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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 resides.

Anna A. Friedrich


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

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