A Poem for Apocalyptic Advents By Cassie Hartnett

CW: Strong Language

It is not the end of the world, my therapist says, 

and I don’t believe her.


I read somewhere that maybe the mentally ill, the addicted, the over-dramatic, 

the vulnerable, the socially awkward, 

the crying-on-the-subway-at-2pm-on-a-Tuesday

might just be the canaries


The bright yellow birds in the darkness of the mine that are screaming and screaming 

for someone to hear them, 

saying this is wrong, this is fucked up, 

this is loneliness and brokenness and disconnection and death.


This is the end of the world.


About that day or hour no one knows, 

no one knows when the sun and the moon will go dark 

and the heavens will fall to the earth,

when suddenly we’ll turn around and the tectonic plates will have shifted, 

the cracks in the foundation will send rubble down into the caverns of the mines

where the canaries have been singing 

let us out let us out let us out


And we sing that song every day for weeks 

and we are the birds with bones too brittle for this world, 

with feathers that fall out and drift away on the breeze 

and we feel delicate and small and raw and vibrating 

because this is the end of the world.


So we watch. 

Jesus, you said to watch and I am watching every day. 

I’m watching so hard that I’m shaking on the phone and I can’t ride the subway 

and none of my friends are sure I’ve been eating. 

I’m keeping so alert that when my girlfriend’s phone dies I assume she has too 

and my therapist says 

why do you smile when you talk about wanting to disappear?


Jesus, you said to watch 

and so I am also watching the fig trees put forth their leaves 

and the babies that go out walking in the park, 

their little faces turned up towards the sky that stays just where it belongs 

and for a minute in the sun I think


Maybe the world goes on. 

And maybe I must stay awake to see it through.



Cassie Hartnett (she/her) grew up on the Connecticut shoreline and graduated from Union Theological Seminary in May 2019, where she studied psychology and religion, and wrote a new play for her thesis project. Previously, she studied at Barnard College and spent two years in the Twin Cities serving with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, including work with ReconcilingWorks. Cassie began her internship year at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Parkville, MD this August. In her spare time, she practices ballet and yoga, bakes excellent cookies, and can recommend a great queer young adult novel.”


Annunciation by JM Longworth


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Picture description: ocean waves crashing along a rocky shore.




by JM Longworth


Small child

curly dark hair

smile betraying

a great secret


Stands at 

the shore

a vast ocean

roaring tides


She stoops

once more

Dipping the clay jar

into surf


It seems

the task

will never end

bottling the ocean


A stranger

sickly wings

sharp tongue

asks her


That’s it?

Ocean in a jar?

This trick is 

Your big idea?


Nose wrinkling

She dips again

Catching waves

Mist clinging


She replies

It will be

the greatest gift

ever given


JM Longworth (they, them, theirs) lives in Rutland, Vermont with their partner Sara and two dogs. They are currently serving as the pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and as co-pastor of the Faith on Foot Ministry Cooperative. JM also serves on the Board of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, and as a Formation & Vocation Coordinator for the Order of Ecumenical Franciscan.

Advent by Carla Christopher Wilson

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Picture description: a finger drawn heart on a window with the light of a sunrise shining through.


by Carla Christopher Wilson

Hold fast,

slip fingered though your grasp has been
against moments run like rain
through futile clenched hands
Hold fast,
the brightness is coming

Stand firm,
toes curled against a frozen earth,
braced against soil
determined in its lack of welcome
Stand firm,
the warmth is coming

Be still,
the cracking of dawn like a broken shell
is spilling gold 
into the purple darkness
Be still,
the sky is moving

humming vibrations gather speed,
lifting flattened arches
and resting heels
the earth is moving

Be ready
Poised and present, taut and sharp eyed,
waiting with ears turned
and open cupped hands
Be ready,
day is coming

Go forward,
even against wind without source,
Look toward the cliffs where birds with restless wings build nests
You have not been brought into this tundra winter
without reason, and purpose

Go forward,
dawn is coming.

Carla Christopher (she/her/hers) is a seminarian at United Lutheran Seminary – Gettysburg and Vicar of Union Lutheran church in York, PA. She is the founder and co-president of the York LGBTQIA+ Resource Center and co-chair of Toward Racial Justice, the diversity task force of Lower Susquehanna Synod.