Categories
Holy Days My poetry

poem for Ash Wednesday: dust to dust

there is something liberating
about being dust.

i ease my clenched fists open
release control over my own life
and let the breath of God
blow me where it will.

if i am stepped on,
it is no humiliation
and maybe the foot that smashes
will carry me down paths

unknown, to worlds
surprising.

dust has no need for food or drink
or all that ties down weary bones.

dust is not concerned with things
too big for it –
it simply is.

God if i must be dust
let me be
your dust.

let me be
packed into a brick on a lonely woman’s cottage
or built into the child’s mud pie
or let me lie
at the base of a weed
and nourish it with all that i am.

even as dust i am
your beloved;
i am beloved and safeguarded by you.

God i am dust
and i am yours:
shape me as you will.


This poem was written by Avery Smith and belongs to them. Please do not publish it anywhere, or use it in a service, without permission from the author. Reach out to Avery at queerlychristian36@gmail.com for that permission, or just to chat!

I ruminate further on the themes in this poem in this YouTube video.

Categories
My poetry

poem on emptying

the flower empties itself of petals
to make room for the fruit.

the pen empties itself of ink
to fuel the poem’s trek across blank paper.

the moon empties herself of light
in her gentle, gradual way
to teach us that hardest of lessons:
how to love the dark.

and i?
if i empty myself of life’s debris
God knows what might spring forth in me.


This poem was written by Avery Smith and belongs to them. Please do not publish it anywhere, or use it in a service, without permission from the author. Reach out to Avery at queerlychristian36@gmail.com for that permission, or just to chat!

About this poem:

I wrote this poem during Lent 2020, influenced by Sister Macrina Wiederkehr’s A Tree Full of Angels.

We dread emptiness, run from emptiness, stockpile against emptiness — the barren cupboard, the silent hour, the stripped heart — and understandably so!

Yet something in me promises thus: things i wouldn’t believe await the ones who traverse desolation….for even though the One i follow beckons towards ultimate abundance — full bellies and hearts for all — his path takes him and all who dare follow him into the depths of the desert, to the heights of agony on the cross, and into the dark, quiet belly of the tomb… 

In this time, in this place, for you today, what does it look like to follow Jesus into emptiness?