The Common Good
May 1994

The Growing Seed

by Rose Marie Berger | May 1994

This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters
seed upon the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets
up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.

This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed upon the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces corn—first the stalk, then the ear, then the full kernel in the ear. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come. —Mark 4:26-29

I.

when god scooped water into a ball and scattered it to the four winds
to drip and pool and shiver itself
into shimmering mountain lakes
and wild courses
and oceans rooting the sky,
she left the land lying around in all the lonely places
dark and wanting
frightened of being stripped
exposed
having nightmares of the chaos.
but god let her lips skim the vulnerable surface of the soil
and whisper to it a secret name,
releasing tiny worlds.

II.

in their shadowed cellars farmers collect magic seeds
who have the dreams of god
still clinging in their coats.
magic seeds that,
when the horns of the moon
poke up into the soft underbelly of the night,
farmers fondle, in great scoops, between their fingers
and fling them
hither and yon
into every open mouth of soil
and even the hard teeth of rocks.

III.

scattering
scattering
scattering
then the farmers turn away.
they sleep they wake they joke they lie they eat they tease they die
while the soil and the seed kiss quietly under the dipper moon
and dream together of green
and the tiny way it looks against the spring earth.
the farmers are dreaming too
and in their dreaming wake to fresh fields,
knowing all along that the dreams of god were true.

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