Thorns and Thistles and Briars (An Easter Poem)

By Jonathon Penny


This is a rather wretched place,

All things considered:

More paradox than paradise;


A poky little patch of dust and scrub

Now parched, now drowned,

Shaken and, as often, stirred;


A heaven gone to ground,

Ground gone to seed,

Thorn- and thistle-crowned


And for the very birds—

The dove, the hardy thrush,

The brown chat with his melancholy word.


It’s an abated wish,

This dense and dropping orb,

A momentary, dark, full-throated hush;


A nascent sun, an infant star,

This crib of Adam-Christ:

Worth falling and worth rising for.


(Originally published in Wilderness Interface Zone)