Michael Lyle

Home Movie

I sit in the green-metal chair
on my grandparents’ patio

my terrier stands in my lap
barking at my grandfather
who pretends to hit my knee
so the dog can pretend to defend me
with growl, snarl and wagging tail

the stone scene chiseled
near the bottom of the column
grown from childhood memory

roots tangled in black earth
rife with wheat
that waits the tap of sun


Different Heroes

as a boy
the singing sword
quick-draw marshal
soldier, king

but now I’m old
a mole in spring
his friends the rat and toad

small bald man
wrapped in white
spinning civil rights

most dogs
and monks
my mother

saint with a sweater
in his neighborhood of make believe

orphan boy
with a forehead scar

nameless man before a tank

ancient teacher
and his peasant throng

a woman on a bus


Baby Boom July

My parents sit
in the darkened living room,
chiaroscuro faces
from the black and white TV.

The boy next door
sits alone
in his father’s car.
Pop rock rattles
the cracked speaker
above the glowing dial.

The street light
marks the bus stop
like an empty stage spot.

I press my hands
to the warm asphalt.
(The cowboy’s ear
to the rail.)

Crickets rub
in the brimming dark.


Michael Lyle

My meditative/contemplative practice springs from the Ignation spiritual tradition that seeks to find God in all things. I begin the day in my favorite chair by the window with my two dogs nearby. After writing in my journal, giving voice to whatever is on my mind and heart, I read from Robert Benson’s wonderful book Venite, A Book of Daily Prayer and conclude in guided meditation via the “Pray As You Go” app produced by Jesuits in Great Britain. Throughout the day, I try to be mindful of the myriad ways in which God reaches me anew in the spaces, sights, sounds, textures and relationships of life.

Michael Lyle has always written, but he’s also been a producer/director at a television station, an English teacher and an ordained minister. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Canary, The Carolina Quarterly, Dappled Things, The Hollins Critic, Leaping Clear, The Main Street Rag, MockingHeart Review, Mudfish, The Opiate, Pilgrimage, Saint Katherine Review, The Windhover and other journals.

Michael’s chapbook The Everywhere of Light (Plan B Press) was published in 2018. Gathered Stones, Divine Encounters in Everyday Life, a collection of stories from his early years in ministry, was published in 2005, and his other creative nonfiction has appeared in The Christian Century and Rock & Sling.

Michael lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

More on Michael Lyle’s work can be found on our Links page.

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