Upon Visiting the Home of C. S. Lewis (3 poems by M. Lee Alexander)


Pilgrim’s Premise

(Upon visiting the home of C. S. Lewis)

It’s not that he loved our Lord more than we

(for we too live to magnify His Name)

but that he did it so abundantly, and with such joy,

and yes, precision, that it sometimes puts our

fumbling thoughts and faltering hearts to shame—

and if you ask us, that is why we came.


The Kilns Gardens

(Upon Visiting the Home of C. S. Lewis, Headington, Oxford)

The garden in thin mottled sunlight blooms

as rose vermillion, hidden through the gate

bursts forth in subtle splendor by the wall

the air alive with birdsong as the doves

and magpies call; white petals scatter

to the ground like wild post-wedding bliss

and stray cat Radar scans this magic land

in search of prey, but purring with

familiar friendship settles for some cream

at dusk while ladybugs their leafy world

explore—dark foliage berry-crowned—a lone

three-legged muntjac deer finds solace here

protected from the autumn evening’s cold

as ash-grey wooden benches soaked with time

bid welcome to the garden’s secret joys.


The Kilns

(Upon visiting the Home of C. S. Lewis)

The taxi takes us back in time
past ivied wall and steepled spire
to grounds and gardens steeped in joy
and loss and fullness and desire

Then down the path and through the gate
to rooms that echo with his thought
where lovers, friends, and brothers met
and children played and scholars fought

To see his photos line the shelves
to hear his poems, laced with lore
to read his letters, frank and kind
and weigh his words on will and war

To meet a man we never knew
to tread the ground his feet have trod
and deep of his anointing drink
to touch through him, the face of God.


Featured image by Tom Darin Liskey

47689528_2794601977474300_8016050098519670784_nM. Lee Alexander’s work is inspired by her love of language, music, nature, and travel. It has appeared in a variety of journals including The MacGuffin, Litchfield Review, Eleventh Muse, Quill and Parchment, Niederngasse, and Beltway Quarterly. It has also been anthologized in a number of collections. Her first chapbook Observatory was published by Finishing Line Press in 2007 and her second Folly Bridge by the same press in 2011. Her book-length poetry volume was published by Aquillrelle Press (2018). Alexander’s poetry has won significant awards including Finalist for the Robert Frost Foundation Annual Poetry Award, Finalist in the Political Satire category of Ireland’s Strokestown International Poetry Competition, First Honorable Mention in the W. B. Yeats Society of New York Poetry Competition, longlisted for the Bridport Prize, winner of the Yeovil Literary Prize in 2009 for which the judge was UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and a Pushcart Prize nomination for 2017. She has performed her work, sometimes with jazz accompaniment, across the mid-Atlantic region and internationally. She has judged local, statewide, and international writing contests. She teaches creative writing at William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, where she resides with a house full of pets.