2008).. Earlier collections include "Along River Road"; "Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth"; and "Buried in the Sky." My illustrated alphabestiary for children, "The Beastie Book," was published in the December, 2009, by Shenanigan Books. I have won three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, as well as awards from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Mary Carolyn Davies Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award for my work in the anthology "American Nature Writing 2002." I was invited to be a "featured poet" and read at the 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival, and was awarded a residency / fellowship for January, 2011, at VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts." I live in the South Jersey shore area, and work as a visiting poet in the schools through programs sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and various other agencies. I'm still fairly new at blogging and hope to add more graphics, etc., as I learn more.
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