A Still Small Voice

I.  A Still Small Voice

If ravenous winds didn’t claw your house apart
Turn it upside down
And shake everything loose–
Every dark crevice and dust-filmed corner robbed of their secrets–
Would you still, even now
Just be sitting there on the porch, cool evening,
Begging for a revelation
While a quiet breath brushed your hair,
Stroked your delicate neck–
Oh, LORD, please, LORD,
just one small sign.

K. Ashby



Holy Week: Hope and Resurrection

How does the hard and frigid soil,
packed from winter’s brutal toil,
think that spring will ever show–
unfurl above, thread below?

What tiny hope stirs in the deep
to resurrection’s vigil keep?
What life beneath is waiting there–
renewal’s meat, drink, and air?

It’s Adam’s dust, from Adam shaken,
soil to flesh, the flesh then taken
back to earth for life above–
warmed, reborn by perfect love.

K. Ashby


Holy Week: Nature Tells the Truth
Holy Week: Perfect Love

Holy Week: Nature Tells The Truth

agriculture backyard blur close up
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Maybe you’ve shoveled compost into your garden beds, mixing the dark organic matter that some gardeners call “black gold” into your native soil. Or, maybe you’ve walked into the woods and inhaled the moist, verdant fragrance of humus, that soft, springy top layer of the forest floor. What does that fresh, earthy fragrance have in common with compost, or aged animal droppings?

They’re both the product of death and rot. “Homemade” compost is an amalgam of discarded organic material—grass clippings, food waste, manure—that has rotted for months, aided by sun, moisture, insects, micro-organisms, and humans. The result is a dark, rich soil component that smells like the forest floor. We add this compost to our gardens for the same reason humus is vital for the forest soil–decomposing matter is rich with the nutrients plants need to thrive. And just as death is no respecter of persons, decay eventually touches every living thing.

Everything that is vibrant with life dies and decomposes, both things that are beautiful, useful, and loved, and things that are poisonous, rotten, and unwanted. Richly-hued autumn leaves; fallen, unpicked fruit; the maggot-infested carcass of a baby bird fallen from its nest; tattered dragonfly wings; and fragrant pine needles all become a part of the nourishing forest floor.

Everything that is vibrant with life dies and decomposes, both things that are beautiful, useful, and loved, and things that are poisonous, rotten, and unwanted.

As one season gives way to the next we might grieve the loss of beauty, or recoil at signs of decay, but these are necessary for new life.  A wise gardener knows the same truth shouted by a thriving forest. Death is not the end.


Holy Week: Perfect Love
Holy Week: Hope and Resurrection

Silent Shout


Anyone can see
those pale curves were molded by a master.
No amount of dust, no darkened corner
can hide the same truth told by the sun
as it sinks into lavender mountains–
rustling, fragrant trees hug glinting streams,
uncurling ferns, a dragonfly wing–
the creation reveals its creator
with a silent shout.

K. Ashby


In the Quiet


LORD, one of these days
I’ll stop singing other people’s songs.
Their words will die on my
lips when a simple melody
creeps out of my fearful heart
and makes a dash for freedom,
growing stronger in the light
like all things good.

K. Ashby