to jolt the vacuum cleaner

Rubycrowned Kinglet by Russell J Reynolds

Ruby-crowned Kinglet photo by R.J.Reynolds


Here are two “Antiphons” I wrote that are modeled after the antiphons of

Hildegard of Bingen:



Antiphons in the style of Hildegard


O You Who

made the sharp shinned hawk

with red eyes

rend the singing sparrows

with the silent slice of death,

Who fill the sunset sky with

roses and crows,

Who paint the breast of the warbler

with flashes of Your Spirit,

and crown the finger small kinglet

with Your blood,

bless me with wonder

at the paradox of Your plans.

Like birds,

may my heart’s croaks

and arias

praise You.




O You who squeeze the wind

until she howls,

who wring the rain until

she gushes,

send electric waves

rushing through the cord

to jolt the vacuum cleaner

to roaring life,

I praise your power

moving in the homeliest of things.

Roses on couch cushions,

lamp stands, small city gardens,

bath water slipping down the drain,

steel wool scouring egg crust off the iron frying pan.


vacuum cleaner

<a href=””>Jolt</a&gt;
<a href="">Jolt</a>

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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