Originally published in Poesia, January 2007.
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The sex was always best at planting time.
The seeds were buried alive in the softened ground,
Where death was found to root among the crops
Of revolution, creeping in the farmer’s minds.
Their instruments both looked and felt like weaponry.
Stalking nourishment was torn apart, or ripped from rooted land.
Barefooted, they trampled grapes to make their wine,
And grains were finely crushed with roughened hands.
And thus, the seed of thought sprouted plants of sacred realms.
Human sacrifice replenished farmer’s gold, and so
Holistic give-and-take played out in temple caves,
Returning to the source like dying plants when cold wind blows.
The Mother myth reflected famine, drought, and nature’s force;
Her consorts were all dismembered, killed before they rose
With the crops of new life. Like men before them, women wandered far
On quests, their deathly struggles restored the harmony and peace
To mother and child from risk of baby’s birth,
Seed to womb, seed to earth, the pain of sacred sex at planting time.