Litany of Flights: Poems

Litany of Flights: Poems

by Laura Reece Hogan
Litany of Flights: Poems

Litany of Flights: Poems

by Laura Reece Hogan


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Winner of the 2020 Paraclete Poetry Prize, Litany of Flights is a luminous examination of the journey of the soul, from moments of loss to moments of incandescent transformation. These poems remind us to behold the extraordinary in the ordinary, and that the secret workings of the divine occur even through the difficult: "the painful paring of your hollow bones has made you light." Drawing on the beauty of the natural world, the devastating effects of drought and wildfires, tender moments of daily experience, and lessons of the saints, the poet creates a landscape of light and darkness, with unexpected turns into divine presence and absence. Through a spiral of red-tailed hawks, the nest of a mourning dove, the parting of waters, and the ripeness of a persimmon, this shimmering collection invites the reader to singular and transfiguring flight.

Litany of Flights
(from the forthcoming collection)

First, the winged movement, steady, forward. Scrub jays in flitting progress, hawks in predator glide, a ringing up, a knife-sharp slope

down. Second, the effortless type, wind-splayed, motionless pinions in thermal recline, as the Psalmist says, blessings breeze his love even

in sleep. Third, the hungry, against the gale, the destination singular and the sun dipping crimson. Fourth, the metallic, business or pleasure.

Fifth, the whirring kind, all hummingbird. A picnic, apples and chocolate in the garden with roses, both flower and child. You miss it when it's gone.

Sixth, a baffling flight of stairs, winding upward, passage and yet vehicle,
spiraling to unseen landings--hope courses in the kaleidoscopic lights.

Seventh, soar to the sun. Eighth, melt in bitter hubris. You know the story.
Ninth, escape. A flight out of Egypt, a path through the sea cleared by

divine hand. The times you ran, the times you were left behind in lament.
Tenth, only rotting in the belly of a whale tames your stubborn turn from

Nineveh. Eleventh, flights of despair and of yearning, two sides of one letting go, hard-earned release back into the wild, unbound by expectation,

featherlike. Twelfth, in a moment, caught up high by the Beloved, the one making all things work together, wings, body, arch, air--caught up, like the

Shulamite bride, to regions beyond aeronautical wisdom, transported in joy.
See, he says, the painful paring of your hollow bones has made you light.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640606104
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Publication date: 11/01/2020
Series: Paraclete Poetry
Pages: 98
Sales rank: 574,346
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Laura Reece Hogan is the award-winning author of the poetry chapbook O Garden-Dweller (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and the nonfiction spiritual theology book I Live, No Longer I (Wipf & Stock, 2017). She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, and one of ten poets featured in the anthology In a Strange Land (Cascade Books, 2019). Her poems can be found in America, First Things, The Christian Century, The Cresset, The Windhover, Dappled Things, Anglican Theological Review, Whale Road Review, and other publications. Laura earned a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, and an M.A. in theology from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California. She is a professed Third Order Carmelite. She can be found online at

Table of Contents

I Emerge Wingad

Litany of Flights 3

On the Efficacy of a Prophet 4

On Adoring You 5

Via Negative: Painted Ladies 6

The Breaking 7

Unexpected Wings 8

Preaching of the Birds 9

Gleanings 10

Autumn Vine 11

Over the Falls 12

His Emblem Over Me 13

Pantoum of the Tinderbox 14

California Match Girl 16

Earth on Fire 17

Angel of Dark and Fire 18

Rain Comes in the Fourth Year 20

Song of the Sown 22

Sacrament of Spring 23

Organic Ink 24

Some Bird Soaring 25

II Like the Bones

Blood Feather 29

The Superfluous Hen 30

Movable Feast 31

Catch Us the Foxes 32

The Prison Angel 33

The Joy Tree 34

The Tilling of Dorothy Day 36

One Handful with Tranquility 37

Revelation 38

This is what it looks like 39

St. John of the Cross Addresses the Dark Ray 40

Penelope at Her Unweaving 41

The Prince Decides 43

The Language of Open 44

Cherith 46

The Eagle 47

Water-Walkers 48

Winter Shoots 49

Exodus 50

Nocturne 51

III Scale this Light

Via Negativa: Mourning Dove 55

Morning Star 56

The Color Ultramarine 57

The Eyes I Have Desired 58

Do you want to be a well? 59

Good Fruit 60

Fusion 61

After Palm Sunday 62

There is One Splendor of the Sun 63

Paul, Citizen of Heaven 64

The Filling Tree 66

Pink Moment on Mulholland 68

Evidence of a Burning Bush 69

Absent Warning 70

The Deer 71

Drawn 72

Transmission 73

Torchlight 75

Pillar of Cloud, Pillar of Fire 76

Substance Theory 78

Acknowledgments 81

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