Barbara Crooker


The Twenty-first Century Twenty-third Psalm

The Lord is my GPS, I shall not want. He maketh me to drive the highways
and backroads in their proper order. He restoreth my direction.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, the correct exits,
the most direct routes. Yea, though I drive on the turnpike,
surrounded by SUVs and semis, I shall know no fear; thy coordinates
and reference points, they comfort me. Thou preparest a true course
before me, in the presence of all traffic; I shall not take detours.
Surely making good time on the road shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will arrive at my final destination at the appointed hour.

(first published in Windhover, 2009)


Barbara Crooker’s poems have appeared in magazines such as The Green Mountains Review, Poet Lore, The Hollins Critic, The Christian Science Monitor, and Nimrod, and anthologies such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Her awards include the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, 15 residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a residency at the Moulin à Nef, Auvillar, France; and a residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. Her books are Radiance, which won the 2005 Word Press First Book competition and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize; Line Dance (Word Press 2008), which won the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence; More (C&R Press 2010), and Gold (Cascade Books, 2013). Her poetry has been read on the BBC, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), and by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, and she’s read in the Poetry at Noon series at the Library of Congress.