Home » 2011 Winners » Hieropraxis Gerard Manley Hopkins Poetry Award to Donna Frisinger

Hieropraxis Gerard Manley Hopkins Poetry Award to Donna Frisinger

The Hieropraxis

Gerard Manley Hopkins Award

for 1st Place

Goes to

Donna Austgen-Frisinger

Rochester, IN

(Poetry Category)


Like her childhood hero, Peter Pan, who never wanted to grow up, Donna Austgen-Frisinger has determined to carry a little fairy dust with her at all times as a constant reminder to view life through a child’s eyes. Today, as a mid-career freelancer who still believes she can fly (via her retro-look Schwinn bicycle, complete with handlebar streamers and ringing bell), her life experiences — as a band director’s wife of forty years, school teacher, performing arts director, dance team coach, Christian bookstore clerk, music minister/evangelist with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and mentor to thousands of kids — all serve her well in her writing career, as she uses her God-given talents to script fresh tales of His Kingdom through creative prose and poetry for both children and adults.


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I fled Him down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears.

—”The Hound of Heaven”
(Francis Thompson, 1859-1907)


by Donna Austgen-Frisinger

All Rights Reserved

Hound of Heaven, pursue my friend; lavishly lick her face.
Please make her giggle, restore her soul, and nuzzle her with grace
To cover wounds in blameless-bliss, beguiling puppy whines,
As balm to heal the ravages defined by Hell’s designs

To cripple and ensnare her in deceptions of the past,
The lies of devils — meant to keep her prisoner and outcast,
When all she yearns for is to feel the warmth of your sweet breath;
Track down my friend, with panting thirst, who’s hitchhiking with death.

Keep scampering, yelping, yipping and just nipping at her heels,
To trip her up and knock her down, until she finally kneels,
Reminding her she’s royalty — this princess in disguise –
Who wrestles with the Hound of Love through tears of blinded eyes,

Enticing her to hug you close, embrace your racing heart,
Forgetting and forgiving all that’s tearing her apart,
Adoring, as a newborn babe, held captive by your rest,
To snuggle and invite you stay as permanent houseguest.


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