Friday, October 2, 2015

St. Francis and the Sow

The Rev. Nancy E. Gossling

Thanks to Galway Kinnell, a Scottish poet, who wrote this stunningly beautiful poem entitled St. Francis and the Sow. Thanks to our Creator who made buds, sows, and us. Thanks to all those people who put their hands to the plows and don't look back, who put their hand on feverish brows, cooling and smoothing them for healing, for the blossoming of inner self-blessing, for the reclaiming of our loveliness as beloved children of God. Thanks to sows who remember all of it, the groveling, slopping, and snorting, perhaps in their great broken-heartedness. Thanks to the long perfect loveliness of sows who reclaim their spiny hardness and rejoice in their spiritual curly tails, who continue to offer themselves to others, suckling them with the blue milken dreaminess that spurts and shudders from the Dream of God onto all of creation. Thanks to our Creator, Mother Earth, brother wind and sister moon, and to all of God's Creation for the creativity that never ends. Thanks to St. Francis for putting his hand upon this old sow's forehead, and for Galway Kinnell making him come alive for me once again.

St. Francis and the Sow

The bud stands for all things,
even those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to retreach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within,
of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow,
and told her in words and in tocuh
blessings of earth on the sow,
and the sow
began remembering
all down her thick length,
from the earthen sbout all the way
through the fodder
and slops
to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess
spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourtenn teats
into the fourteen mouths sucking
and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.
                    ~ Galway Kinnell