easter poems

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Look at all the weird seeds—
    plum stones and green beans,
salted sunflower snacks,
    buttered peas, silkweed pods
spilling downy-tufted spores,
    artichoke hearts, apple pips,
maple wings falling like helicopters
    up and down Main Street,
dandelion heads kids blow at each other,
    wheat germ, algae zygospores,
slick brown watermelon seeds,
    seeds that pass from fish to fish,
dog to dog, and deer to deer,
    human seed invisible to the eye—

and look at the bodies that develop
    from those seeds,
geranium, hippopotamus, human,
    the pear which grows unlike a rock,
the spreading mint, ivy and moss,
    the mammoth cedar, the wily goat,
and you will see the splendors
    of God’s holy transformation
of sown ground to bushes of fruit,
    the same transformation
the righteous will undergo
    in the blink of an eye
after having been planted for awhile
    in the earth’s hushed vault.


    “And star differs from star in splendor.” -I Corinthians 15:41

Finally resurrection will not be limited
    to bodily difference but will explode in light,
so that some of us will be stars, some moons,
    some suns and some comets,
consistent with the variety of God’s creation,
    so bright that we would not guess
what kind of cracked, dirty seeds produced them,
    but in such teeming numbers
that we will recognize the original vegetation,
    the birds, creatures of the sea, and livestock
the sheaves of humans, bunched and different,
    living in the huts, towns, and provinces
of the former kingdom which was a shattered mirror
    for that time—when God will give
the Morning Star to each who overcomes,
    and also a new name written on a white stone.

[Composed for Easter, 1996]

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