To Bury or to Burn?

The reign of God is like a buried treasure
a man found in a field. Matthew 13: 44

To bury or to burn drafts of poems
stacked two feet high in my writing house––
I have no illusion of them being sought
by academy, library, or even family.
So what’s the point of saving them
and not throwing them in the recycling

bin, onto the town dump, or into the stove?
How quickly those piles of poems
would burn to ash.
I choose not to burn
but to bury, honoring the work by giving
its shaping back to the earth from which it
sprang, a witness to the promise of resurrection.

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Ephphatha! in Two Parts

I.

Jesus, would you say “Ephphatha!” to me
as you said to the man whose ears you opened
whose tongue you loosed so that freed from
impediment, he might speak plainly?
Would you say “Ephphatha!”to me?

And while you’re at it, how about the eyes?
They’ll serve you in any case, but if I could
see clearly and hear again, if I could reclaim
those lost senses, I would lay them down
in this body of mine in service to you complete.

II.

I was on my way in the O.E.D. to ephphatha––
Jesus’ command that opened the ears of a deaf man––
when I came upon ephemeromorph, a general name
for the forms of biological life, which are not
definitely either animal or vegetable.

What a find in this age of transgendered people
finding themselves, and who, like the word
ephemeromorph listed as “rare,” have hung behind
a curtain of invisibility for generations, accused
by the O.E.D. itself and by others of being
a manifestation of the lowest forms of life.

In our time the curtain is being rent, and these
ephemeromorphs find themselves
exposed, not as the lowest of the low,
but as something less rare than was previously thought
that defies classification, and so, control, and quite
beautiful really in their own unclassified way.

A Wedding Song

Let the book fall open where it will.
There, your direction for the day.

Deaths listed on the left.
On the right, the title page:
The New Testament

begins here today as
The Renewed Testament.

From this day forward
what you write will be
for better, for worse
for richer, for poorer
in sickness and in health

my life being lived as a woman’s
life is lived on the planet now.

Resurrection

Early in the morning
on the first day of the week
while it was still dark … John 21:1

You describe the state of the Model A
pushed over and down the river bank
to become part of a family’s history.

Brought to its resting place by one
of the brothers who knew
of your interest and restorer’s soul,

he said he’d be glad of it taken away.
You’re making your plans involving
a skidder to pull it up and onto

the flat, where you’ll bring a trailer
to haul it away, as you’ve hauled
a lifetime of ruination for restoration

in studio, in shop; it’s underway
in your mind. It’s underway.