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February 13, 2012 / Rae Spencer

Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things

See all the small
Beautiful things
I’ve crushed under my boots
Or my tires
Or my hurried, strident tongue

The perfection that was a beetle
Splintered because its jeweled shell
Could not bear my weight

And my regret might feel
Like a question
I haven’t the wisdom to ask

The intricate heartwork
That was a rabbit
Dashed under my tire
And left for the vultures

Who might partake of rabbit
Skin and fur and bones
Delicate answers
Ground within the gizzard
And lost

So that should I someday
Remember the question
Or think it first in a dream
Only the vulture could answer

The simplicity of “Why?”
Lost for lack of time
Or patience
Or knowledge enough of children
To know that the answer doesn’t matter

Only the voice
And the moment
And the ritual of exploration

So I offer the only answer
That addresses the question
“Because it must”

Which is also “because
I must”
Which answers all the questions
I have the wisdom to ask

Published in The 2006 Chaffin Journal


  1. marshmallowfluffxo / Feb 13 2012 3:08 PM

    great photos!

  2. kathrynmartins1 / Feb 13 2012 5:05 PM

    Hi Rae. Do you think acceptance is our way to a makeshift peace? We are surrounded by the unacceptable. The way our world balances is not fair. This is a beautiful poem. Such loss, but at least sometimes it can feed another. So many bitter things to swallow and so much beauty everywhere–your poetry included. I love the beatle, by the way.

    • Rae Spencer / Feb 13 2012 6:14 PM

      I like how you say, “… acceptance is our way to a makeshift peace…” Thank you!

  3. kathrynmartins1 / Feb 13 2012 5:06 PM

    Beetle 🙂

    • Rae Spencer / Feb 13 2012 6:15 PM

      I do that all the time! 🙂

  4. Spiral Dreamer (Francis) / Feb 13 2012 8:12 PM

    Great post in many ways, writings and photos. 🙂

    • Rae Spencer / Feb 13 2012 9:09 PM

      Thank you! (I need to write a poem about moose, so I can have an excuse to travel somewhere and take moose photos!)

      • Spiral Dreamer (Francis) / Feb 13 2012 9:20 PM

        That would be a good excuse to travel. Northern Ontario is moose paradise.

  5. Angela / Feb 13 2012 8:35 PM

    Both the poem and the photo of the cucumber beetle (so like a ladybug and I never knew there was one) are incredibly beautiful. The first lines are gorgeous…., especially the last because, as a mom I’m forever plagued with the little beautiful things I crush with my tongue, whether in haste or temper or simple carelessness.

    My son and I try to watch out for things when we are about. A bee, a worm gone astray from the flooded grass, the tiny ants swarming on the curb, a small snail latched to a rock at low tide. I tell him he is like a giant in their home and he must behave with care and be watchful. But sometimes we fail to extend the same care to those around us.

    Absolutely love this poem. Thank you for sharing your gift.

    • Rae Spencer / Feb 13 2012 9:23 PM

      In my files, the cucumber beetle photo is labelled “ladybird”… I wanted to know about my “green ladybird”, so I looked her up, only to discover that she wasn’t a ladybird at all! And thank you for your comments about the poem. I’m thrilled that it resonated for you!

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