How to transfigure a poppy seed

IMG_0957For Transfiguration Sunday:  Oh Peter, when will you learn?  A booth is a resting place of twigs and branches woven together to form a temporary dwelling.  Like the willow domes perhaps in the garden of our schools.  I like to call them ipods.  you sit inside one and tune in to the inner music.  Hence the Jewish name the Festival of Booths or tabernacles as it was known.   But it’s tempting I know to try to capture a moment, when the sun shines brightly on an early spring morning creating the dappled shade under a hawthorn as a robin sings and pecks at an unsuspecting worm.  Or the early afternoon clouds which form ever changing pictures in the sky and dogs chase after snakes who turn effortlessly into smoke before our eyes.  or the quiet way the breeze builds in sound before we feel the coolness on our face.  It’s temping to try and capture those moments to make them last forever.  And Peter recognised the beauty of the moment, the special, never to be repeated moment and wanted it to last a life time.  Well you would when faced with the Eternal Christ.  These moments are those in which our soul can rest where we feel complete at harmony with ourselves and with all that is around us.  And they are rare unless we are of the disposition to be constantly on the lookout – not to create them, for that is not how they come about.  Is that what we do at our eucharist, continue to try and capture some of the essence of that moment? Does it work, maybe for some, but sometimes perhaps we try too hard to see once again the beauty and magic of that moment and forget to let the moment we are in also speak to us.  I’ve often found these moments occur when something new is discovered, something new i’ve experienced or done or noticed or seen before.  So does that mean the older you get the less of them you will have, or that with practice you become better at spotting and being prepared for them?  Moments of transfiguration are moments of pure beauty, pure love and I would say the presence of the Eternal Christ.  We must however, like the disciples, come down from the mountain.  With a camera or poetry, words and pictures rarely make up for the experience of it all.  But Peter tries without really knowing what he is seeing before him, just that he would rather it didn’t end.  And Mark tries to apologise for him.  And God issues the warning – this is my beloved son, listen to him.  The temptation is always to try and stay on the mountain and not return to the world.

poppy seed transfiguration

have you been to the garden centre and looked
at the selection of packets with pictures
of prize winning marrows and flowers in bloom
like a thousand prisoners
those seeds hang
on death rows
awaiting release

sow by date stamped on each packet
a life sentence without parole

starving inside foil to keep fresh the irony
for a seed fresh is one just born

so i hold a single prisoner
one captive amongst many
since summer last year kept in a jar
among the spices and packets
of unknown contents on a shelf

is there no justice
for the fruits of earth bearing seed
is nothing if not allowed to grow

in hand it does nothing but sit and wait
I have to let go before it can flourish

If I cling to it and marvel
the good will not come

the potential
that can be held
like a seed in the hand

needs warmth and moisture
a good sod of earth

but first I must let go
throw it down let it free

the seed you hold is a prisoner
let me go, let me grow, let me be transfigured

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