Pied Beauty

August 09, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

California Sea Otters, Mother and Pup

California Sea Otters, Mother and Pup, 2016

When I was a boy, I raised pigeons. I enjoyed releasing them many miles from home and finding that they had returned to the coop. On very rare occasions when two steel-grey homing pigeons mated, the plumage of their offspring was not at all like that of the parents. The parents had "thrown a pie" as pigeon-keepers called it. The plumage of the offspring was mottled, dappled in odd colors, and uniquely its own -- the wild resurgence of recessive genes.     -MTM

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things--

For skies of couple-color as a brindled cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; 

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; 

Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.


All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.*


-Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1877



*This poem is in the public domain.


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