Friday Favorites — James Kavanaugh

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(Way back on May 8, 2015, started posting Friday Favorites. I read through a ton of poetry books looking for poems and authors that I liked. I finally ran out of books on August 30 2019, but it has occurred to me that a lot of you weren’t around back then. So I am reposting Friday Favorites from the beginning, and I will be on the hunt for new books!)

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Today I’m finally starting
a Special Feature on my blog
— Friday Favorites.
I’m going to be posting some of my favorite poems
and a bit about their authors

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01 May 1979 --- Poet James Kavanaugh poses for a cover photo for his book, . --- Image by © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS

01 May 1979 — Poet James Kavanaugh poses for a cover photo for his book, . — Image by © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS

My first “guest” is one of my favorite poets, James Kavanaugh, an American Roman Catholic priest best remembered for an iconoclastic call for reform published in 1967. He died December 29, 2009. I will let him explain in his own words who he was:

“I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.

We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.”
― James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

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I Saw Your Dreams Die
by James Kavanaugh
from his book
Winter Has Lasted Too Long
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I saw your dreams die
and felt your silent pain,
knowing that your child’s smile
~~~would never be the same.
But what does it matter?
It was only a child’s smile
that had to go away
~~~so I could love you
~~~~~~the way I do today.
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I saw your dreams die
and heard the silent screams,
knowing that your vanished hopes
~~~were never what they seemed.
But what does it matter?
It was only a child’s hope
that died along the way
~~~so I could love you
~~~~~~the way I do today.
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There will be new dreams
~~~replacing those that fell apart,
~~~~~~for life is never what it seems.
There will be new hope
~~~to mend a child’s broken heart,
~~~~~~for life is made of broken dreams.
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