Literary Journal – Spring 2016

Shimmering Threads of Living Light

Poem by Timothy Jost


Sometimes in life we are fortunate

To stumble upon a miracle in progress –

humbled in gratitude

exploding with excitement –

we realize we are witnessing an event

so precious that it feels like we are touching Heaven.



On this day, in mid-spring,

I walk toward my courtyard gate.

Perhaps the tiny peripheral movement catches my attention.

Perhaps Nature is whispering to me to take notice.

Is it Chance or Destiny that has brought me to this very moment in Time?



My footsteps are arrested,

I am halted in my tracks.

There, resting upon my wood-slatted potting bench

is a praying-mantis egg case that I had set aside

in autumn when I was pruning.

Now, months later, a miracle is unfolding –

a once-in-a-lifetime experience of Creation.



Paper-thin louvers have opened like a window blind –

Hundreds of tiny mantes are spilling out,

half-inch crystal threads, clear as glass,

newly formed miniatures of what they will become,

Tumbling over each other with instinctual determination

Instantly turning color, golden filaments of light

Immediately marching into their new world,

Seeking refuge for a post-partum rest.


Within minutes they have scattered throughout the garden,

some only inches from their birth,

others up to twenty feet away.

Once again they’ve changed

From golden-wheat to a light chestnut-brown.

They linger at their respective perches for less than an hour.

Life demands moving on —

To eat, to elude predators, and to reach adulthood

so the cycle can be repeated.

And the miracle as well.


Timothy C. Jost is a curious naturalist, writer, and educator. Holds M.Ed in Creative Thinking and Problem Solving. Writes poetry, essay, nonfiction, memoir, and children’s. Focus in nature appreciation, psychology of fear, personal effectiveness, and social evolution. Avid cyclist and gardener. Enjoys spiraling down rabbit holes of research and etymology.