The day I learned what “Sow” meant

 The day I learned what “Sow” meant 

After “Saint Francis and the Sow” by Galway Kinnell

Sow sat, ‘neath ferny vernal waterfall,

      sewing seeds of dispassioned 

compassionate awakening,

     the True Sow of No Title—

      hooves rooting and melting

into stationary sewn soil,

     its own clover solar flare,

chanting the nameless

     sewn threads of the

     thatchy tails of trees


with milken dreamy love—

      In the modal darkness of dusky

tree bark, Sow sees the

      millipedal centipedes

nesting in unimpeded emptiness,

     sewing their own selfless blessings,--

        kissing the 

        violet waters of age—

Sow sees loamy mud, each divot

      a pew for mildew’s salvation,

tails of time tracked and milled by other


pebbles in the mud

      blebbing stupas and surging granulites

rounding to starbathed coil

      of the sun’s ray-seeds

and the egg-seeds of beached

saintly horseshoe crabs on 

the innate shore of Sow,

bleached in Sow’s

     resoundingly silent stillness—

Sow, whose stomach acid

      is sulfurously placidly absolving,

wouldn’t even dissolve bone, fanning own

      borne molecules in liquid cremation

but nurture them into needlepoint-glowing

firefly bacterioles and 

       throw them back out, to love

into neatly monasteries of pig-pillow algae,

      hooved with the stardust

      of countless galaxies of

      Franciscan birds, opening their membranes to all,



         wanting nothing.

—Tom Jennings

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