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HOURS FROM A CONVENT

HOURS FROM A CONVENT

$16.99 paperback  $29.00 hardcover

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Who is the Madonna of the streets? She wanders without a home, yet has the image of the mother of God. She governs both healing and people without homes. This young woman with a heart for the child of the street has caught the attention of a convent of nuns in Mission, British Columbia. She is illusive yet unforgettable, standing on the shore, disappearing into the woods.

A nun of the convent has hidden her cloistered heart away, yet her visions of the Madonna bring her daily closer to the beloved. She has promised to leave her old life forever, taking us into the mystic divine. Her search for truth and authenticity takes us from the sacred moments of convent prayer, to the evening's beauty of an orchard grove, to the far reaches of Africa. Hours from A Convent is a book of hours for sacred meditation, with elements of both mystery and incarnation.

Emily Isaacson, poet, captures again in a timeless way, the beauty of prayer, contemplation, and creation. Her postmodern verse, in search of art and inspiration, is conformed to obedience to the gift. Both disciplined and profound, it measures light in form and verse, while pouring out the fine oil of the prophetic. She is sensitive to the times and seasons of nature and the spiritual earth.


From HOURS:

Swaying in the lazy tall grass, 
a long haired maiden 
with song 
wild as the wind, plucking 
the seeded dandelions  
to blow them for ransom 
toward the rogue waves, 
to the rambling tides.   

An instrument in your hands, 
I become the woodwind 
like an oboe of Gabriel.    

The pinnacle of afternoon 
wafted sunlight through 
the slated panes,  
the icons I have observed 
since my first renaissance 
are kept carefully 
in the most treasured 
parts of a convent 
where love is refined 
and truth distilled 
to pure
and vivid 
water.    

How do you show 
me the way 
on this path, 
silver and shining  
by moonlight, 
lit bravely 
by saints and legend: 
all chanting, they surround me.   

I sing of you.

My heart broke open, 
and from its hearth stone 
a sister took the bread of God, 
broken with her careful hands 
into pieces.   

I decided to follow you to a new land, 
and never leave you.

We walked arm in arm 
down a dusty road, my skirts 
a plethora of colors 
noble and bold, 
my hair oiled with perfection, 
crowned with English flowers, 
white roses revealed their plumage 
and spilled perfume 
over our necks of silver.   

The people hung over their gates
and waved valiantly from their horses, 
cheering at the sight 
of our staple covenant, 
bright as the meat of figs 
falling from a ripe tree 
with its constellation of seeds.   

Ruth and Naomi of old, 
we traversed from the land of hunger 
to the countryside
where the sea winds blow, 
where the winds blow in and out, 
and from our sectioned window 
watch the salt waves.

--Hours From A Convent, Emily Isaacson