catholic poetry room
This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Rose Anna Higashi.


Last night’s moonlight was a waterfall
Cascading through dark treetops,
Past sleeping birds, descending to pool
Among the shadowy stones.
Then the deep red geraniums emerged
Like fires set on the sea.

Today, a hot wind comes with June,
People fan themselves at mass,
And the priest’s vestments flicker before us,
The strong red of flames
Stitched in sun-stunned gold.

In the steamy afternoon,
Some eat cherries straight from the trees,
Some nap, their bodies mapped
With little rivers trickling
Over their slow-beating hearts.
In their dreams the doves
Fly from the rooftops,
Their wings ringing a bell,
A bell set in motion
By the Holy Spirit’s quiet breath,
Surging in every sleeper,
By the feathers fluttering
Behind every eye.

Rose Anna Higashi taught Japanese Literature, English Literature, Poetry and Creative Writing at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California, for 35 years. Upon retirement, she was drafted by the Diocese of San Jose to serve as a Lay Ecclesial Minister. Commissioned by then-Bishop Patrick McGrath, Rose Anna served for nine years as Director of Adult Religious Education at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Los Gatos. She now lives in Kaaawa in rural Hawaii with her husband of fifty-nine years, Wayne Higashi. Rose Anna has been writing all her adult life. Her poetry journal, Blue Wings, was published by Paulist Press, and many of her lyric poems and haiku can be viewed on her website,, which also contains her monthly blog, Tea and Travels. Rose Anna’s poems and essays have also appeared in a variety of other publications, including The Avocet, The California Quarterly, Caesura, Poets Online and the college writing textbooks, Visions Across the Americas and Thresholds.

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