The Art of Grilling, Religious Reflections was written over a series of weeks while grilling dinner. The grill was under the deck against an outside wall facing west. Which means it was protected from the prevailing winds. And so was I. And so I cooked. Drank an IPA and read Rilke’s Book of Hours. Then found myself writing poems in response to his. On the pages of the edition I was reading.
Outside of the first poem, the poems correspond to Rilke’s. I suppose it could be seen as a liturgical exercise – his poems answered by mine.
Fortunately, there are no wrong responses. Unfortunately, the responses are not as good as Rilke’s poems. But my name is Hoot not Rilke. His poems spoke, speak to me and at that time I was moved to respond. To the best of my ability.
I am a son of a preacher. Actually, generations of preachers. And while I am more than deeply suspicious of religious institutions, I believe in the urge – inherent – towards religious experience as a significant part of my life that makes its essence essential for a richer, fuller, and more courageous life.
I often turned the flame lower so I could stay out longer sitting in the chair that stayed out all year, reading a poem, sipping an IPA, and writing what would not let me alone.
I hope you enjoy these poems.