Honoring the Unseen (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Honoring the Unseen (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Honoring the unseen poem by Polly Castor

Honoring the Unseen

Recently a friend
complimented a woman
on her gorgeous sari
and was shown
the intricate stitching
on the inside where
it would never be seen
as well as the detailed
filigree on the backs
of her stunning earrings
that no one would ever notice.

The obvious correlative
is to think about the unseen God
but I spend a lot of time
looking at (or for) that
so my marveling went elsewhere.
Why bother being good
and make a conscientious effort
when no one knows about it?
Some would say God sees it,
and maybe so, but…

My husband has been
gone for a week
on a nice trip out west,
and I have not
been behaving exactly
as I would
if he was here.
Nothing alarming, but it
still causes me to wonder
if authenticity waivers
on a spectrum of whether
you are watched or not.

What if
what defiles us is only
the subversions, laziness,
straying, and frayed unruliness
that are unobserved by others?

What if
what matters in the end
is how our seams look
on the reverse side
and how glossy
our soft spots are
while concealed from view?

Our sinks are
empty of dirty dishes
for our guests,
but what about for ourselves;
and do we talk about friends
behind their backs, declaring things
we wouldn’t say to their faces?

It seems to me
that the unseen God is the
supreme sovereign of the universe
because lady slippers grow deep
in the untrod forest
and icebergs glimmer cerulean blue
regardless of whether adventurers
ever beheld them or not.

I am left wishing
to shine up my hidden but dustily
metaphorical corners, purge my
stashed hoarded stuff,
and disinfect, polish, and boost
my deficient and frail
kindness to my own inner self.

I want my concealed landscape
to blossom in congruence
with my most gleaming legacy,
and what is beneath my skin
and within my heart and soul
to radiate more incandescent
than the most ravishing
external countenance.

This is not about compunction
but about transcendence.

The sari was
remarkably lovely
because of what was
invisible to the eye.
Painters create
for a reason: they
effect and influence
the end result
even when completely covered.

And if you’ve ever
had the privilege of
stumbling on a patch of trillium
or snorkeling with a parrot fish
you have witnessed a hint
of how the great Unseen on high
honors the small, quiet,
deliberately cherished
unseen in us.

And it might be
just as important
to see through
the blatant, ostentatious,
and overtly conspicuous,
to perceive and appreciate
how the subtle unseen
impacts everything–
and to discern that it is
what is actually
momentous and paramount.

by Polly Castor

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I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Gillian 7 years ago

    Hi Polly, this poem is deeply thought-provoking and sent me straight to Unity of Good by Mary Baker Eddy page 7 ….. an acknowledgement of the perfection of the infinite Unseen confers a power nothing else can.
    Thank you so much.

  2. Becky Smith 7 years ago

    Polly- I like this poem on many levels! Thanks!

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