The Chasm & the Passage: Poems by Andy Patton & Anna A. Friedrich


Three Things Newsletter has curated a collection of poems composed by various poets in the L’Abri community. It is our pleasure to share two of these poems with you today: an interpretation of “Psalm 22” by Andy Patton and “Reservoir” by Anna A. Friedrich.

Psalm 22

My God, My God,
You are the sparrow’s fall
And the flower’s garments.
You are the hallowed hammer
And the hanging tree.
I am poured out like water.
Why have you forsaken me, my father?

Yet surely I was cast on you from birth.
From the ordinary altar of my mother’s womb
You have been my God.

You are the light’s benediction
And the silent sky,
Both the chasm and the passage,
My canticle and call.
I am the veil, gripped and rended,
In the darkness until the dying is ended.

You have pierced my hands and feet,
Yet as long as light has walked between stars
You have been my God.

You tell the sun your grief
And darkness dances across the noon.
You are unyielding.
I am cross-hearted and heaving.

All who cannot keep themselves alive
Will kneel before you.
You have been my God.

You shake the shattered earth of its ancient dead.
You are the breath in buried chests
Who rise and walk and praise you again.
I am the fountain found
I am the holy wine swallowed down.
I am trussed and scattered.
As grapes are crushed, I stagger.

Though the beasts surround me,
And trouble is near,
I will find your face
For you have been my God.

You dreamed of flesh in the ground, growing.
For you are the God of scattered seed.
But now I am kernel crushed
Chaff blown, flayed and flying.
I am the flesh you dreamed of dying.

Why are you so far from saving me?
I can count all my bones.
My heart melts. I lay in the dust.
As long as the afflicted have lifted prayers to you,
You have been my God

I am the holy bread, chewed and eaten.
I am the Prince of Peace crowned and beaten.

Andy Patton


The swans have mated
again despite the virus—
seven cygnets, fuzzy, golden
huddle in the reservoir
between their cob and pen.
Each in turn dives, apprenticed in
the slow current. Crickets still
chirp along the banks
though it’s almost midday.
Poison ivy sprouts
across Beale’s path and
pollen from white pines dusts
the water’s surface and its debris,
dusts my skin, dusts everything
because this is the season
of determination—
when winter’s layers
peel back like a mask
and hope in every species
flings wide as if irrevocable.
I let their voices accompany
the call of the mourning dove
into my inner ear—
the labyrinth where I’ve
heard, equilibrium

Anna A. Friedrich

Click here to read more selected poems at Three Things Newsletter’s website.


  1. Tyler