Haley’s poetry featured in poetry magazine

Posted September 01, 2014

Albert Haley’s “Little Angel," a poem about humans’ limited scope of control over their lives, has been published in the latest issue of Rattle

Haley says the creative inspiration for the poem draws on his faith and relationship with the Lord.

“Lately I've been trying to imagine new ways of envisioning how God cares and wants the best for human beings,” Haley says. “The challenge I set out for myself here and in other poetic meditations I've written is to describe our intersection with the divine presence, using metaphors taken from familiar, even mundane, aspects of our own century.”

Haley, ACU professor of English, graduated from Yale in 1976 with a B.A. in economics and has served as writer in residence at ACU for 17 years. Haley has also taught fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction workshops and business and professional writing courses since he joined ACU in 1997.

Haley’s latest work can be found in the 45th issue of Rattle, a quarterly poetry magazine, available on newsstands, by subscription, and online. The current issue is devoted to the theme "Poets of Faith."

Read the poem "Little Angel" below. Also see "Presidential Poetry Briefing, " Haley's riff in verse about events in the news during the week of June 8.


Little Angel

is bent over black coffee, drinking
insomnia for going on twelve hours.
The Big Guy Upstairs just handed out
Alpha Romeo Charlie 2-9-9
and the sloppily filed flight plan
to punch into the computer.
Some plan. Like so many, this wannabe
thinks all it takes is a college degree, set
the controls, and it will be wheels down,
trim flaps, and proceed to baggage claim.

Put that aside in order to let sober eyes
make sense of green blips on a field
of black. Call out course settings
while up in the cockpit the man or woman
is turning pages of a magazine.

It’s true. They think I Am Very Important
and therefore somehow, some way
People Like Us can autopilot past life’s mid-airs,
bank and slip around the swollen eyes
of storms, get a free ride on the jet stream.
Not how it works, though, in a cosmos
where the effort in the murmuring control
tower goes on every hour, every minute
of every day. Focusing all atoms
of existence in a warping and wooing
of reality that has no exact word for it.

Fate? Faith? Inspiration from beyond?
Sure, call it whatever and remember
to throw in a wing and a prayer.

Making sure you reach the destination.
Getting you eased onto the runway.
Trying to do it without your ever knowing
what showed up a minute ago on the screen.


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