A Fresh Draft: “Kernel”

This was an effusion, first posted on Facebook, but I’m going to keep it in the file for my next collection (already underway, with working title Wrapped Attention from the introductory piece).


Except you become as a grain of wheat and fall
into the ground, you cannot see
(the kingdom of God)—I say to you,
As a little child, I heard about “the corn of wheat”
That had to die, and wondered
Not that it had to die, but how it could be “corn”
And “wheat”
at once. The dying was quite easily explained,
Kernels of corn falling from the sower into soil,
Their husks all decomposing, as the germinated seed
Consumed its built-in nutrients, burst forth
In greeny-shooted splendor. In Illinois,
This parable involved corn; the footnote was
“of wheat.” And how become
The little child
To whom the language-pattern I invoked above
More properly belongs? You must imagine
The life of corn, or wheat, or any useful grass,
Or lilies of the field, as they belong
To sun and wind and soil and rain
And cultivating farmers, and to those
For whom the Earth is given fecund force,
Forgetting none; and then you must not, ever,
Disentangle gift from giver, seed from sower,
Corn from cob in children’s shucking hands,
But contemplate true essence, in relation,
Doctrine in integrity,
And never simplify.
When this seems overwhelming, and you beg
For comforting embraces, understanding
Turned to nothing, one who knows
Unfolds Himself to you.

PGE 8-4-2016