By Mark Watney
O Lord our Shaper1
your name is whirled through all the world
Your greatness heaves2 beyond heaven
It catches in the breath of a child and on the breasts of a mother
It confounds the fiend and be-filths3 the foe
When I see your fingers forming the pillars of earth
and flinging moon and stars into space
What is this little man that he matters to you?
this hobbit hiding in a hole?
You made him little less than angels
You worthy’d4 him and weighted him with Glory
You put under his feet flying fowls5 and fish6
furrowing7 through whale-roads8
O God, our World-God,9
your name is whirled through all the world.
————- Scyppend (shaper; maker; Creator)
 ahefen (heave up; raise)
 bysmore (filth, disgrace)
 geweorthast (to worthy)
 fleogende fuglas
 sae-fiscas (sea-fish)
 sae-wegas (sea-ways, often referred to as “hron-rade” or “whale-roads” in OE).
Mark Watney’s first poem was about a snail, published in a 1976 anthology of the best high school poetry in South Africa. Four decades later he published a 2nd poem– at the age of 56. And now, at age 61, he hopes to be finally hitting his stride. He says his brain is slowing down, yet seems to have finally acquired a certain poetic sensibility–perhaps as a consolation in old age. Mark is a professor of English at Sterling College, Kansas.