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  • Skylar Hamilton Burris

The Invisible God

The Invisible God: Poems for Devotions

by John J. Brugaletta

Resource Publications, 2017

ISBN 978-1-5326-1848-2

The Invisible God contains a collection of over seventy-five poems arranged in seven sections. The subtitle, “poems for devotions,” suggests that these verses might inspire thoughtful meditation, and several of them are indeed thought-provoking, though I read each section in a single gulp. The poetry is well metered and much of it is rhymed, but the rhyme is never obtrusive.

The first section, Quests, includes reflections on seekers such as the magi, the rich man who came to Jesus, and those of us today who still wait with uneven faith upon the Messiah. The next section is one of Assurances, and here the poems “Hope” and “The Leper” especially stand out. The third section explores Praying and features “Cheater’s Prayer,” a somewhat satirical, rhythmic poem from the voice of the lukewarm.

The Desires and Deception section knocks off with a haunting, emotional poem titled “Desires.” In the next section, Church, my favorite poem was “Church Pews,” which describes with slightly wry affection worshipers going through the motions at a church service. Despite the imperfections of the worshipers and the service, however, ”something in the walls, and those they hold, / makes us all particularly bold / to bare what we would otherwise keep hid / a meter deep and sealed tight with a lid.”

In the sixth section, Messages through our World, “Close Shave: A Western” grabbed my attention. The poem doesn’t seem to quite fit with the others in this collection, and yet it was one of my favorites. The verses painted a clear picture and the story so concisely told really did convey the overall feel of a western. A section on Translations rounds out the volume.

The poems contained in The Invisible God are all quite well done technically. Overall, however, I wasn’t as emotionally moved as I like to be when I read poetry. Nevertheless, I would recommend The Invisible God to others because of its quality writing and thoughtful themes.

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