Adoring You

[The words of this sonnet are printed below.]

[The words of this sonnet are printed below.]

This poem follows “Perfect in Her Eyes,” and the introduction to that poem would be helpful to read in this context.  The two sonnets were written many years apart, but themes tend to recur.  In this case the connection between them is imagining how much joy the spirit of life must get out of all its very different manifestations.

It is important to let our share of that great joy rise to consciousness now when the survival of life on earth depends on our collective will to love and save it.

I wrote “Adoring You” almost twenty years ago when I was first trying the sonnet form.  The poem came out of two close encounters in nature—watching an otter play from fifty feet away and then watching a beaver that crossed my path twenty feet in front of me.  I was close enough to hear its teeth gnawing the wood and the chips falling on the ground.  I stood still as it took down a tree and struggled to haul it back to the river.  I saw the tree get hung up and the beaver do what the poem describes.

The older I get the more I marvel at the variety in nature and the vast differences in strategies for survival or for satisfaction of the basic drives that we all share.  The milkweed with its amazing flower, pod and seed, contrasted with the little milkweed beetles or monarch butterflies that depend on it for their own survival and satisfaction.

I love Northern Woodlands magazine—for years it has been the only publication I read cover to cover.  Some of my favorite articles are about the tiny lives of the woods and waters, like this one about caddisflies, or this one about the golden tortoise beetle larvae fecal shield.

The most fascinating creatures of all, of course, are humans.  My father fondly observed people’s foibles and follies, saying dryly, “There’s a little human nature in all of us.”  I know people who frolic through life like otters and others who plod like beavers, and many more who are sometimes one and sometimes the other.  Whoever you are and whatever your approach to life may be in any given hour, please take this poem to heart.  The spirit of life is…

Adoring You

An otter swims the beaver pond at night,
not going anywhere, not fishing, just
splashing and somersaulting, feeling light
and fast, fulfilling muscles’ joyous lust.
Meanwhile the beaver plods across the dam.
His tusks gnaw hard heartwood to carve their V.
He lugs out cut-down trees.  They snag and jam.
He pauses, turns.  He stands.  He jerks them free.
Can you imagine a god that loves both these—
the otter celebrating pond and power,
the beaver struggling to catch streams with trees?
I think God loves the good use of an hour,
adoring spirit’s flow through every child
who tames the world with work or swims it wild.

copyright 2020 Thomas Cary Kinder

One thought on “Adoring You

  1. Dear Tom, Patience and I loved this sonnet. Loved your manner, love the juxtaposition of the beaver and the otter… As you can imagine we can relate from the pond at Snow Haven. Curious that God was small letters once and capitalized the second time. Curious if that was intentional or a typo. Keep up the good work. Interesting to hear Donald Hall’s reflections on dead metaphors but there’s nothing dead about your sonnet. Thank you brother!

    Like

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