Beneath the flames

“Again he said, ‘What shall we say the kingdom of God is like […]? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground.  Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” – Mark 4:31-32

“Beneath the flames”

Despair is the flames parading over our
streets with crackling fanfare
and only silence to answer it

An old woman is watching this with
red, weary eyes.  She holds a golden locket
with a seed.

Confusion is the hammer madly pounding.
Denial is the darkness past the flame,
where it is getting hard to see.

An old woman on the sidewalk takes the seed
from the locket and gives the locket to a boy
at her knee.  It fills his hands with gold.

Terror is the dryness in the air
and the wind that carries the spectacle
Pain is the thousand, thousand hands ready
with water but no leader for the brigade.

An old woman kneels in an overgrown lot
and plants the seed into the earth. It is small
like the boy with the locket.

Love is the seeds deeper than fire
and smaller than notice.
Hope is planting mustard beside a boy
with a golden reminder.

Courage is an old woman who knows her odds
and never stops acting.

Listen in the streets. There is a boy singing golden hymns.


Creative Commons License
Beneath the flames by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



With God’s grace and strength, we do not have to be frozen in fear, hurt, and anger for ourselves and our brothers and sisters. Let us take action in our broken world.
God bless
Fire is blowing and here
I am knowing I must move.
Before me there is a house
where crimson chews on the walls
until they fall in, their gaping wounds glowing
in a furnace of war.
I must move.
the fire has been set—it can’t be rewound
like an old VHS. This film only rolls forward.
But while the drama unfolds,
I am caught staring. So many windows cracking,
so many rooms burning, so many cries rising.
The answer is rescue, but I cannot choose a room.
There are too many, this is too much.
I must move.
Will I say years from now that my master was
indecision and my chains were indifference?
Apathy floods these onlookers
like poison gas. I could breathe it
in and float, aimless, in my own mind as darkness
takes us, as I wonder: which room?
I move.
I will pick one room, you pick another, and you
still another. We will pull hope out
of the flames.
We must move.
Creative Commons License
Rooms by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.