Fire (Meditation on the Psalms: VI)

Photography by Jere Hock

Foliage dense on mountainsides

And wild’fires burn

Thicket heaves a smoky breath

Monsoons drown the afternoon.

The world is alive.

Rapt and ravenous,

Passionate the elements and

Susceptible to pride.

Does God not tire in rescuing us from our God-given nature?

My soul is his sword

Glinting in the flame of the eye

Of the one struck down.

I am proved but who considers the blows I’ve delivered?

When corrected, purified,

Beauty consumes away like a moth,

Burned by the light.

Who knows the secret of the heart? Who has gone away to find it?

I wait for one to return…

But an eagle lay dead upon the ground

So is as man in honor but without understanding.

He is blessed whom God beckons,

He sees nothing but God;

The earth and all its inhabitants:


The precision of summer lightning

Splitting the core of the single spruce

Melted flesh bearing up vaulted pillars

The kingdom of God is at hand.

I see mercy and it is far above the skies.

Only you know how to let us hear,

Only you know how tears sown in the ground are brought up as joy,

Only you have delivered my soul from the depths of the most glorified hell.

The one who weeps bears the most precious seed.


©2017, Amaya Engleking



  1. Harry Miller · July 1

    I find your poetry very challenging. I am trying to read it with my soul, rather than with my mind. As a fan of paradox, I like the line “Does God not tire in rescuing us from our God-given nature?”

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 1

      I was just reading your Hunan piece, so funny cause a former student of mine from when I taught in Hengyang, Hunan is currently visiting. (I’ll have to finish reading later but looking forward to your Hunan condition:)

      Thanks for reading this, the last written of the Psalms series. I wouldn’t however, consider this particular one poetry, but a contemplation on how we who choose the path to God are tried. And I do like that sentence as well. Pretty much exemplifies my fascination with the Creator and his/her creation.

      • Harry Miller · July 2

        The Confessions of St. Augustine has had an influence on me in recent months, even though I keep interrupting my progress to read something else.

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