The Farmer's Lot

The farmer’s hands-

grease-blackened,

deep cracked splits

running with dirt, blood and rain-

unclog irrigation pipes

caked with the muddy detritus

of the flood’s reign.

He trails the field

with the weight of his shovel

dressed in Sunday best

longing to cradle the emerging, beating

fruit of life

to his chest.

Digging in with dirty hands

he feels when the soil is dry

and for all the sweating

and waiting for spring

new life emerges with a sigh.

Today I'm joining a Lenten poetry link-up at my friend Amy Peterson's blog. Check out the other poems and add your own!

Texas and Oil Paintings: I Am From

My grandmother's painting I am from Nana’s oil paintings imitating the Impressionist masters from Russian matryoshka nested dolls and Great Aunt Laverne’s tea cup collection

I am from a house atop Cat Mountain with the best sunsets and the sound of cars on the highway below lulling me to sleep at night

I am from the Hill Country and roads cut through limestone populated with cedar trees whose bark peels off like an old skin

I’m from eccentric introverts and too many gifts at Christmas from Heatherly and Elena who made me the middle sister from dad traveling overseas too much doing lots of good things for other people.

I’m from “this too shall pass” and “we have not earned any of the things we have” and "if the Lord wills and you see me again" before every parting From “Where are you going my little one” sung every night by Mama before bed til I cried from the grief of leaving her one day.

I’m from every song, even commercial jingles, sung together in tight harmonies

I’m from Connecticut and Scotland but not really because I’m from Texas Texas Texas down to great and greater grandparents  who gave birth in one room houses in Cleburne and made sweet potato biscuits and black eyed peas at New Years.

From Anna Christie’s drowned husband and Otis from Sweden whom she raised as her own when his mother died in childbirth From Papa who left home at fourteen, spent three years as a POW in Java and went back to Japan after the war to be a missionary

From diaries written with pre-teen tears about how I'm too fat, fears of death, glass miniature bric-a-brac, rock and shell collections displayed in wooden cubby shelves on my bedroom wall, from the only time I ignore Mama’s call for dinner or food on any kind is when I’m reading in bed

Now I am from uncaulked baseboards, grimy from years of bringing the outside in from the smell of fertilizer and fish immulsion mixed with cooking tomatoes Now I am from the maple trees tapped every year for syrup and boiled down in a black cauldron in the white winter woods from poems written at the narrow creek that bends round from here to the wider streams

Now I am from a tanned farmer whose tender loving hands are often cracked and running with dirt, blood and rain from a fairy who feeds the chickens in her princess dress and muck boots from a cuddly Tom Sawyer who waves at Daddy driving by in the tractor while holding his dinosaur to his chest

Now I am from a community of idealists, hippies, peace-loving Mennonites And I am not one of them but I am because I am also from Jesus. And he has been there from the beginning.

I am synchroblogging with SheLoves Magazine today with their series on "I am From." You can read more or link up here.

Oh. Little town.

Brassy and brashare the bells that jingle announcing the arrival of Kringle fitted for joy in lipstick red he of rosy-cheeked bulk and mirth

How silently how silently Comes this birth

Merry ding donging and herald harking a shopper’s paradise lost embarking Heaven and hell converge on a Friday with the shoving and shuffling of feet

How silently how silently Does he greet

Boxes, bags, forests of tissue paper and wood bury the plastics, glass, silver and gold Squeals in the rending and releasing of trinkets bound and gagged with ribbon

How silently how silently The wondrous gift is given

Rhymes and picture books of the night before tales spinning of a rooftop breaking-and-entering with the sound of nutcrackers cracking and drummers drumming

How silently how silently, No ear may hear his coming

We, bold and blaring, announce our name and season With speeches, news feeds and cries of treason Our hearts have no vacancies No room no room for stain or sin

Where meek souls will receive him still The dear Christ enters in