On Frailty


We are gentle.
Breathed into life,
Yet given to war;
Withering mystery
Of a veiled brilliance.

Death showers us into the cover
Of suffering; There, chained;
Held to the wall
In the shackles of hope,
Panting as we do for
Future skies.

“Careful you, thus passes the glory of the world,” the servant reminds.


In future skies
There I walk, not strong enough
To pant,
Not weak enough
To gasp.

I sing of joys,
With voice breathing through
“Let thy kingdom, let thy kingdom.”

Come, question not, only wait,
Suffering advances, only sing.


Beauty draws nigh
To hold
Yet not enough
To climb
Into future skies

Sic transit gloria mundi.
Ah, the servant.

Beauty subsides
Into ash
Only to find
The dark soil of the Corn King.
Dive deep down
Only to rise, only to fade, only to rise
Only to fade.
Sic transit gloria mundi;
The bottleneck of beauty.


We are gentle.
Breathed into the riddle of the blasphemous
Daily muck,
Not the riddle asked for.
Not the beauty envisioned.

Gone the glory
In all that we see;
But the brilliance
There resides not.

For the deepest of beauty,
Of time and war,
We climb the future clouds
Ascending death to soar


Timothy Willard loves to sit with his wife by the bonfire and make up stories about Tom the Backyard-Badger for his three lovely daughters. When he's not carving up the Appalachian Mountains on his Salsa El Mariachi, you can find him busy writing a book, collaborating on a book, or reading a book written by someone dead and gone. Timothy studied beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis under theologian Alister McGrath. The author of five books, including Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society (Zondervan), Timothy is currently finishing The Life-Changing Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019), preparing his doctoral thesis for publication, and trying to find a publisher for his first novel The Tempest and the Bloom. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.