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Once I believed in You,
still do,
though belief is often evasive, often abstract,
like air, which itself defies grasp
yet needy lungs clutch at it with the certainty
that this, this alone they must have.

And I believe like
the fig tree believes in the soil,
sometimes wilted, sometimes refusing fruit,
always held, always known to the roots.

And at the vesper light, I
believe, not with
the confident certainty of the apologist in debate,
the smug politician turning
divine name to unholy cause,
but like
the bed beneath me believes in the ground,
believes in the frame that holds it.

Hear the author talk about the poem:

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Matthew Pullar

Matthew Pullar is a poet based in Melbourne, Australia. He was awarded Young Australian Christian Writer of the Year in 2013 for his unpublished manuscript "Imperceptible Arms: A Memoir in Poems". He has published three books of poetry, including "The Swelling Year: Poems for Holy and Ordinary Days", and has had poetry featured in Poems for Ephesians and Ekstasis.


  • Janet says:

    This was a thought-provoking piece. One that was enjoyable to read and consider.

  • Laurie Klein says:

    Matthew, what a pleasure to encounter this potent poem, with its exploration of “holding” as well as beholding the idea of belief anew—via earthbound aspects I’d not seen as connected this way until now. And yes, the down-under accent disarms and charms, even as that identifier of place invites me deeper as metaphor. I am especially glad to heard these lines “in the air,” where it resonates first in the ear, and as it unfolds, in my own believing heart: “always held, always known to the roots.”