Unless I Die

Lamenting the dark night of the soul. . .


Unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone.
But, if it dies, it will bear much fruit.


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 a 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.


  • April 12, 2017

    Kristen Sosebee

    Love this, Jody!

  • April 15, 2017

    Jody Byrkett

    Thank you, Kristen!