Poem: The Gentle Warrior


Tulip in troutville

The Gentle Warrior

Winters kill.
Not every flower rises to bloom again.
That is the truth,
that every struggle does not end in victory,
every seed does not bear fruit,
that for some the harsh season runs too long,
the roots are not deep enough;
that the damage runs too deep
for spring to heal.

But still, the gardener persists,
the gentle warrior,
willing to prune,
to tear out the dead by their dry roots,
pull away the strangling vines,
to plant again in the face of death,
to nurture, even when your own soul
is dry and brittle,
starved by dark seasons
that go on, and on,
far beyond their time.

About this poem

Sometimes troubles run too deep. Sometimes we are too broken. We need a gardener. God. A pastor. A therapist. A wise friend. Or perhaps we can be someone else’s gardener. It doesn’t take perfection to be a gardener. It takes love, and willingness to do the work.

But gardens don’t just happen. Going it alone makes for nice myth, but leave a garden alone long enough it becomes a thicket of weeds. Our lives are no different.


  1. […] I draw much inspiration and encouragement from a fellow Bedlam Creative Group member Tom Atkins, whose amazing poetry speaks to me every time.  Here is a link to his poem of the day https://quarryhouse.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/poem-the-gentle-warrior/ […]

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