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Diane L. Tucker

About this Christian Poet:
I was born in 1965, grew up in Southeast Vancouver, got a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from UBC in 1987, got married, had a a daughter in 1990 and a son in 1993, had my first book published in 1996 (God on His Haunches, Nightwood Editions), then wrote a novel and another book of poems, both of which are as yet unpublished. I sing in my church choir, serve on the executive of the Burnaby Writers' Society, and have walked the family dog, Doxa, approximately two thousand times.

This Usurping Beauty

The trees beside the way are beautiful,
sun-glassed, breeze-licked.
This road passes the best beaches,
the ones with perfectly round rocks,
the driftwood climbable
and shaped like cunning animals.

Make straight the way of the Lord,
make straight his way, because right now
it twists like hell. It veers too close
to the cliffs over that sea,
to the seeming sky-bound jump-off
into foam like a swimming school of pearls
that would lodge in your eyes,
a-shine you as you hit the waves,
rush you into sea-song, siren suicide,
destination the gilt-grit bottom.

Everywhere off our path
seems a breathtaking place.
Every mossy greenness calls,
every blood-coloured cloud
over mountains knows my number, knows the way
to whisper to me, every stone and crocus,
every stem and leaf's jagged edge.
They know how to rasp my name.

Am I so worthy, to be wanted
in all these grown-over places,
these ring-shaped dells dripping
with moonlight and elfish toadstools,
these pathless, vine-covered thorny hollows?

Or is their call a trick—
wind across a hole,
air at the right angle across a bottle's neck?
The mix of winds in that bottle would be poison,
would kill me with sweetness,
a bloody tang like thorns
piercing the tongue.
My voice would be choked off
extinguished, strangled
by this usurping beauty, these ill-transplanted flowers.

Copyright©2002 by Diane L. Tucker