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.
Jody Byrkett is the editor of the Pray channel. She lives in picturesque Colorado where she enjoys hiking by sunshine or by starlight, 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 a habit of spelling things ‘Britishly’.)