Sparked by Words

The Garden

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Seeds pushed into soil crumbled by fingers

Late spring heat already cracking the ground

Parcels of dirt too poor to grow anything

Still we plant the germ for tomato and chive

Out of the dry, fissured clods, food to grow

 

Perhaps we look in the wrong places for peace

Expecting it to claw its way above the earth

Perhaps we must soak less the anger of our fears

That fuels the fires of hate, rage, and blindness

If we hope to harvest a season of sustenance

 

No wall can contain my own or leave yours behind

Nor should I expect a kernel of hate to produce

The food to nurture a body, to grow a heart

Only by opening the hard surface of ground

And that of one’s soul can anything grow

 

I will listen, I will look into your eyes

As long as you also listen, do not look away

My feet may dance to different music

But the blood in my body pools red as yours

You may not spill it for your produce of hate

 

Neither of us will bloom in a garden of death

No child will thrive beside stumps left by fire

You may not plant those craven seeds

Cower instead in your ruined clot of earth

Let my garden grow

 

Remembering massacres in Jerusalem and Orlando and Paris and San Bernardino and Charleston and Fort Hood and on and on and on too far

Black mourning ribbon image courtesy: publicdomainvectors.org

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Comments on: "The Garden" (16)

  1. This is why so many love gardening–working in dirt with their fingers. Well-told, Shari.

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  2. Powerful Shari, really powerful. Sadly the earth’s soil has been fertilized by the blood of hate far too long.

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  3. Great metaphor. Loved this poem. Sometimes, I am afraid man will scorch the Earth before they find peace.

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  4. There are plenty of people sowing hate around the world right now. I hope that despite them, we can as a species still find a way to let peace and harmony blossom.

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    • Yes, Bun, you’re right, but the dynamic of hate is complex. I don’t believe that peace just happens. I believe it’s created. Let’s hope there are enough people willing to commit to the hard work of building peace. It will take education, opportunity, equality, access to food, water, health, medicine, and resources, as well as open lines of communication and a strategy for justice. In addition, people must believe they and their children are safe.

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  5. I agree with all the things you have said it will take to have peace in the world. Education is crucial I think if tolerance of differences is taught. You are right it is complex and your poem showed just that. I hope that one day – all our gardens will grow.

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  6. Lovely poem! Yes, why can’t we all leave each other alone to pursue our own paths – and stop all the silly fighting!

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