Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +3, Yr B)

PARABLE
(Mark 4: 26-34)
Dedicated to the United Church of Canada on its 90th Anniversary today, June 10th, 2015

The sower has pared
her hope down
to tiny seed.

Is it able
to grow?
she wonders:

Is there arable
soil? Rain enough?
The seed itself
is so small.

Small as a drop of joy
in a field of despair.
Small as a gesture
of love in a
hostile plain.

At night the sower
dreams of
a flowering shrub.

Sheltering there
are birds
of every kind.

Their songs have
wings, wings
the colours
of rainbows.

She wakes to find
the shrub begun,
life beginning
to blossom.

And as the days
roll into weeks and months
the shrub
grows green and strong.
The sheltering birds
lift up their songs
and the dream seems
brought to fruition.

But the rains dry up
and a harsh wind blows;
the green begins to fade,
and boughs of the shrub
are broken.

The sower’s heart
is stricken
for the life-giving plant.

But see – within
the surviving branches,
upon the battered boughs,
new seeds of life
still form.

Singing songs with wings
the colours of rainbows
the sower gathers
the precious fruit.

And the sower again
continues to sow
the small brilliant seed
of hope.

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +5)

THE SOWER
(Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23)

1.
Early morning, before the newly risen sun
begins to lay full force against the back,
the heavy sack of seed hangs by a strap
from the sower’s shoulder.
One hand holds it open,
the other dips and rises
in perfect rhythm with the slow stride.
Sweeping wide through the quiet air
the seeds spray over the varied terrain
but the sower scarcely seems to care
that some lands among stones, some
among weeds, that seed lands upon
thin soil as much as on good.

2.
Careless the sun, careless the rain.
Careless the wind, the bird singing.
Careless the white snow on black branches.
Careless the dappled light of the green forest.

Careless the waves curling in the moonlight.
Careless the geese scraping the autumn sky.
Careless the frog’s voice in the reedy water.
Careless the sweet scent of the pink flower.

Careless the butterfly emerging into air.
Careless the starry darkness, the gray dawn.
Careless the raw beauty. Careless the wild goodness.
Careless such seeds from the sower’s hand.

3.
Fling seed of new life over all the earth,
Loving Sower.
Seed mercy in the stony soils of our hate.
Seed justice in the weedy ground of our selfishness.
Seed hope in the scorched sands of despair.
May the harvest be abundant with joy.

Fling your seed into the dusty lands of my life,
Wise Sower.
Seed the dry earth of my stony heart.
Seed where weeds crowd, where their leaves
shade the sunlight.
Seed the deep soil of my hungry soul.
Grant harvest, abundant with joy.