All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine

For the Hávamál, Verse 75

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This morning I found a stag beetle on the sidewalk,

Turned over on his back, pawing endlessly

At the sky to turn back over;

I found a piece of grass and let him clamp on to it,

Carried him over to the nearest lawn and let him go

So no bird would eat him, so no foot would come crashing down

To stomp out the life of the ‘ugly bug’.


This morning I told an old woman I passed

That the skirt she was wearing—

A constellation of sunrise hues, flowing like silk to her ankles—

Was beautiful;

Her entire face lit up, far more than a smile,

And I wondered how long it had been

Since anyone told her anything of the sort.


This morning I saw a cat in the road,

Run over, pulp, recognizable only by

One ginger ear sticking up jauntily out of the mess,

And I cried to see it, sobbed the rest of the way to work,

Wondering what child would soon be missing their beloved pet.


This morning I found a nickel in the grass near a street crossing;

I thanked my gods for the gift,

Because every bit, no matter how tiny,

Is more than I had before,

And it never pays to turn up your nose at the gifts of the gods,

Because then they may not give you any ever again.


Most of my deeds are done in private;

I do not do good for the praise I gain from others,

But only because it is good to do good,

And ill to do ill,

And there need be no other reason.

But I do occasionally wonder—


Who will know my name when I am gone?

What part of me will—after death—live on?


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