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Poetry A Kingdom of Heaven at Hand South pasture—in an earlier day the Nazarene walked this place, or a place not unlike it, alone, or with a disciple or two, like me noting grasses— shattercane, foxtail, purpletop—and wild flowers— blue chicory, white calico aster, lavender crown vetch. And it could well be the voice of the Nazarene I hear asking, Have you, pilgrim, held peace long enough to look and to plumb this world? And what is it you see? Clouds overhead, large and muscular, and by sunset stained the color of grapes. A red cardinal ringing from the top of a cottonwood. A doe, rich in a dash of brown velvet, flushed from the tall grass. Yet we live as dust, speak as dust, powerless to name it all. At reality we fail. Only in belief can we narrate, sing, and only in belief come to real clarity of thought. And we can love this one principle, in one principle, at least, take comfort, that we are children of blue skies and the tall, tasseled grasses, sons and daughters of the Creation and the hand that swept it into Being. And be at peace, like that cardinal in the cottonwood— a bird at rest with a tree in the closed plumage of its bark, a bird at rest with a tree in the opulent spread of its wings. ß Douglas L. Talley Christianity & Literature 2017, Vol. 66(3) 541–542 ! The Author(s) 2017 Reprints and permissions: journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0148333117714550 Author biography Doug L. Talley received a BFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University and a JD from the University of Akron. His poems and essays have appeared in various journals, including The American Scholar, Hellas, and Literature and Belief. A first collection of poems, Adam’s Dream, was brought out by Parables Publishing in 2011. 542 Christianity & Literature 66(3) ...


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