by Devon Balwit

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.
(From “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” Gerard Manley Hopkins)

What would Hopkins make of our making,
faces and wishes splashed, flashed, fished
from privacy, endlessly posed, positioned,
no nods to creator God, only to the creature,
features filtered golden, sharpened, baited
lures, allure-laden?  What would he think
of our self-focus, Christ shelved, no Deity
within, but all deities, plinthed, pedestaled,
posted—genuflection, the signing of the cross,
now a click, comment, emoticon, tallied,
algorithm replacing rite, a different kind of
scrolling?  Indoors, each one dwells, indeed,
feeding on the all-knowing glowing, blue-
light glazed, dazed, unmoving, hours spent
in worship, speaking and spelling, telling,
each mortal thing doing one and the same,
pleading, needing, self-shoring, self-adoring.


DEVON BALWIT writes in Portland, OR. She has five chapbooks out or forthcoming: How the Blessed Travel (Maverick Duck Press); Forms Most Marvelous (dancing girl press); In Front of the Elements (Grey Borders Books); Where You Were Going Never Was (Grey Borders Books); and The Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry). Her individual poems can be found in The Cincinnati Review, The Stillwater Review, Red Earth Review, The Fourth River, Tap Mag, Noble Gas Quarterly, Muse A/Journal, and more.


Photo: “Kingfisher” by Richard Towell