once on a summer mountain

Hey friends! It’s summer, even if right now in New Jersey it feels more like mid-spring (fine by me: keep the oppressive heat away as long as possible). I figured this was a good time to share a poem I wrote about a summer a few years ago when my family and I were adventuring through the highlands of Scotland. The hike that inspired this poem was called “the hidden valley” and yeah, it was as cool as it sounds.

I don’t use rhyme as much anymore, although I aspire to try more of it because I think there’s a lot of value in confining oneself to rhythm and rhyme. The beauty of limitations and all that (God’s really working on me with this, oof). Any critiques or ideas you have about how to make it better would be much appreciated.

A few notes before the poem:

  • I changed my blog theme! Let me know what you think.

  • I’m crazy honored that the wonderful Ekstasis published one of my poems in their spring collection. It’s called Omelette-Making and it’s about (wait for it) making omelettes, with a nod to Andy Crouch’s also-wonderful Culture-Making. Seriously, guys, check out Ekstasis. They have some of the best essays, poetry, and photography I’ve seen in the Christian world, with a rare commitment to valuing excellent art and probing the gritty while also testifying to the light and truth of the gospel. Good stuff, highly recommended, very honored.

  • Last: if you lovely folks think of it, would you mind praying for my arms? The pain has been increasing recently, due to the fact that I have a computer job. I have some big life transitions coming up and it’s not an ideal time to be dealing with this, but I’m also thankful that I have so many similar moments where God has delivered me to look back on and draw strength from. Some of you have been with me on this journey for a while, and I’m deeply thankful for you all. ❤
my photo
once, on a summer mountain, 
the breeze blew my mortal hair
over the mythic threshold,
the boundary of Beauty’s lair.

between the green walls
and waterfalls of stone,
across the chaliced valley
hidden, a Light shone.

like a spiderweb invisible
but at one ray of dawn,
between the rocky ramparts
a glimmer Veil was drawn.

and for one lifespan of a lie,
I, of blood and breath 
and tears and sweat, I, 
marked at birth for Death,

I saw the Veil lifted 
and I felt the phoenix Light
and I beheld the Beauty
with a Seeing beyond sight.

then I knew that, come what will—
be it all and ever pain—
I could live content and whole
from what I saw that day.

One response to “once on a summer mountain”

  1. Dearest Abby,

    Your poem is beautiful. I am sorry about the pain in your arms and I am certainly praying for you.

    All my love,


    Liked by 1 person

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