Call It Forever: Poetry


‘Every day has something in

it whose name is Forever.’

—Mary Oliver, ‘Everything That Was Broken’


Poets are not being imprecise

when they finger God

with other names.

It’s just that they’re gobsmacked

at the plenitude

of Her appearances.

In a lover

or a creature

or a wind-sparked memory

or a laden scent,

She is there.


And the poet hesitates before the wonder,

hardly dares to call Her by old,

forbidden names,

respects the veiled face,

would not pass the boundary

of the holy mountain.

But would smile at Her profligate incarnations,

nod knowingly at Her inability to leave us alone.


Photo by Marcus Löfvenberg on Unsplash

All this talk of end times

and yet a flower blooms in ash.

In deserts where no human eye will see,

a barrel cactus bursts into frivolous glory.

A calf will skip

for no reason at all

but that her legs are free and easy

and the meadow is springy and alive.


So call it Forever

or Eternity

or Cosmic Energy.

She loves the cover of an awe-struck stumble

to put a word on grace.

She thinks She can hide 

in such a way.

But Ha!

–Alex Joyner

4 responses to “Call It Forever: Poetry”

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