Troy Cady is the founder and president of Playfull, a nonprofit organization which aims “to help people and organizations play from the inside out.” What does “play” include? Storytelling, writing, leadership development, drama, preaching, personality assessments, conflict transformation, philosophy, spiritual formation, and more. Who knew play could simultaneously be so serious and so, well, playful?
Cady did. And he will tell you that play also includes poetry. You can find poems on various subjects right on the organization’s website. Some of those “playful” poems have found their way into his first collection of poetry, Featherdusting the Moon.
The themes and subjects of the 100 poems in the volume vary from nature and family to courage, faith, and childhood memories. We sit with Cady while his father cuts his hair. We listen to the sound of a soaking rain. We experience a father’s tenderness toward his children and his wife. We explore biblical stories. We attend artist Marc Chagall’s bar mitzvah. We watch helicopter seeds spiral from trees. And we walk barefoot in the fields being harvested.
after the harvest
among the chopped stalks
the dust skin-skimmed,
between the furrows
at dusk, thin legs
beneath the blush
match of cheek and sky,
like new-patched jeans
while loved ones thresh
the cache of crop—
hear the catch in their throat,
see the rise in their chest
here in the season of harvest
Cady received a B.A. degree in Ministries from Northwestern College in 1992, studied historical theology at Wheaton College, and received his M.A. degree from North Park Theological Seminary in 2019. From 1998 to 2010, he served as a church planter, team leader, and lead pastor at a church in Barcelona, Spain, returning to the United States to lead his mission organization’s team training programs. He founded Playfull in 2014 and is the author of Playfull: Play as a Pathway to Personal & Relational Vitality.
One finds a sense of play in each of the poems of Featherdusting the Moon, no matter how serious the subject. Accompanying the play are two related ideas. First is the sense that wisdom is to be found in simplicity and in the everyday. Related is the second and twin idea that wisdom is always a partner to humility. It’s a stirring, beautiful volume of poetry.
How to Read a Poem uses images like the mouse, the hive, the switch (from the Billy Collins poem)—to guide readers into new ways of understanding poems. Anthology included.
“I require all our incoming poetry students—in the MFA I direct—to buy and read this book.”
—Jeanetta Calhoun Mish