Glory Be (I)

By

To Him who permits the storm-torn hickory to cross upon itself,
savage as thrown ink lines,
Glory be.

To Him who grants the turkey vulture a bare red face,
so that she might reach between ribs of the dead
and pick meat off their bones;

Who beholds
the rusted eye of Jupiter, blasting?
(Like a woman in her fury? I cannot tell.)
Even so, glory be.

Nor can I tell if He ordains
or simply allows hail to bruise
the soft bodies of tree frogs;

or why he does not stop the wild dog
from laughing (by my judgment) overloud.

Glory be to Him
who shaped the teeth of the wolf
in their sockets
‘ere any shepherd shaped his staff;

To Him who planted a fruit-bearing tree then spoke,
“You shall not eat,
for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Glory be.

To Him Who has been from the beginning other,
Who cannot be etherized,
elucidated,
abridged;

Who grants to life gravity and resistance,
Who is untamed by those who would harness Him,
Who spins the moon round,
round and round again,
from dissonance to resolve
until she flushes white and clean,
shining like Moses fresh down from the mountain;
Glory be.

Rebecca Reynolds teaches Classical Rhetoric and Philosophy of Faith in eastern Tennessee, and is a contributor to the Story Warren website. She’s the author and illustrator of the pediatric series From the Medical Files of Dr. Phineas C. Bones and collaborated with Ron Block as the lyricist for his critcally-acclaimed album, Walking Song. She lives in Kingsport, Tennessee, with her husband and three children.


19 Comments

  1. BONNIE BUCKINGHAM

    Yes, Glory BE.
    I was just discussing the word Elucidate with a friend in a book reading
    at a most lovely French csfe ( after seeing Julie Silander this morning )
    and here you used the word! I love this poem and will reread it .
    No He can’t be that or abridged or tamed … and dissonance to resolve.
    Just like Moses coming down from the mountain.
    Rebecca .
    Aching beauty.
    Merci beaucoup.

  2. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    So evocative. Without gravity, there is no dance. Without resistance, patience and perseverance cannot grow. Without a universe which presents alternatives, we cannot choose to trust, or love, or stand, or to have courage.

  3. Matthew

    Amazing imagery Rebecca! I love the focus on that which we tend to shun or fear, yet God created for a purpose, even us who should be cast our forever. Once again your skill for drawing out the dark with a blinding light of hope in its wake is evident, which only reminds me I cannot wait for the next Ron and Rebecca album. My headphones eagerly anticipate the wonder, though they seem more patient than I.

  4. Micah

    Rebecca, I loved this. It reminded me of a question that often occurs to me during summer: Why mosquitoes? And, to extend that question, why tsunamis and Downs Syndrome and cancer?

    I always end up back at these two scriptures:

    “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

    “I believe; help my unbelief.”

    Amen and amen.

  5. Becca

    Thank you, Rabbits. I was nervous about posting this poem, because I was afraid it might be misunderstood. I’m so glad you speak my language.

  6. Matthew

    God bless you Rebecca Reynolds. Just listended to “Colors” (again) and I can only say continue to struggle and continue to stranslate said struggles to word and song, they are truely an ispiration. Makes me long for Home for sure.

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