This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Rose Anna Higashi.
Even Before Advent
The tail of a dark bird
Flickers from oak leaves,
Brittle now and old.
The autumn light finds the feathered head,
Red as the drops that circle
The crown of the wounded King.
The woodpecker knows about the cold to come.
The leaves, undefended, give up their lives
One by one to the harsh breath of the wind.
This is the time for testing:
For searching November’s dark pathways
For the red berries in the underbrush
For the sacred ruby glowing
In every holy heart.
Rose Anna Higashi taught Japanese Literature, Poetry and Creative Writing at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California for thirty-five years. Upon retirement, she was commissioned by then-Bishop Patrick McGrath, to serve as a Lay Ecclesial Minister in the Catholic Diocese of San Jose. In this capacity, she spent nine years as Director of Adult Religious Education at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Los Gatos. She now lives in Kaaawa in rural Hawaii with her husband Wayne. They look forward to celebrating their 60th anniversary in 2023. Rose Anna’s poetry journal, Blue Wings, was published by Paulist Press, and many of her lyric poems and haiku can be viewed on her website, myteaplanner.com, which also contains her monthly blog, “Tea and Travels.” Earlier in 2022, her poems have appeared in The Catholic Poetry Room, The Agape Review, PoetsOnline, and The Avocet, and her poem on St. Hildegard of Bingen was published in The Ekphrastic Review.