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.



Hi everyone,
This is a poem inspired by Jesus’ teaching to his disciples that even a little faith can do great things. Matthew 17:20 (NIV) says, “…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
It’s easy to feel like we don’t have enough faith to face trials or even believe in something, but Jesus tells us that we don’t need much faith to do what seems impossible. Maybe he used the metaphor of the seed because seeds change and grow, and so does our faith and understanding.
God bless!


i am a
     seed of faith.
i am small
    and get blown in the wind.
i am hard to pick up
     and easy to drop,
but i am here
     and i am strong.
i am not strong because
     i am big
but because in my core
    is a Spirit
who nurtures and grows
     and makes me more
          through its power.
i am a seed
     of faith
          and i have been planted.
through summer storms
     and winter cold
          i hold on.
i spread and i change,
     i break free
         of the surface
into the air.
     my roots, branches, leaves
we were not meant
     to stay seeds forever.
the joy of a seed
     is that it grows.

Creative Commons License
Seed by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.