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Odds and Ends

October 28, 2011

by Joseph Harker

We are making a religion out of Small Things,
weaving significance from yarn and whiskers and wire.

These inkstains are our sacred books, telling stories
of the first kiss, of cat’s eye marbles and baby teeth.

Our pockets hold cowrie shells and birthday candles,
feathers to burn like incense for the mackerel sky.

We are finding the religion in Small Things
the luck in a penny from the year you were born,

the mystery in a drop of mercury sitting sly on the table,
the sanctity in a dandelion untouched and unblown.

Our amulets are rhinestones and peach pits.
Our reliquaries are hollows in the trees that gather water.

We are trading old religion for Small Things,
for they are everywhere and just as important, too.

They hold us together like a chain of paperclips,
and our prayers have dwindled into punctuation.

Thank us for the beauty in tea leaves and eyelids;
bury us in graves that have been measured out in inches.


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Joseph Harker has pretty much given up on organized religion in favor of the more personal, private kind. When not wandering between cities in the Northeast US, he works in the translation industry and writes poems whenever possible. His work has appeared in qarrtsiluni, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Ganymede, and other publications, but you can most easily find him at his blog, naming constallations.

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  1. Deb
    October 29, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Gorgeous, Joseph. I love the rhythm of all these Small Things, the chanting invocation. I, too, have traded old religion for Small Things. This poem is my hymn.

  2. January 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Wow, a gorgeous poem, Joseph! I’m so glad to have stumbled upon this poem! :)

  1. December 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm
  2. December 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm
  3. September 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm
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