He spoke in a parable. He said
Some soil is just about dead
Walked over and worn out
Impervious to seeds,
A feeding trough for birds.
Some soil is stony:
Seeds sprout quickly,
Sprouts stretch to sun,
Sun scorches leaves,
Plant withers and dies.
No roots, he explained.
Some soil is preoccupied
Crowded with seeds of stubborn stock
That choke anything fresh
Before it can flower.
Some soil is just right
(To quote a golden-haired girl),
A dark loamy bed
Where seed bursts open in eager love,
Dying with life-force;
And soil honors seed’s sacrifice
Faithfully nurturing newborn sprout.
I have gathered
Don’t come in uniform packets
Stamped with precise planting instructions.
They are scattered grains of life
Sown from everywhere:
Love letters and report cards, ocean waves and office buildings,
Toddlers’ tantrums, neighbors’ gossip,
Even radio talk shows and preachers’ sermons.
I have also
Discovered the soil
Doesn’t come in a bag
Purchased with indulgences and poured into the soul.
The best soil is made of wasted moments:
The garbage and leftovers of everyday life,
Piled in the back of the mind to rot,
Food for tiny creeping thoughts who give it back changed
Breaking up stony places
Light loose reborn
Hungry and thirsty for righteousness
A good place to put down roots.