Lent, Day 16: On parables and poetry.

Today’s reading: Mark 4:1-20

I used to think parables
were simple symbolism
(if symbols are ever simple):
one thing stands for another
to make it all concrete to us
when we struggle to understand
the abstractions of God

now I think perhaps parables
are really poetry

stacked with images
twined into metaphor and
shaped into story,
language broadcast like seed
to fall where it will
in our lives

concrete enough to grasp us
by the eyes and ears
to focus our attention
raise our questions, and

abstract enough to make room for us
(and room for every part of us:
for every sun-scorched, rocky, weed-choked,
and even every occasionally
healthy part)

look, for the Poet comes
(with eyes to see,
we may yet perceive;)
listen, for the Poet speaks
(and with ears to hear,
we may yet understand)

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