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Abigail Knutson

Honorable Mention Rhyming Poem 2010 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
I discovered the world of poetry when I was four years old and realized that words with the same sounds were practically begging to be said aloud together. I relished the alliterative phrase "Jackson and Jefferson" as lovingly as if it were a sonnet and proclaimed "busily bee went up the tree" with complete satisfaction in the emphatic rhymes. Poetry is a delight to speak aloud, a window to enlarged space, and a mingling of the songs of sorrow with the songs of rejoicing. My poetry seeks to ride those rhythms, look through those windows, and sing those songs.

About this Poem:
This poem grew out of a discussion in my Bible Study about the dry seasons of the soul. I wanted to explore why so often life in the midst of dying is the way of the cross, so I turned to the metaphor of the garden to explore the mystery of spiritual and physical rebirth.

Elegy from the Garden

Where once flowers bloomed in a riotious tangle
of scents over green blades crisscrossed in a mesh of life,
now naked earth sighs for the snow.

My last withered leaf can barely dangle
on a skeletal vine clinging to the gate once rife
with colors so drenched with sun they used to glow.

How could death have without warning marched
and overcome my well dressed horde?
I still grieve for the gold streaked light

which thinned, grew restless, then finally arched
its back and padded on for other flowered shores.
Longing for the way warmth used to curl tight

around each blossom, I shudder
in the cooling grasp of winter’s arms.
Somewhere, somehow, I did something wrong.

Stretching from roots to stamen, I used to utter
praises with the crimson skies that charmed
each tendril to curl forth in fertile song.

The dark sky looks soon to be snow starred;
it seems the end has come for all things green.
Sun sputters just a figment of its former blaze.

Gazing at this gray cloaked graveyard,
I am faced with my futility.
It was not I who called forth those verdant days.

Life seems scripted by another’s pen
as though a deeper plan moves within this chaos.
Did something larger, higher, farther call forth life in me?

If I could experience the mystery of growth again,
I would delight in the sweet black earthiness
of the budding present—not rush forward ceaselessly.

Cold fingertips run along my icy back,
a feathery chill as if my frozen clay still yearns to dance.
Breath of wind carries hushed notes of cobalt blue.

Has this frozen regime come under attack?
As sluggish song tingles through my numbed expanse,
I begin to hope my garden heart can be renewed.

Every chocolate inch of soil rejoices in the silver rain,
sweet gift of heaven baptizes even the unworthy.
Each seed and stirring proves a mercy not my own

clothes the lilies and determines where they’re sown.
Joys of heaven reflect in patterns plain and earthy:
let my flowers sing an offering to the highest throne.

Copyright ©2010 by Abigail Knutson