Christianne Balk

Here you will find the Poem Lauds for St. Germaine Cousin (1579-1601) of poet Christianne Balk

Lauds for St. Germaine Cousin (1579-1601)

Blessed is the One who lifts the slow sun 
 above this morning's raw orange edge, 
who moves the ewe to nudge her birth- 
 stunned lamb into the flock's heat, who 
leads the hen to steer her keets as soon as 
 they can walk into the insect- 
filled, high grass, guides the owl to tear fresh 
 pigeon into pieces small enough 
to fill the owlet's gaping bill, 
 and prompts the rat to lick the pup 
that's not her own and take it to her side, 
 directs the swan to trumpet, 
bob her head, and raise her wings, quivering 

 into a living canopy 
above the nest built without hands 
 by those who have no hands, just wings, 
wings that cannot weave but must and somehow 
 do, just as I twist thread from the distaff's 
wild wether wool, skirted, sorted, scoured, 
 and drawn into bumps of roving 
held awry until the sun lifts 
 high enough to warm these slow fingers 
spinning fast and faster, dropping 
 the spindle like a top, whorling 
fibers clockwise to pull the yarn 
 taut and straight, plying many into one.