Art and LiteraturePoetry

What if the Season is Barren?

They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail.

Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.

Psalm 1:3, The Living Bible


What if the season is barren

rather than bearing?

How if the leaves have curled

and the river has curved

away—away from from this tree, empty?


“Empty? Why art thou empty?”

Asks the Spirit-wind,

rustling through parchèd leaves.

“Have you ceased to delight in

my Word—written, spoken, spilled down?


In the stillness after the query

hangs an echo from ancient days:

“Who told you you were naked?

Why are you afraid? Have you disobeyed,

eaten what I forbade?”


“Yes, Lord,” I whisper in shame.

“I have known good, but evil is now

natural to my broken frame.

I have not delighted in your Name,

to your Word I refused to bow.”


“Yet all these days

I have guarded your ways—

return to me, delight in me.

My arm is not too short to save,

remember this and offer praise.”


Like a long-waited rain to a dry tree

were his entreaties to me.

I took delight as I meditated,

both day and night, upon

his Word written, spoken, spilled down.


Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

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'.)

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