How I Talk To God

Coffee in one hand
leaning in to share, listen:
How I talk to God.

“Momma, you’re special.”
Three-year-old touches my cheek.
How God talks to me.

While driving I make
lists: done, do, hope, love, hate, try.
How I talk to God.

Above the highway
hawk: high, alone, free, focused.
How God talks to me.

Rash, impetuous
chatter, followed by silence:
How I talk to God.

First, second, third, fourth
chance to hear, then another:
How God talks to me.

Fetal position
under flannel sheets, weeping
How I talk to God.

Moonlight on pillow
tending to my open wounds
How God talks to me.

Pulling from my heap
of words, the ones that mean yes:
How I talk to God.

Infinite connects
with finite, without words:
How God talks to me.

How I Talk To God by Kelly Belmonte

The featured poem today is by Literary Life’s own Kelly Belmonte.  This beautiful work causes us to ask “What is prayer?”  The question seems simple enough, but is it only the traditional version which begins with ‘Our Father’ and ends with ‘Amen?’  Many prayers are exactly that, but can they be more?

As Malcolm Guite points out in The Word in the Wilderness, many have followed the traditional model to great extreme…

St Paul asks us to pray without ceasing, and some contemplatives have understandably interpreted that as a call to leave the world with its business and distractions and seek long swathes of uninterrupted time devoted to prayer and prayer alone. Others have seen it as a call to have a continual hidden mantra, like the Jesus prayer, wheeling and cycling beneath all we do, providing an undercurrent or ground note of prayer beneath all our daily activities. Both these approaches have their merits and have proved fruitful in the lives of some of the greatest saints, but they are not for everyone.

The communion of our lives with our Creator certainly isn’t limited to our vocabulary.  Scripture teaches that the deepest longings of our heart are effectively communicated by the Holy Spirit with “groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Have you experienced the sacred in the ordinary?  As Malcolm says:

It may be that Belmonte’s haiku sequence will encourage readers of this book to write down and remember those moments when the everyday is opened to the eternal.

When do you most sense communion with God?


Romans 8:26–28

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.


D I G  D E E P E R

Kelly Belmonte

Kelly has been writing poetry for over 30 years and blogging for ten (mostly at Important poetic influences have included Kobayashi Issa, R.M. Rilke, Marge Piercy, Malcolm Guite, Frank Gaspar, and many other fine poets. Her work has been published in Atlas Poetica, Relief Journal, The Literary Nest, Open: Journal of Arts & Literature, and Ruminate, and included in The Word in the Wilderness (Canterbury Press, 2014) and Love, Remember (Canterbury Press, 2017). She also contributed a chapter on the poetry of C.S. Lewis to Women and C.S. Lewis (2015), a collection of interviews and essays on the theme of Lewis and women in his life and writings. Kelly’s two poetry chapbooks, Three Ways of Searching (2013) and Spare Buttons (2014), are published by Finishing Line Press.



Malcolm Guite

Malcolm Guite is poet-priest and Chaplain of Girton College Cambridge, but he often travels round Great Britain, and to North America, to give lectures, concerts and poetry readings.  For more details of these and other engagements go to his Events Page.

For every day from Shrove Tuesday to Easter Day, the bestselling poet Malcolm Guite chooses a favourite poem from across the Christian spiritual and English literary traditions and offers incisive seasonal reflections on it.

Lent is a time to reorient ourselves, clarify our minds, slow down, recover from distraction and focus on the values of God’s kingdom. Poetry, with its power to awaken the mind, is an ideal companion for such a time. This collection enables us to turn aside from everyday routine and experience moments of transfigured vision as we journey through the desert landscape of Lent and find refreshment along the way.
Following each poem with a helpful prose reflection, Malcolm Guite has selected from classical and contemporary poets, from Dante, John Donne and George Herbert to Seamus Heaney, Rowan Williams and Gillian Clarke, and his own acclaimed poetry.


Published by

Rick Wilcox

Editor in Chief | Literary Life