Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Poem 020

A celebration of weeds
For I am considering, before I grow very old, too old
to drive, how gloriously the grasses ornament the road's
verges, its ditches, flowing then across the fields, waves
of green, meadows that dance to the fists of wind. Weeds,
all and every, long and lovely and lush ( Hopkins'
language rings wild on the ear). All feral stems, each
a primary act of God, sing the hymns of air, his persistent
garden in spite of our ravaging machines, resilient, needing
no fertilizer to flourish where cows crop, cool in oak shade.

The car snakes along the dirt road--a scar on the body
of earth—and now I consider yarrow, how its white, starred
cloth is draped over this next meadow. And now a low
forest of fire-weed purples through the windshield, nothing
I haven't seen before, but in this moment, extraordinary.

I am tuned to the anthem of herbs growing, a haze
of salt hay decorated with grasshoppers, those pale jade
phenomena that leap continually in God's imagination--
or brambles and thrusting blackberries, their glowing fruit
there for the taking. How his spirit animates all blades
and glades with pure daylight! How his stalks gesture
and bow, saluting themselves in the clear stream that flows
under the bridge! Clovers' trinity leaves. Buds, bursting
into their particular selves, then melted by vision into a
fusion from this generous confusion. And the dandelions,
small sunbursts on every bank, wanton and innocent,
without evil intent, uncanny in their abundance in noon
light, feeling no need to justify their existence.

And tonight, in the dark, flower heads will fold into
themselves, stems lengthen, rising after rain, or seeded
by stars and a moon as yellow as a midday buttercup.
And it is all good. All good. God said it.

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Luci Shaw of Bellingham, Washington is the author of eleven poetry collections, including her newest poetry book, Scape (Poiema Poetry Series/Cascade Books). Visit Kingdom Poets to find out more. "A celebration of weeds" grew out of Isaiah 55: 9-11.