There lives the dearest freshness deep down things . . . Gerard Manley Hopkins
Balsam floods the woods,
swathing our senses
like moss swaddles roots and earth.
Ferns flutter in the shadow
of the wind moving through,
while we descend into the sanctuary
of the gorge like the sun lowers
its long beams through the green
lattice of leaves above. We hope
to hit bottom as the thrush
throws its deep voice across the crevasse.
Where a woodpecker knocks on a door
of oak. And a lip of limestone loosens,
tumbles down, greets us at the stream.
Which even now rips through rock,
then pools its energy along the banks.
Where minnows animate
the ruin, stirring the cup
brimming with revival, their small bodies
flashes of hallelujah.
From the manuscript Scandal of Particularity.
This poem first appeared in the American Poetry Journal.
Used here with the author’s permission.