Sunday, April 16, 2006

A thousand mouths

This week I wrote a poem for the Easter sun rise service Erin Kindy and I lead this morning.

Here's a bit of background on the poem. This week the Plow Creek farmers planted strawberries. They order the plants from a distributor in Indiana who purchases them from a grower in California. The plants are refrigerated until it's time to plant them.

We sell a lot of strawberries each June. Last year Kevin Behrens, who does our marketing, said that by the end of the season he felt like he was pushing tons strawberries into people.

Of course, the poem has several Biblical allusions as well. Erin and I used Jesus' metaphor about his death and resurrection in the call to worship:

I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

In the last part of the poem I use the metaphor of tasting drawn the phrase in the psalm, "taste and see that the Lord is good."

A Thousand Mouths
By Rich Foss

Tender Plow Creek hands
lifted little green shoots
from a refrigerator this holy week,
hands like those of a rich man from Aramathia
tenderly wrapping a body
and hefting it into a rocky tomb.

Ah, the grief of a single grain of wheat
clinging to life.

Hand and machine ripped open the field--
now strawberry shoots dwell
in Plow Creek soil,
roots caressed by earth.

A body housed in hewn rock,
lifeless, breathless,
three days of stillness
before the startle.

June is coming when earth and plant
fling tons of strawberries into the air,
succulent to a thousand mouths.

He is risen,
tasting with a thousand generations
the raw goodness of resurrection.

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