Dr. Beth-Sarah Wright

Passionate advocate for authenticity in our lives and in our communities.


An original poem in honor of National Poetry Month.

Inspired by poet Mary Oliver’s “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about it.”



 I am astonished by many things everyday…

Astonished that my children don’t pick up after themselves

Astonished when they do!

Astonished that a maimed squirrel can break my heart

Astonished that breasts provide milk, ducts produce tears, laughter heals, exercise brings relief, and sometimes pain brings peace

Astonished that bellies are distended by the lack of food in one part of the world and distended by too much food in another

Astonished that sometimes they live right beside each other

 Astonished that some grown people deliberately  hurt children, hurt others, hurt themselves

Astonished that pain and mis-love and dis-ease can fester within and urge us to hurt children, hurt others and hurt ourselves.

Astonished that that same pain and mis-love and dis-ease can point us to God and a new truth and a new peace

Astonished that a bowl of water can quench the desperate thirst of a dog

Astonished that the same water can swell into a wave, a powerful force and completely decimate a village, a people, a soul existence

Astonished when we go forward in life that the path may seem uncertain and weary and dark and unpredictable and when we look back it is a clear, straight line…we were meant to be in those places, at those times, feeling those feelings

Astonished by the selfless acts of my mother-nurse who picked up children, men and women, so afflicted with sores, poverty, ill-health, the stench of near death, off a street in Jamaica

Astonished when God speaks to us in a still, clear purposeful and truthful voice….we only have to listen

Astonished by the old Jamaican proverb “every hoe ha’ him stick of bush.” God provides for each of us in love, in wholeness, no matter what

Astonished that man and woman and man and man and woman and woman make love and family and homes.  Together.

Astonished when a life is conceived.  Astonished that God already has a purpose for that life: “before you were formed in the womb I knew you.”

Astonished to pick a ripened mango directly from the tree; it’s nectar warmed by God’s sunshine and sweetened by God’s mercy and goodness.

Astonished when young fertile minds are nourished to do good.

Astonished when young fertile minds are nourished to do evil.

Astonished that there are only 26 letters in the English alphabet and over 1 million words!  Words like ‘mellifluous’ and ‘onomatopoeia’ and ‘if’

Astonished that creative minds pluck from these bare bones to create linguistic landscapes bursting with images and stories and images and stories and images and stories

I am astonished by God, the very fact of God, that God IS.

I am Astonished by God ‘s mercy, by God’s grace, by God’s enduring love.


 Astonish me God!  Astonish me!


 Copyright©Beth-Sarah Wright 2013






2 Responses so far.

  1. gchmts says:

    I really enjoyed reading the poem. It is really inspirational. I, too, am astonished by most of those things mentioned. Keep on writing. Blessings.

    Gloria Mendez

  2. Thank you! My prayer is that we all continue to pay attention, to be astonished and to talk about it. Thanks for reading!

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