Some Soil

He spoke in a parable. He said

Some soil is just about dead

Walked over and worn out

Impervious to seeds,

A feeding trough for birds.

 

Some soil is stony:

Seeds sprout quickly,

Sprouts stretch to sun,

Sun scorches leaves,

Plant withers and dies.

No roots, he explained.

 

Some soil is preoccupied

Crowded with seeds of stubborn stock

That choke anything fresh

Before it can flower.

 

Some soil is just right

(To quote a golden-haired girl),

A dark loamy bed

Where seed bursts open in eager love,

Dying with life-force;

And soil honors seed’s sacrifice

Faithfully nurturing newborn sprout.

 

The seeds

I have gathered

Don’t come in uniform packets

Stamped with precise planting instructions.

They are scattered grains of life

Sown from everywhere:

Love letters and report cards, ocean waves and office buildings,

Toddlers’ tantrums, neighbors’ gossip,

Even radio talk shows and preachers’ sermons.

 

I have also

Discovered the soil

Doesn’t come in a bag

Purchased with indulgences and poured into the soul.

The best soil is made of wasted moments:

The garbage and leftovers of everyday life,

Piled in the back of the mind to rot,

Food for tiny creeping thoughts who give it back changed

Breaking up stony places

Crumbling softening

Light loose reborn

Hungry and thirsty for righteousness

A good place to put down roots.

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