A Rumination of Kenyan of the Feie


I chanced to watch a jaybird on a branch,
his plumage pompous, colorful, bedeck'd as royalty.
And thought myself, "So haughty is your crest--
your gaudy blues and blacks are proud, you never suffer shame."

And then I heard him sing.

He lurched and retched to formulate his song,
as wracked with pain, the effort to produce unseemly croak.
And, nodding to myself, I saw at once:
in spite of all his finery, if aught depended on his voice,
a beggar he should be.

Perhaps each proud soul knows its own humility.

And then I saw a sparrow in a tree--
he, garbed in parson brown and gray, the sackcloth of his kind.
No crest adorned his modest balding pate;
no splash of color to augment his unassuming dress.

And then I heard him sing.

A glorious rain of music filled the air,
a twitt'ring pirouette of notes erupted on my ear.
And, leaping from his perch, did then proceed
to fly and sing, to sing and fly, to paint his song across the sky
just like the bow of God.

Perhaps each meek soul knows its own bit of glory.

Do I presume to understand these things?
Not I, whose face is reckoned drab, whose voice more cheerless still.
But faith compels me to behold and learn:
Creator Architaedeus, who wisely decorated thus,
rejoices in each song.

God, You shall hear me sing.

O praises, may you ever grace my tongue--
with lively hallelujahs sing, with whispers softly pray.
With grateful worship bless the God who gives--
for, though I ne'er deserved--my heart, my hands, my eyes are filled.


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© 2008 Robert W. Tompkins. All rights reserved.