Dr. Robert Moore, a member of the faculty at the University of Arkansas at Monticello who writes under the pen name “Red Hawk,” has won an international poetry competition.
The acclaimed poet captured the grand prize at the 2014 Poetry of the Sacred competition sponsored by the Center for Interfaith Relations, a part of the Institute of Contemplative Practice based in Louisville, Ky. The competition drew entries from 34 states and four foreign countries.
Red Hawk’s winning poem, “What Worship Is,” will be published in Parabola magazine, a two-time winner of the FOLIO Award for editorial excellence. “Parabola brings together some of the foremost writers and thinkers of the time to explore timeless themes of human existence through the wisdom of sacred traditions,” said Moore.
Red Hawk’s poem was read aloud on stage at the Festival of Faiths competition by contest judge Hamza Yusuf, who has been called “the Western World’s most influential Islamic scholar” by The 500 Most Influential Muslims. For more information, contact Dr. Robert Moore (870) 460-1738.
What Worship Is
At dusk, Cousin John is driving home
when a rabbit darts in front of his car and
is thrown, tumbling and spinning,
into the tall grass beyond the shoulder.
Now here is where John emerges from
the pack of ordinary brutish humans
and assumes a form we barely know:
he stops the car, pulls off to see
what harm he has done. I don’t know
anyone else who would have stopped;
he finds the rabbit broken and thrashing
but not yet dead in the tall grass,
goes to his trunk for a hammer, returns
and finishes what chance started. Then
with the claw part, he digs a shallow hole
and puts the body in, returns, drives home
heavy with sorrow, feeling remorse,
having performed his humble sacrament to
make right what has gone wrong in us;
we have forgotten who we are and
what we must do.