Feathered, Pleated Strength – Psalm 36 loosely translated

photo by Ray Hennessy via Unsplash

Psalm 36

I know the sinful utterance of the wicked–

know it like the back of my hand,

know the sound of it,

the taste of it as it passes my lips.

I have heard myself quickening the dead letter of law

while God whispers in my ear,

“Let it die!”

I protest my innocence by acknowledging my guilt

yet wallow in the protestation.

I cannot trust my own words.



speaks only in silence

But this spring spewing lies

has been my mother tongue

for ages

upon ages.

Bare beneath the heavens

on some island or plain

I sense your Love,

immense and free


It saves all creatures,

draws all to an end.

Like some great wing

or flourished skirt,

You cover us with feathered,

pleated strength.

A table is set.

There is drink and food.

A river flows

and a new fount gurgles.

It is as if we had never drunk before,

never seen the light.

If I have any place of pure desire

let it be met by your Love.

Don’t let it be trampled by my arrogance

or chased by my confusion.

Here I lay aside my dead body

and deader soul

to be sustained by You.

–Alex Joyner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: