Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Poem 012

Covenant
1. Lip Service

The word went forth
with a holy wind-----blew in
but broke off-----suddenly—
the very mouth-----charged to proclaim
clammed shut-----fallen
asleep-----dead to the world
ears-----deaf to the singing—
hard-hearted-----paying only
lip service-----to the thirsty
turned back from the waters.

Forsaken-----instead
they were made
to bed down-----in briers and thorns
suffer for a season
at the hands of the wicked.

2. Praise

In time-----another came
God-sent-----to witness
Truth-teller-----pronouncing sentence
while the Word teemed-----raining into
silences-----re-sounding aloud
with a gasping-----mouth
the earth cracked-----open
and the land began
to breathe-----again.

The people rejoiced
ate and drank and-----came
to know God
with a full heart
they went forth-----praising.

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Margo Swiss of Toronto, Ontario teaches Humanities and English at York University. She is the author of Crossword: A Woman's Narrative, and her forthcoming collection The Hatching of the Heart (Poiema Poetry Series/Cascade Books). The source of "Covenant" is Isaiah 55.10-11.