Imago Dei (a poem by Glynn Young)


As prelude to our discussion of Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water, Literary Life Fiction Editor Glynn Young offers the following poem.

Imago Dei

by Glynn Young

If the work comes to the artist and says, “Here I am, serve me,” then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve.

–Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water.

all they are: lumps

tangled globs
primordial soup
flickers of light
clouded images
nonsensical ideas
gushing words
formless voids



lumps to prod and poke
excavating with a backhoe
or a trowel to find
an image

crowds swirl
and meander around a statue
a memorial
holding up icons in the sunlight or
holding up smart phones in the sunlight
or both or the same
yes the same

and a man comes and
sits among them
they touch his sleeve
they look into his eyes and
turn away when they see him
looking into their souls

he speaks they listen
he jokes they laugh

they know he is one of them
one of them with them
and something more
something they cannot reach or touch
something they cannot grasp, quite

lumps melt
images form
words firm
a scene emerges into the light
and people

worked like clay
over and over
worked and shaped
beyond knowledge
beyond experience.

It is almost finished.


Glynn Young

Glynn Young is the fiction editor at Literary Life. He’s the author of three published novels in the Dancing Priest series – Dancing Priest (2012), A Light Shining (2013), and Dancing King (2017), with the fourth, Dancing Prophet, to be published this fall. He is also the author of the non-fiction book Poetry at Work and a contributing editor at Tweetspeak Poetry.





Image by Tom Darin Liskey