A journey in the mind

Alice Feeley’s new book of poetry, “Tracing Thin Places,” is inspired by her visits to Block Island.

It was in November of 2018 that we profiled members of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion in White Plains for an issue on inspired brothers and “sisters.” It was great renewing old acquaintance with the order, which taught me at the now defunct Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Unfortunately, one member of the leadership team whom I was most eager to see was not present – Sister Alice Feeley, my high school English teacher.

Like Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses, we are products of all that we have met, and so it’s fair to say that I wouldn’t be the writer I am without her.

Now I’m happy to return the favor: Feeley takes us to Block Island, Rhode Island in our minds in her new collection of poetry, “Tracing Thin Places.” With photographs and graphic design by Michael Chapman, she guides us through the seasons with words that acknowledge the realities of nature and human nature but also offer us joy and peace. Here is “Time in Spring”:

Early spring morning

I drive the road under green gold

leaves, vines, bush and trees. They stretch

over stone walls, road signs, announcing our exit,

what used to be where we belonged.

For an instant in dazzling light and green profusion

time lets go.

What this road once held is waiting here again.

For this moment what’s been is not overgrown or disappeared

but held together like birdsong

with all that’s new

in joyous jumble of timelessness

that does not last past the road’s next bend.

Like a guest worker used to changing seasons

I train my eyes on hope in shadows just beyond.

“Tracing Thin Places” is available at Amazon, Lulu Press Inc. or the Advancement Office of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion, attention Liz Vasquez. For more, visit divinecompassion.org and search under News, January. 

– Georgette Gouveia


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