POEM: Beer and Bread

August. The fields outside of town
(where I haven’t driven, for I don’t drive)
are ready for harvest, wheat and corn
(and I eat barley, rice, and oats).
Lugus with his long arm, his clever hand
is ready to sweep the fields,
bring in the harvest. Time
to make beer and bread.

I feel my skin prickle.
I see a red leaf on a green tree,
a brown feather from a sparrow’s wing
on the grey sidewalk. Autumn.
The days are hotter, one by one,
but the sun rises later, lower,
day by day; one by one
the trees slow down, the birds,
the bugs, the flowers, slow down
toward their rest. A stop. I stop.
August. Lughnasad. Autumn.
Across the months, across the equator,
Lugus holds out to Brigantia his hand.
She hands him the knife that she forged
throughout the long summer,
quenched in the sun’s blood.
It’s time to bring it all home.


POEM: Loaf-Mass (John chapter 6)

Five loaves and two fishes

for five thousand people

(do the women and children count?)

Five loaves and two fishes

a blessing and an open hand

and the whole crowd is fed

twelve baskets left over

But then the people come for Jesus

want to make him king

and Jesus books it out of there

the bread-giver runs away and hides

he knows, you see, that if they make him

king, he will die


And Jesus does die

on another day

at another time

another place in the pattern

after another meal

not with a crowd of thousands

but with his intimates

betrayed by a kiss

and then the green blade rises

that will be reaped in August

spring is resurrection, harvest

is another death

Each Sunday we enact the mystery

body of the loaf-giver in a loaf of bread

blood of the wine-maker in a cup of wine

and as the days contract

to less light, more heat

we tell the story of the loaves and fishes

and we call it Loaf-Mass.