Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Poem shared at Retreat

Ingredients, by Ruth Goring

Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors (vegetable source), caffeine. One ingredient has been omitted from the list on every can: blood.

I am weary of this world and its ingredients. Its brown fields and its gold mines, buckling bridges, planes that strike tall buildings and explode, open a mouth that screams, gulps thousands to an ignigted belly.

I could say no to this world, to my own skin and language for being tools of conquest, desire's deformation: hamburgers in Japan, oil wells on paths of Alaska's caribou, Avon sales in Brazilian jungle towns, Coca-cola everywhere, more fiercely craved than wine and everywhere tainted with blood.

I could say no. I am tired of the empire of petroleum with its poisoned air, its gridlock, its plastic that chokes oceans, its long cunning violence, its oracles of terrorism, and God on our side.

I am tired of empire. I am tired of tasting the ingredients and being forced to drink. I am tired of I.

Speak a new list, my sisters. Let us write it on our hearts. Say it is old, my brothers. Say it can become our DNA, our blood.

Tell me what Jesus says. Jesus says grass, chlorophyll, and lilies of the field. Jesus says worms that swarm in backyard compost or kitchen vermiculture.

Stay awake.
You will have trouble in this world.
Jesus says we.
Jesus says sing.
Get in the way on earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus says caribou, sparrows ceiba trees, mustard seeds.
Jesus says hands, apples, loaves and fishes, wine.
Jesus says blood, his own.
Jesus says flesh, God's dwelling,
God's scars.

Jesus says Rogers Park, and Entrea, Colombia, Queens, South Central, Michoacan, Cambodia, Burma, Arctic Village, Egypt, Tanzania, Iran, Baghdad, St. Petersburg, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Plow Creek Farm, far as the curse is found.

Jesus says come to me, all who are tired and burdened.
Fish, lit coals, a bit of salt:
I've made you breakfast on the shore.
Say yes.

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