smudged ashes


Soot colored snow
drifts along the frozen roads,
ice covered and tangled
with asphalt and salt.
Smudged ashes
from the Lenten service
seep deep into my forehead,
gaining traction on the slick roads
that lie ahead –
self control and penance,
penitence and prayer.
Monk-like, I long for the cave
of solitude and singular thought.
Life fills in all the edges of my mind,
rolling the stone over the tomb,
guarding from reflection
in ice covered waters
or the certainty of resurrection
in the blooming of Christ’s wounds
on the hillsides of spring.

36 thoughts on “smudged ashes

  1. Not to mention the possibility of death on the road! Gosh, splendid parallel images of forehead and road. I love the imagery of Christ’s spring resurrection. I love the possibility of a hermit cave that is not a tomb.

  2. How wonderful it is to have reinforcement of one’s faith by studied observation of the world around us. As we trudge along life’s path how important it is to see the signs all around us. Great writing.

  3. “Monk-like, I long for the cave / of solitude and singular thought.” to reflect passion flowers of spring / resurrection…the most beautiful lines of the poem…all the words express a divine serenity…beautiful…

  4. What an amazing poem this is…..the struggle of the penitent’s journey, then the Passion of Christ reflected on “the hillsides of spring”. Really stunning imagery!!! Gorgeous photo too. You are blessed to have such riches right outside your door.

    • Thanks, Sherry. There is a legend of the dogwood telling that the 4 petals symbolize the cross, each has an indentation for the nails and tinged with red and the center is the crown of thorns. And our hillsides are covered in dogwood around Eastertide – always makes me think of this legend.

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