Hymns once rattled stained glass
and stone built to house the faithful.
In the middle of nowhere footprints
ate grass, a biblical apocalypse
growing dust where green once gathered.
When hallelujahs failed to grow numbers in pews,
failure’s eye stared into the sun without repentance
for planting doom where the meadowlark once sang.
Within the very echo of the last human leaving, bird, beast, and field
gathered to redeem Eden from the curse of abandoned.
Revival now speaks in seeds and prayer rows of growing.
Butterflies are winged notes singing praises for summer.
Crows own the pulpit, rainbows the baptistry.
What man purloined; nature reclaimed.
The tabernacle of Mother Earth grows stronger without walls.

©Susie Clevenger 2022


  1. "....planting doom where the meadowlark once sang" is so profound a line, Susie. I love the turning of this poem from apocalypse to a true rewilding, love the butterflies as "winged notes", and LOVE your closing line. Spectacular. Truly lovely to see you at earthweal, my friend.

  2. A unique poem of nature reclaiming a church. The use of Biblical imagery added to its strength.

  3. Hiya Susie, so good to see you at earthweal, hope you've been well -- This is spot on for the challenge and a delight, the errancies of human belief arighted by the green world again. All that was needed was to cast God out of the Garden.

  4. I was caught by this line: "..without repentance/for planting doom where the meadowlark once sang." That seems to me to say so much about that part of the human psyche that seeks to put a straightjacket on life and human behavior, and to laud us as the supposed crown of creation. Creation here comes from a deeper spirituality, and carries so much more life.

  5. Nature and all creation within it are the most beautiful tabernacle of all. I love this Susie. I actually have a poem I wrote that is a bit similar in message, and I was going to share it in Tiktok and the picture I chose was very much like this one. I thought that was kind of cool.

  6. I don't know if the image inspired the poem or if the image was chosen after writing the poem. Either way, the image and the words work beautifully together.


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