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I’ve been looking for a suitable word
to praise you, Lord. Something enthusiastic
but not too formal, the sort of “happy shout
a child gives to its mother.
I’ve tried Hallelujahs, Glorias and Hosannas,
but really, what I’d like is a word
from my own language, a word that is me.
If I were a bellbird, I’d fill my throat
with ecstatic song. Or, as a lamb,
I could fling myself into a spring dance.
As a mountain stream I would spill out
inarticulate babblings of joy.
And if I were the sea, my waves would explode
in a thunder of love for you.
Lord, you overwhelm me with your great goodness.
Praise should not be difficult and yet
I can’t find the exact word. Perhaps
it doesn’t exist, though if it does,
I’m sure that it sounds like “Yippee!”

Joy Cowley, from Aotearoa Psalms

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