Between the church and town,/ long-legged birds wade in river water. So much/ like them, we’ve moved against the current…

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
—Gerard Manley Hopkins, God’s Grandeur


Like silt at the bottom of creek boulders,
wading against the current must be residue
of an apostasy proclaimed, a paradise lost
somewhere East of Eden. But it was good.

There would be toil and a struggle for love,
and upon his progeny an edict of suffering
pain at the birth of all begotten children.
But does this act not bring exquisite joy?

What price life if it were merely a wading
through the gentle streams of a lotus land?
Why flaunt dominion over all that grows
or dies for these where nature is never spent?*

Let me shield my heart, hearth, and home
With all the strength and defiance I can hold.

—Albert B. Casuga

* Hopkins