Mystic Land and Celtic Saints
Ronnie Smith’s Mystic Land and Celtic Saints is a wonder-full expression of Celtic poetry, scholarship, and art; an amazing creation that needs to be read meditatively so that its spirituality can sink deeply into one’s heart. It is divided, as the title suggests, into two major sections: one on the nature and sacred landscape of Celtic lands, and the second on the rich heritage of the Celtic saints. Poetry and commentary are intertwined, so that the reader can appreciate poetry that sings, and scholarship that teaches much about Celtic history and holy sites. The art that accompanies the text beautifully illustrates the beauty of the poetry itself. Landscape from Skellig Michael, off the western coast of Ireland, to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, off the coast of northern England, as well as numerous other thin places are poeticized; well-known saints from the Patrick, Brigit, and Columcille to lesser-knowns like the bee-keeper Gobnait, the virgin Keyne, and the protector of hares Melangell are shown to be spiritual mentors for today. This book truly is, as Smith suggests in his introduction, a “pilgrimage” well-worth undertaking. Smith’s book reveals how he himself stands in the ancient Christian tradition of the Celtic nature poets who from the 4th through the 13th centuries lived and wrote about the awesome wonder of nature itself.
[Ed Sellner is professor emeritus of theology and spirituality at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota, where he taught for 35 years, and the author of numerous books on Celtic spirituality, his most recent, Celtic Saints and Animal Stories: A Spiritual Kinship (Paulist Press, 2020).]
The Royal Princess and the Three Magical Gifts
“A very inquisitive young princess is about to explore the world outside her royal castle located on the highest mountain in the kingdom. This is a story of her coming of age in a time of magic and adventure. In her rite of passage into womanhood her parents, the king, and queen give her three magical gifts to take with her as she sets off to explore the kingdom she will one day rule as queen. She is directed by her father not to return until she has found one unknown, secret gift. She is told that only she will recognize this one vital gift which she will need to rule justly and lovingly over the people.
Thieves, bandits, lost children, and wise elders encounter the princess, who, traveling in disguise engages in adventures of the heart, mind, and body. She returns to the royal mountain with quite an array of experiences and victories.”
This high-quality book is gloss-covered in both paperback and hardcover and beautifully illustrated by Victoria Horner inside and out. 114 pages of adventure for upper-elementary and for younger, who have a storyteller!
The Last White Ruby: The Vanishing Polar Circles
This extensively revised 2nd edition ( both ebook and paperback) is a poetry collection about the experiences of living and working in the polar environment. The author was an aviator for many years in the polar regions flying for the US Air Force and resupplying the US scientific research stations on a routine basis. The flying was anything but routine, and he brings those surreal landscapes and flying phenomenon to the reader through his keen sensitivity to the human condition and the spiritual reality. It is fraught with danger, beauty, the unusual, and the ever-present foe , whom he greatly respected, of the elements.
The Sky is for Wonder: Poetry for Children
This poetry for children is a playful and brightly illustrated portrait of children growing up, discovering the outside world, all the while capturing the fun of playing in one’s own backyard. In the short pages of this book, we discover the joy of playing in rain puddles, flying a kite, gazing at the flight of birds, discovering the spiritual beauty of the planets and stars, and relishing the drifting snow on a winter’s evening walk. This book is a delight for children and for adults who may read to them in the lilting poetics of its upbeat rhyme.
Roses for the Most High
Poetry celebrating the mystical Christian path. “This booklet of poetry is as rewarding as it is challenging. To start with, it helps to know that much of the imagery stems from years of flying over the ice caps of Antarctica, but the energy propelling the reader comes from the mysticism of the saints and the Holy Spirit. The first reading is merely an appetizer inviting the reader to return flights into ever-deeper prayer experiences. It is truly a work to be treasured and revisited often” — Most Reverend Robert J. Hermann, Bishop Emeritus, Archdiocese of Saint Louis
Deployed Flight and Sometimes Eternity
In ‘Deployed Flight and Sometimes Eternity,’ Ronnie Smith engaged all my senses at once. Through his brilliant imagery, staccato rhythm, and deployment of poetic styles, I joined Ronnie on C-130 missions across the globe. Transported out of myself, I tasted red Honduran dust clouds, inhaled thick Camel-laden Somali air, and witnessed ancient beasts rising from Antarctic tombs. His commitment to storytelling airlifted the mundane into the transcendent. Through his poetic skill, this collection of poems pays beautiful homage to his airplanes, missions, austere airfields, and of course his fellow airmen. (Brigadier General Ed Vaughan, USAF)