Poetry
By Mercy (poem)

By Mercy (poem)

By Mercy J. Marshall Jenkins Only by mercy do the merciless live another day, and only by mercy does another day come at all. By mercy the rainbow drapes every color over battlefields, and a young sycamore etches spring growth in winter sky. By mercy mortals play at...

Good, In Other Words (poem)

Good, In Other Words (poem)

Good, In Other Words J. Marshall Jenkins Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Mt 5:6). He wanted to do something good, the meaning of which he worked and reworked with improvising mind and earnest heart, with feet and...

What Shadows Belie (poem)

What Shadows Belie (poem)

What Shadows Belie J. Marshall Jenkins In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1:4-5). The more light shines in my long memory, the more shadows proliferate. For an...

What Every Heart Needs (poem)

What Every Heart Needs (poem)

  What Every Heart Needs J. Marshall Jenkins   Every heart needs a witness: hidden enough as it is, it needs to be known, cannot remain invisible, yet it can only be seen by its own. Every heart needs tears lest it shrivel and harden like a forgotten raisin...

Praying Through Depression (poem)

Praying Through Depression (poem)

Praying Through Depression by J. Marshall Jenkins   My Lord God, when the cares of the world distract me from the gift of breath, and my worries insist they are as real as the moment’s pain, when regrets come home to crowd and clamor my memory, and the future...

Heart Like an Oyster (poem)

Heart Like an Oyster (poem)

Heart Like an Oyster J. Marshall Jenkins   Your heart is no mere blue thistle surprise on an altar with lilacs, lilies, and leaves, all of which will die soon after the church service ends. No, your heart is an oyster among oysters resting on coral and sharp...

Taking Wind As Love

Taking Wind As Love

Taking Wind As Love J. Marshall Jenkins I remember the wind that caressed my brow when I could not yet walk well. Sitting in the stroller in hot, sticky Montgomery, I watched the air until it moved, which I took as love without hands, without a face, without words,...

The Formerly Blind Man Remembers

The Formerly Blind Man Remembers

The Formerly Blind Man Remembers (poem) by J. Marshall Jenkins “Tell no one,” he insisted after spitting on dust and rubbing the mud in my eyes until I saw, before anything else, his face. Now I understand: Time ripens like a fig, does no good plucked too soon, no...

The Denial

The Denial

The Denial “Woman, I know him not,” Peter replied on behalf of us all. Give him credit: He did not altogether lie. Who then could claim to know Christ? Time and again he worked wonders and forbade the healed to tell, a futile command, true, but to our eyes, it...

Knowing Wind (poem)

Knowing Wind (poem)

Knowing Wind  for Wanda by J. Marshall Jenkins   The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8). You teach me much about trees,...

Bare Winter Trees (Poem)

Bare Winter Trees (Poem)

  Bare Winter Trees J. Marshall Jenkins In my hurry to the mailbox this cold December morning, bare winter trees draw my gaze from rain soaked roots up to manifold etched fingers pointing - look! – to gray cloud cover sagging under  light poised to burst through....