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—After Gerard Manley Hopkins

We praise the beautiful, the lovely, the kind. We love
those who love us back, that which pays homage 
to our place in the universe. Red geraniums in clay
pots, razzle-dazzle sunsets, babies, the silence
of stars. We celebrate Holstein Heifers grazing
in green fields, rivers, rushing and strong,
little brooks babbling to the boulders as they trickle by.
We glory in pelicans and herons, the red-tailed hawk
and barn swallows and hold holy the salmon swimming
upstream to spawn and die. But how about the scorpion
skittering about the desert flexing its pinchers of steel?
The mountain-climbing goat with cloven hooves? The pot
in pieces scattered on the ground, flowers bruised and
broken? Are we at peace with the dung beetle pushing,
straining, to heft two hundred times its body weight?
With a bloat of hippos, bodies like barrels, teeth, long and
sharp, like pointed words. Do we consider wintery skies
and bullfrogs, the forgotten, the lost? Oh, the mickle joy
awaiting us in the fickle, the spare, the strange!

Photo by Leon Pauleikhoff on Unsplash

Jo Taylor

Jo Taylor is a retired, 35-year English teacher from Georgia.  Her favorite genre to teach high school students was poetry, and today she dedicates more time to writing it, her major themes focused on family, place, and faith. She says she writes to give testimony to the past and to her heritage. She has been published in several journals, both on-line and in print, and in 2021, she published her first collection of poems, Strange Fire.

One Comment

  • Jacquelyn Smith says:

    As always some thought provoking pros!! Love reading and pondering your descriptive words!!!❤️‍🩹