"Lightning Strike in Paradise"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Feb. 13 2007 7:11 AM

"Lightning Strike in Paradise"

Click here to listen to Andrew Hudgins read this poem.

Jesus-the-wind combs Jesus-the-rye and shakes the limbs of Jesus-the-scrub-pine-and-alder, while a tractor, disking the rye, churns into the sunset red clouds of Jesus. Jesus-the-bank-of-young-ferns fringes Jesus-the-sluggish-and-rocky-stream rich with tadpoles, crayfish and almost invisible minnows, all Jesus Himself. Jesus-the-green-worm inches up air. He humps His body, pulls His end to His middle, and pushes upward to where he started, climbing His own fine thread until a gust of Jesus snaps the silk and sends Him flying. Jesus-the-lightning explodes an oak. Jesus-the-thunder reverberates through green leaves, the Jesus leaves, silencing the Jesus-chitter of squirrels, wrens and cicadas, and in the distance the tractor never stops grinding rye into the earth, preparing it for seed, as the gunpowder smell of nitrogen settles over heaven.

Andrew Hudgins' most recent book is Shut Up, You're Fine: Poems for Very, Very Bad Children. His new book American Rendering: New and Selected Poems is due out in April.  He teaches at the Ohio State University.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 20 2014 7:00 AM Gallery: The Red Planet and the Comet
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.