I am fearfully and wonderfully madePosted Fri, 06/25/2021 - 10:35 by Katharine
To open CCJ's Transforming Intolerance Conference Poet-In-Residence Hannah Stone presented a new poem on the theme 'fearfully and wonderfully made' from Psalm 139
‘Tell us a story,’ you begged.
‘I’ll paint you a picture,’ I said.
I am seed, a speck boring into the soil,
swelling as it sinks, burrowing roots into the earth,
mirroring their reach with stem, twig, leaf
twining upwards towards the light.
I become grove, coppice, thicket, forest.
I am armoured by bark, and tunnelled by beetles.
Curse me, and I will wither – but only for a while.
Cut me, and see how my blooms still blossom.
Fell me, and in the emptied glade
a quiver-full of my offspring
soon shoot up to pin the bright sky
with their spears of new growth.
I am the acorn buried by a squirrel
in a garden plot squeezed between weeds;
I am the sapling that persists
by the side of a road;
the buddleia bole that triumphs
through cracks in the paving.
I am planned and planted,
named and numbered,
owned and harvested.
Under burning skies
I am nurtured
with sparse mouthfuls of water.
I am one, and many.
I am oak of righteousness,
I am olive, flowing with oil,
I am cedar of Lebanon;
I am bright new beech,
fanning beds of bluebells,
I am cherry blossom
for Japanese ceremonies,
I am shade for sheep in the green pasture.
I am bright flags of Canadian maple,
signalling the approach of fall,
I print messages on the winter sky
with my naked branches.
I am hiding place for frightened men,
home to owls and sparrows.
I am climbing frame, lightening rod,
lodestar for the lost.
I am roof, I am fuel,
I am ship, I am arrow;
I am walking stick, crutch,
crocket mallet, cricket bat,
doorframe and gate,
roodscreen and altar,
I am mast and flagpole,
spar and splinter,
cradle and coffin.
I am fashioned into harps
to sing the Lord’s song in strange lands.
My leaves are for the healing of nations.
I bridge the deeps of the earth
and the boundless heavens.
I am more than the sum of my parts.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Learn from me, and lift up your voice:
join creation to sing ‘rejoice!’