You stand before me like unbroken bedrock,
a red oak ripe from Indian summer, staunch,
unrelenting, crown rich in autumnal hues,
golden swells of fire that pierce like longleaf
pines, life to my death as heartwood is to
timber. You extend a hand — milkwhite,
dalliant, fingers as taproots, ribbons that
bifurcate my thoughts through clay. Spring-
tails dance around your sapling trunk, blind
to the fury within mine — scribbled ventricles
walled with sap, welled from decay, wilted
from drought. Plowmen come for us. They
sidle by your dew-dropped leaves, aglow in
glory, bastions of tempests inlayed by flame,
pale reflections of regents — until they reach
mine, which crick like herringboned jags,
sallow wisps bored hollow from regret. You
watch from afar as they pick me apart,
branch by branch, thought by thought, cut
by axe until I swallow soil, until blackness
depresses, until fog settles in like kin, a
comfortable smile that warms like whiskey,
while winds rip roots from sediment and
scatter them amongst the brindled dead.


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Posted by Jason Ramsey

Christian. Dad to five, including two sets of twins. Husband to favorite person. Guy behind ALTARWORK and Amity Coalition. Interests: mental health advocacy, social equality, religious freedom. Writing featured at Patheos, Venn Magazine, The Bees Are Dead, The Mudroom, My Ink Dance, ALTARWORK, and more. Leading by leaps of faith and grace. Exposing goodness every day.


  1. Really powerful words, Jason. That stripping and uprooting (depression perhaps?) are so difficult to go through. What you also convey so well is that disorienting sense of being on the outside of yourself watching it happen. Thanks for sharing. I’m always struck by your poetry.


  2. Yeah, this. Great word pix here. Very onomatopoeic and lush, almost unrelenting in its sensory assault, not unlike what it seeks to convey.


  3. Wow Jason! I had no idea such depth of talent resided in you. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to exploring your other works of art.


    1. Thanks, Erin, I appreciate it. I write all kinds of different things and have been published here and there around the web. Thanks for reading! 🙂


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