THE GREATEST OF THESEby Benjamin Daniel Lukey


I hear
All the old things
Calling with sweet voices.
I didn’t think I missed them, but
I did.


A well-worn game trail,
Long used by deer and rabbits,
Has been rudely blocked

By an old cedar.
Time and disease wasted it
And its roots gave way.

See, here, what is left
Of its long, feathered branches:
Spikes, long as my hand!

The deer do not mind,
For their legs are long enough
To step over it.

But the poor rabbits—
See by their tracks, here, and here—
Must all turn aside.

For it is too tall
To safely leap over it.
Look: one of them tried.

His blood stains this branch,
Dry, but still brilliant crimson,
In a wreath of fur.

What was chasing him?
He thought, on the open trail,
He could outrun it.

Perhaps he could have,
Were it not for this blockade.
What a wicked end!

And just to this side
The trunk is bare of branches.
He could have made it.

He missed by inches
And paid for it with his life.
Look before you leap.


The talking heads will babble
And weigh you down with trouble
And fill you with dismay,
But do not heed the pundits
For trouble has its limits
And Love can win the day.

For Love, dear friend, is stronger
Than hatred, greed, or anger,
And more to be revered
Than wisdom, wealth, or courage—
Than power, strength, or knowledge—
And never to be feared.

It won’t be comprehended;
It cannot be demanded,
Yet it is free to all.
It wears the oldest mantle,
And though its mien is gentle,
Its subjects are in thrall.

For Love is God’s own essence!
To Love we owe obeisance,
And how can we refuse?
So be you saint or sinner,
Take up Love’s splendid banner
And go and spread the news.

Go forth and love your neighbors!
Go fan the dormant embers!
It has been said before:
That Love, dear friend, is stronger
Than prejudice or anger
And Love must win the war.

About the Author:

Benjamin Daniel Lukey lives in Monroe, North Carolina.  He teaches high school English classes whenever he is not fishing or writing poetry.  His work has previously appeared in Edify Fiction, Sincerely Magazine, Gathering Storm Magazine, and other publications. Please visit to read more.