Art and LiteraturePoetryPrayer

Unless I Die

Unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone.

But, if it dies, it will bear much fruit.  

—Jesus

 

A darkening sky greets the great eye

blinking open its shutter to morn—

o’erhead, coarse comes a rook’s cry,

from here dreams appear bleak and forlorn

 

Here, in my cramped, close cell I hear

the neighbour dog howl in lament—

the dirt and the dark I fear,

they close in and my choice I repent

 

Buried, buried unseen and deep,

with the dog next door I mourn—

my eyes, dreamless now, can only weep,

trapped in the earth like a kernel of corn

 

How long must I suffocate,

freedom denied, in this dank tomb?

Life with death I conflate,

Later to find my prison mould a womb

 

The waiting feels empty and long,

but the Gardener waters the earth

about me, and o’er me raises his song,

stirring my spirit, breathing rebirth

 

The confines feeling so like death

are the only means of shedding the husk

of flesh strangling my dreams, my breath,

clouding my eyes by dusk

 

White rhizome rises, unfurling green,

fresh air floods my chamber, tight,

in my heart awakens a dream

after my soul’s dark night.

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Johanna Byrkett

Johanna Byrkett

Johanna (Jody) Byrkett enjoys hiking various types of terrain, foggy mornings and steaming mugs of tea, reading classic literature and theological essays, studying words and their origins, and practising the art of hospitality. (She also has the singularly annoying habit of spelling things 'Britishly'.)