Glenn B. Atkinson
Honorable Mention 2007 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $150
Including Third Prize for rhyming poem of $50
About this Christian Poet:
Many years ago I became a Christian, then linguist, computer programmer, husband and father, grandfather and, lately, a poet.
I recommend to you Christopher Smart's poem Jubilate Agno. True, it is strange, rambling, and cryptic. Yet it is compelling. One better-known excerpt from Smart's poem extols his beloved cat, Jeoffry, who glorifies God in marvelous ways.
While nature loudly declares God’s glory, nature can also expose the hideousness of man's sin. When I consider my beloved cat, I sometimes glimpse my sin, its subtlety, its insanity, and its devastation. I need this reminder more than I can comfortably admit.
Apologies to Christopher Smart and Jeoffry
For I will consider my cat ben-Esau, who,
Sated, still craves the chase. For hours he preys,
Stoking his hungers: crouched on his knees he obeys
Man’s curse. For flesh fans flames as he, whose few
Familiars bind both vole and man, peers through
Lush weeds at other creatures of God and stays
As silent as sin. For embers of Adam’s ways
Hiss and whisper why and what he’ll pursue.
For I have witnessed how once he’s coveted, killed,
Devoured, deserted his feast, he cleanses and grooms,
Then often disgorges this glut of his fallen desire,
For his prize infects the more as he stays filled.
For bait breathes out no hints, no wisp of the fumes
Of birthrights scorned for germs, and worms, and fire.
Copyright ©2007 by Glenn B. Atkinson