• Small Small Seeds

    • Small Small Seeds
    • To Rest
      Bring your milkjugs and tin cans filled with coins. Bring your cowbells & claps. Bring your stained glass and dark wide spaces with stone & marble patterns of glowing gold. Bring your beards & unwashed hair; bring your wandering-in-poverty (with gardens, and hand-made drums).

      Bring your barstools and paintings, hung-over musicians in windowless, backlit halls. Bring your corrugated tin roofs and squeaky doors, your vines wrapping around white crosses as the rainforest crawls around concrete walls with cut-out, missing glass.

      Bring your Ivory robes on blackened skin, your muffled songs & swaying organs with gold pipes, and chipped paint on heavy doors. Bring your snakes in baskets, your hand-on-the-forehead screams and weeping wails of tounges dressed in ties and slacks. Bring your dirt floors, sweat, and bare dancing voices echoing off thin white walls. Bring your head-dresses & black/white starch holding beads & string.

      And our light will become a fire; kindled like a burning flame.
      And his glory will become a fire, and his holy one a flame.

      And it will burn and devour our thorns & briars in a single day.
      It will be as when a sick man wastes away.
      And the rest of the trees of our forest will be so small in number,
      that a child could write them down.
    • He Takes Away the First to Establish the Second
      You made him (for a little while) lower than the angels.

      You Lord laid the foundations of the earth, and the
      heavens are works of your hands;
      they will perish, but you remain.
      They will become old like a garment,
      you will roll them up,
      and like a garment, they will also be changed.

      Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart.
    • The Whole World Fell
      We had been cutting the earth for weeks, stooped over, sticking to sack-like shirts with the necks drawn out, collecting dust and feeling heavy in our backs.

      We held once-steady grips that made mutiny of our prodding, shooting matchwood to the far side of our wrists. The kinked spades made our bones flap each time we scratched a cobble, but we kept slinging them across our chests.

      And when we looked up we grew afraid. Every wedge of soil - the shards of planks, the cracked, split rocks were, in their speed, flung straight up for days. Each clump was held up by the next dangling a pillar of dirt & muck so long as we kept eyes to the clay.

      And every item had come unstuck and begun to drop.
      We gave in and waited for our tower to end us.

      But all the elements rushed past, as if we made no difference. They struck the ground and kept plunging through, pulling the earth with them. We were suspended; even weight was missing.

      On the other side of the fresh silence we could at last make out
      a luminescence.
    • A Green Dress
      Eva Meurier in a green dress. But I’m not watching her.
      I’m doing my best to unite all the fragments of
      the underpainting that haven’t been capped.
      I wonder why I’m spotting what’s
      kissing behind her fresh skin?
      And why wouldn’t her composer make sure
      to acomplish the new all-at-once?

      Why would he leave traces of primer
      for me to catch sight of?
      Why would he want to unveil her past pigment?
      Why not preserve the old or perfect the new?
      Is she supposed to be being blocked in like that?

      Eva Meurier in a green dress. But I’m not watching her.
      I’m doing my best to unite all the fragments of
      the underpainting that haven’t been capped.
      Of course she must be more fitting in green.
      But why do I want to palette-knife-
      scrape each blameless brush stroke
      to study the original chops?
    • I Have Shown Myself to Those Who Did Not Ask
      I am those–that branch, that wild shoot. I had
      darkened eyes and a bent back,
      closed ears and clumsy feet.

      The cultured limbs could have once been bent like twine
      and tied tight & curly.
      They were hardened and deadened and splintered off,
      leaving only a scrap of the source.
      Whole branches were broken, snapped, cracked, and split,
      so I might be slipped into that slit of stock.

      The roots pull the boughs up out from the ground.
      Who will ascend to call them back down?
      And how will the cause of cause come down to us?

      The roots pull the branches out from beneath the ground.
    • You Go Away, and You Will Come to Me
      A little while, and I will no longer see you.
      Again, a little while, and I will see you.
      After a little while, the world will no longer see you.
      But I will see you.
    • When Men are Dead
      There is a great cloud surrounding us.

      They conquered kingdoms, they shut the mouths of lions,
      they quenched the power of fire.
      They escaped the edge of the sword; they were made strong.
      They received back their dead.

      And all of these, having gained approval,
      did not receive what was promised.

      They were stoned, they were sawn in two.
      They went about in sheep skins, in goat skins,
      being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated;
      wandering in deserts and mountains and caves
      and holes in the ground.

      They saw the promises and welcomed them from a distance.
    • What You Bind is Bound, What You Lose is Loosed
      It is binding weeds in bundles while gathering barley in the barn.
      It is a small, small seed that grows into a tall, tall tree.
      It is ferment hidden in three pecks of flour, salt and water.
      It is a merchant selling all for one found pearl.

      It is every type of fish in a dragnet, drug up on the beach
      (where the good are kept in baskets and the bad are brushed aside).

      It is a treasure in a field - found and hid again, then paid for.
      It is a landowner giving the last the same as the first.
    • Cotton
      I hear your voice.
      For now, just the harmony.

      The sounds and pauses, the shifting pitch in the words.
      The changing pattern of loudness and softness.
      It helps me understand one from the other.

      I used to listen just as long
      to any language as I would my own.
      But now I prefer my first tongue.

      I am beginning to see which syllable comes next;
      when a second word has begun.

      I’ll speak as a bird sings;
      I have been given a song.
    • The Milk's Gone Sour, but Apples are Still in Season
      Sorrow over our dead doings, infinite placement–
      the whole return to life was mother’s milk:
      good for growing bones, but there was never any fruit in it.
      After all, they all used to use it to blow bubbles
      and gurgle persuasive words.

      But it was demonstration of the power
      of the ghost of God that gave their faith rest...

      ...And they still did speak, but now it was
      wisdom in a mystery–the hidden wisdom.
      It is hard to explain, since we are dull of hearing.
      Muttering the truth in love, we are to grow up.

      Love: with a bright affection, a good small voice,
      and a sincere confidence.

      Love: with humility and gentleness, persistence,
      sympathy, and unity.

      Love: forgiving each other, as we are.