Our thanks to everyone who participated in The Norbertine Library Book Title Poetry Contest last month. The winner is Virginia May Garcia of Albuquerque who submitted the following poem which includes the titles of five books found in The Norbertine Library (see bold and italics text).

 GOD IN HIS UNSPEAKABLE BEAUTY CALLED ME INTO BEING

AT THAT MOMENT OF CONCEPTION,
HE CARVED ME IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND:
I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU, I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU ORPHANED, I WILL NEVER FORGET MY OWN.

IN A SMALL RANCH HOUSE, NESTLED IN THE MANZANO MOUNTAINS, WHISPERING PINES,
ROCKS, DIRT, BEAN FIELDS, APPLE ORCHARDS, AND RHUBARB;
ANTHONY CHURCH IN TORREON OPEN 24/7,
CRACKLING FLOORS WORN DOWN BY GENERATIONS;
LA VIRGEN, DRESSED IN HANDMADE CLOTHES,
LOCAL FOLKS AND CHILDREN SAYING THE ROSARY, NOVENAS,  ROCESSIONS, FIESTAS,
DEVOTION AND A DEEP LOVE FOR GOD.

THE SLIPPERY ROCK AT THE ARROYO HOLDING MY BODY WHEN MY HEART WAS BROKEN,
JOYFUL, OR CONFUSED

IN JEMEZ
THE SUN PENETRATED MY BODY
SIMPLE LIVING BY THE RIVER
DRINKING FROM THE RIVER OF LIGHT
GOLDEN SUNLIGHT
FLUTTERING LEAVES
TALL GREEN GRASS
LABYRINTH
FREEDOM AND PURE JOY
RIVER OF FIRE
BRINGS OUT THE DEEPEST PAIN
PURGING THE SOUL
EMPTYING THE DARKNESS WITHIN
SO I CAN CONTINUE WITH THIS LIFE THAT IS OURS
ENJOYING THE GRACE FOR THE MOMENT.

A special thank you to Mona Lydon-Rochelle, our contest judge, who is the author of two poetry collections.  On the Brink of the Sea (Cave Moon Press, 2019) crosses over our neat American borders into 21st century war and epidemic, plumbs a harsh and sometimes tragic childhood and comes up rich with dark humor and faith. Her first book, Mourning Dove (Finishing Line Press, 2014) is a spiritual journey of her childhood in New England and her work as an epidemiologist in Africa and Ireland.