This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by John Hopkins.


“Bless the Lord, whales and fish;
birds of the air, bless the Lord;
bless the Lord, wild beasts and tame;
people of the earth, bless the Lord.”
– Canticle of Daniel

Bless the Lord, weasel under the shed;
you, skunk, who has given noisome birth
on more than one occasion under the porch,
bless the Lord;
bless the Lord, bunny that rests in the clover at dusk;

Bless the Lord, chipmunks bent on the destruction
of my stone foundation;
hawks bent on the destruction of those chipmunks,
bless the Lord;
bless the Lord, cawing crows, invading sparrows,
and the robin I spied nesting inside a holly tree;
bless the Lord, circling turkey vultures
keeping our streets free of carrion;

Bless the Lord, ants that seek and
find the sugar bowl;
you mice, who always manage to scare
the bejesus out of my wife when you need
the warmth of inside, bless the Lord;
bless the Lord, brown marmorated stink bug,
who once, in the dead of winter, landed on my desk
to warm under the light of a gooseneck lamp,
to watch me write;
(I miss you, my friend!);
finally, bless the Lord, you evidently harmless
house centipede, as you cling to the top
of a wall just out of reach of our frantic swatting;

and while you’re at it, bless us who can’t seem to bless you! Oh bless the Lord!

Bless the Lord!

John Hopkins has been an English teacher for forty-two years. He was the New England
Association of Teachers of English (NEATE) poet of the year in 2008, and his poetry has
appeared in Commonweal, Saint Anthony Messenger, The National Catholic Reporter, The Leaflet, Sr. Melannie Svoboda’s blog Sunflower Seeds, and Father Timothy Joyce’s book Celtic Quest.  For the past six years, John has been a Benedictine Oblate affiliated with Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, Massachusetts. He loves to read, write letters, tramp the Blue Hills, and play pickleball with Kerry, his amazing wife and the mother of their wonderful children. In February of 2021, John’s first book of poems, Celtic Nan, was published, and in February of 2023, his second book, Make My Heart a Pomegranate, was published. You can reach John at

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