Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Three Poems: Margaret James

not yet named

I will not feed him beef,
nor chicken, though I've made no friends
in that family. We mothers worry so,
it is no wonder she worries.

But I refuse to feed him beef
because I once had a summer friend
who became winter sausages
and I do not eat my friends
nor feed them to hungry relatives.

But, yes, I agree to teach him the Bible,
and make his pillow God.
He will hear the parables of Jesus
our fish will multiply in the form of broccoli and sweet potatoes.
I will show how we should share bread
and sit back and watch our baskets overflow.

I will show him Krishna, the dark haired flautist,
I will teach him how Radha longs,
the painful joy of Mirabai
and how, if you stay up all night chanting,
the light will come in one form or another.

I will teach him how to bow deep in prayer
five times a day, so unlike those heathens
who only rarely think of God.
We will lift our hands and cry “Allahu Akbar”!
and know there is only God.

We will sit with Him at the dinner table,
carry Him in our pockets to school
and uncover Him in the smallest
sugar ant.

I will instruct him how to sit still
to find silence…
how to love everyone,
because they are yourself
and never eat your friends.

But all this planning is for nothing.
She'll return from Las Vegas like Jesus
rises each Easter. And if not,
she'd never leave her son to such a radical life,
though she really likes the sound
of pillows stuffed with God.

* * * * *

Outside of the Garden

It is because I can't stray so far from home.
Even now I know God is in the garden saying,
“where are you? Why have you hidden from me?”

But I haven't hidden, I've just covered myself in absence.
It is a bitter/sweet apple, this city life.

On rainy nights the garden beckons with the call of the wind
but in the morning the children's voices cry louder
for breakfast.

I bit the fruit, fell into another warm body,
wailed in the pain of birth.
Yet still he calls to me from the garden
wanting me naked and in the Presence again.

He is looking for me
and I will not stray too far from home.

* * * * *


I always return
to see how God has been coming through me.
Here, he is a dream of arrows;
there, he is the slingshot and the giant.

I am always waiting for the one to come
with the ring:
the reminder of why I've been sitting so long,
the reassurance that we will be reunited.

His Name is the thing that makes rocks float.
He says it isn't his power, we are the magicians
traveling his galaxies.

He watches in awe while we pray
and learn to walk across the water.

~ Margaret James (Metta) is a frequent contributer to ETR. You can read more of her poems at her Zaadz blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting poetry. I see you mentioned Mira in one of them. You may be interested in learning about a new site c=dedicated to presenting the life and teachings of Mirabai. Click on the bhajans tab and you'll see more poems by her.....