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Walking with Gerard Manly Hopkins on an Autumn Day
by Mary Jo Balistreri

Your words, tongues of fire, I recite out loud
to praise the grandeur of these dappled days
of steady stream, brilliant leaves that endow
me with wonder. They ripple. How they rave!

Here’s the kestrel that climbs, hovers bright,
its eye ever searching for motion below,
then hurls like a streak, his blurred buoyant flight
on prey does he pounce, ray and bird aglow.

And now as we leave and tread down the hill,
your words crackle in fire-fragrant air,
your flames move within, burn steady and still,
where you’ve kindled my heart in deepest prayer.

As days grow cold and dark without sun,
the blaze of your poems will not be undone.


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