MarjorieI've never really considered myself a poetic person. Or a "writer," really. Sure, I never thought twice about doing long-winded papers about history, but I always saw it as another version of furniture assembly—you make something about the right size and hope it holds weight. It never occurred to me that other writing was possible or I should write things I really connected to.

But in a class with Dr. Karen Scheib, I began to practice writing poems here and there. Something clicked when I was able to say that I wrote a poem and that it was something I felt good about. It was a new way to connect with God, one that I had not experienced before. Soon, the poetry spread! I would think of different poems to write and post them on social media, which was also something I had never done before. It was a way to stop and take a breath and put words to abstract ideas I was thinking.

For Lent, I've been trying to write a poem a day. It has definitely been a challenge, but it is a discipline that I have begun to really appreciate. Every so often, I draw a blank at what to write, it's true. And every so often, I write a silly poem grumping about daylight savings time. But it is a discipline that has helped me grow in an unexpected way—much like Candler has.

Read a few of Marjorie's Lenten poems below.

March 1

Ash Wednesday
It's raining
And the ash is smudging
It's under my nails
Like the dirt from a garden
But this was scorched
And washed clean

We are a little like that
And smudged
Maybe a little bit stuck
But washed clean

March 12

I can glimpse through
To what the kingdom of God
Might look like

These glimpses
Show singing
And preparing the feast
For all

I can glimpse sometimes
In the ways we
Laugh together
Cry together
Hug together

We are gathered into one
To celebrate

And this I can see
If I pay attention

March 23

Looking forward
And looking back
Seems to happen
More often

In this time just
Before graduation
There is gratitude
For who has helped me
Get here

There is gleeful anticipation
Of being done with school
Tempered with
Wanting to know what is next

But some days
It becomes easier
To not look forward
Or back
But to simply sit
And eat
And look out the window
While we share poetry
And music
And many laughs

April 4

My favorite view of Atlanta
Will always be out the window
Of a MARTA train

Those windows, coated in pollen
And weird splotches
See the life of the city
In all its weird splendor
As it lives and grows and sprawls

It's not only the impressive skyscrapers
The temples of industry
Or the shiny new neighborhoods
That I love to see

It's the graffiti
And the houses held together with
Magic or sheer willpower
That I think hold the heart
Of Atlanta

But heart
Is here in abundance

April 9

I am in a crowd
Waving palm branches
And singing
Clapping and whooping

I am singing
With the gathered throng
Feeling a part
Of something much larger
That today matters

And that is good and right

But today I am also

I am the crowd that praises
But also the crowd that kills

But y'all
Jesus still comes
To the jubilant, murderous crowd
And walks with us

April 10

If it is the Monday of Holy Week
Does that mean that
This Monday
(And maybe even all
Are holy?


Mondays can't be holy
Mondays are for being grouchy
Or shotgunning coffee
Like there is no tomorrow
If it is a particularly nice Monday,
Mondays are for cooking
Or grocery shopping
But not for being holy
Who has time for that?

There's traffic to think about
And assignments
And the future
Emails and worries and
Remembering what we forgot
That's what Mondays are for

What if, though,
Mondays were holy anyway?