Thursday, June 17, 2010

Praise Song

Shaker boxes were designed
to last forever. The finger joinery,
or swallowtail design, allowed the
joint to breathe without warping.

A jeweler liking the story of forever
copied the swallowtail design on a ring.

The ring is a butterfly's lyrical passion
to turn and turn and rest —and fly again.

It is the inhale and exhale of breath,
the rhythm of the day.
It is the drying out of seasons,
and the harvesting of memory and moons.

The ring is a circle drawn together with fingers,
gathering and overlapping—the way
winter runs in upon spring.

It is smoothness of moss on rocks
and silence the color of sun
when it dips soundlessly behind a mountain.

It is a reflection of everyplace the ring goes,
a mirror of birch trees, of water and stone,
of Indian Pipe and Knapweed and Buttercups.

It is touch alive as hands clasp,
fingers stretch to reach
and circle around to catch jubilant light.

It is a praise song

Linda Watskin 2010
Big Tent Poetry


  1. Oh beautiful. This poem humbles me on a deep level. Thank you for evoking that. Dovetail joints are beautiful. There is a cabin near my parent's place built with square timbers dovetailed together. The owners take great pride that their are no nails in the exterior of the place.

    You took this prompt to a place of great beauty, Linda. Excellent post!

  2. Amazing work. I don't quite the words to describe this poem, except that it has a gentle and eternal beauty. Since you speak of the concept of the ring, I tried something -- I read this poem backwards (i.e. stanza by stanza, not line by line), and it makes sense both ways.


  3. I meant, I don't quite have the words. Sorry about that.

  4. the title drew me in right away, as did the epigraph. :)

  5. Beautiful. I love the last line, so simple and so effective.

  6. Beautiful to tie the natural world with the hand-crafted. "gathering and overlapping—the way/ winter runs in upon spring." particularly captured me.

  7. each stanza is perfect and worthy of re-reading and reflection. I thought this was the center:

    It is the inhale and exhale of breath,
    the rhythm of the day.

    beautiful praise song!

  8. The whole thing is beautifully crafted, but I really love "drying out of seasons." The piece is a breath of fresh air -- praise song indeed!

  9. This is a quite lovely image crated here...beautifully written.

  10. Beautifully elegant and reminiscent of age-old artistry!

  11. beautiful -- the poem itself is a ring.