Devon Kelly – Five Poems


I’ve been watching
   The peony fists,
      Veined in pink,
      Gloved in green,
And waiting
   For the end of their resistance,

   For their open-palmed billowing
   Toward generous death,
      Heavy as Cordelia in her father’s arms,

   For their edges wilting,
      Browning like crusted blood,

   For their givenness.

Malachi 4:2

Tender with mercy, raw pink morning,
Like skin of a baby freshly born,
Cries across sin-sick earth and, healing,
Bursts from its tomb, its womb of silk,

Refulgent with life, brightly bleeding
On those who crouch in the shadow of death,
With widened span, in radiance gliding
And crossing lands only darkness traversed.

Your heart will be strengthened; your once weak knees
And legs will laugh as a calf from the stall when you
See what is borne on the eastern breeze –
Dawn rising on gilded wings.


These tight-lipped tulips,
Though now wrapped up babies
Swaddled in a sunset,
Will open one day.
They have too much to say
To be silent forever.

See them flush coral
As flaming blood rushes
Through their petals.

Their secrets will burst
And their round mouths will speak
And sing as a sunset of
Beauty in morning,
That this long night
And silence
Are not all there is.

Death forces them open.
It forces them wide
And open as arms of one
Utterly open,
Baring their hearts of
Sunshine and life
In everlasting yellow.

Thawing In March Rain

The chilled and chapped-lipped earth
of turned up russet and green,
beaten by the wrath of a bizarre winter,
exposes its wounds to

the steady pelting rain
soaking and softening.

The melting snow seeps –  
with the rain that meets it,
a confluence of purities –
into that ground
all the way down
to the once bitter root beneath it – 
 my heart.

My heart
infected with You,
steeped in Your blood,
the steam of Your purity enveloping me
and rising
like steam rises from the earth
thawing in March rain.

On Grünewald’s Altarpiece

As grey-violet mist
settles on and lifts
from arthritic tree limbs
and the lichens that cling to them,
scalloped lichens,
seashells on trees,
reaching with upturned palms
twisted in pain
to the sea in the sky
and the blue that still lies
behind it,

did You open Your palms
and drown on a tree
that is littered with green
and buds?



Author’s Statement on Beauty

 I am still stumbling over beauty, and I believe all the beauties of this world are simply shadows of God.  In the natural world, I hear echoes of Beauty. In my poetry, I explore the echoes as well as a Tune I can’t wait to hear fully. I write as a means of enjoying the beauty of God brought near to me through Christ, through whom I am, as C.S. Lewis puts it, welcomed into the dance. The sensory nature of poetry gives force to its language, contributing to its infectiousness, and I hope my poems, even a little, smell of and sing with this beauty and welcome.


Devon Kelly teaches English and piano, and loves the way language and sound meet in poetry. Her work has appeared in Time of Singing. More at: