December fig leaf fallen on winter grass

Can a clergyman poet, noted for the purity and effectiveness of his choice of words ( who died 390 years ago have anything to say at this dark year’s  ending?

Yesterday, I savored a verse from George Herbert’s poem, The Flower

And now in age I bud again,

After so many deaths I live and write;

I once more smell the dew and the rain,

And relish versing. Oh my only light,

It cannot be

That I am he

On whom thy tempests fell all night.

George Herbert | Source:

Where can I find peace, security, real hope as 2024 begins? 

Not in escape, fantasy, self absorption, polemics, transient praise, false power, inflated ego,

And I remember another poem, written around 1000 BCE by David, Shepherd, King…


The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters,

He restores my soul.

he leads me in paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

thy comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

forever. Psalm 23.

Peace or the Tree of Life, final sketch by  Marc Chagall, for the Stained Glass Window, Sarrebourg, France | Source: Book published by Paulist Press