Like Penitent Flowers — A poem

(Hardy German winter blooms call my heart to genuflect and reflect, as they seem to take what I remember my grandmother referring to as ‘the penitent form’—bowing in humble repentance… appropriately, as Lent progresses.)

(C) Garden flowers, Otterberg, DSA, 03/18/22

Like penitent flowers,

Blooms of the late German winter,

I bow my head.

I hold off my reach

For the approaching light;

I keep shuttered, my room,

For vital pause;

I acknowledge earth’s thirst

And the lingering dry

Of this wintry wilderness time;

Lest, rushing to Spring,

I forget.

The butterfly coming to sip

Must pause,


And alter

His desire,

For nectar, sweet;

It must first condescend

To enter

The hanging heads,

Of the penitent winter blooms.

So, my soul, foot-tapping for brighter days,

Like the fluttering pollen gatherers

Eager for productivity,

Driven, busy, worker bee,

Must bow,

In humble genuflection,

Considering His condescension

Who came;

Calling our name,

In days of our shame.

Minded by the flowers

Of the late German winter,

I’ll wait,

I’ll take the penitent form,

Before I enter in,

To drink once again,

Of the One in whom

We live,

And move,

And have our being;

The One from whom flows

The honey in the Rock

That was struck,

And cleft,

For me,

For you,

For us.

_________(C)DSA, 03/18/22

Author: Denise S. Armstrong

I am Denise Stair Armstrong - worshipper. My purpose is to glorify God by enjoying Him in all of His Creation, among His People, His Bride, the Church; accentuating His glorious Bridge of reconciliation — the Cross of Jesus Christ — through words laced with His Truth, and cast abroad in the world He loves, and died and lives again to save. I was born and raised Jamaican, where I also received my formal education at Shortwood Teachers' College and the University of the West Indies, specializing in English Language & Literatures in English. The remainder of my education was gained by homeschooling our three wonderful children (Joseph, Charis, and Timothy) and parenting them with my husband Claude. My passion is worship expressed primarily through writing inspirational pieces that urge readers not to miss how much the Lord has "cramm'd earth with heaven", to quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning. My heart is to encourage community, in the best sense of the word, through exalting the cross of Calvary. I enjoy reading, writing, cooking, gardening, theatre and ballroom dancing (only with Claude!) and digging into the Word of God.

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