My poetry

poem on emptying

the flower empties itself of petals
to make room for the fruit.

the pen empties itself of ink
to fuel the poem’s trek across blank paper.

the moon empties herself of light
in her gentle, gradual way
to teach us that hardest of lessons:
how to love the dark.

and i?
if i empty myself of life’s debris
God knows what might spring forth in me.

If you use this piece, please credit it to Avery Arden and link this website. I also invite you to email me at to let me know how you’re using it!

About this poem:

I wrote this poem during Lent 2020, influenced by Sister Macrina Wiederkehr’s A Tree Full of Angels.

We dread emptiness, run from emptiness, stockpile against emptiness — the barren cupboard, the silent hour, the stripped heart — and understandably so!

Yet something in me promises thus: things i wouldn’t believe await the ones who traverse desolation….for even though the One i follow beckons towards ultimate abundance — full bellies and hearts for all — his path takes him and all who dare follow him into the depths of the desert, to the heights of agony on the cross, and into the dark, quiet belly of the tomb… 

In this time, in this place, for you today, what does it look like to follow Jesus into emptiness?

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