Into Loaf

The preferment is now in the oven for the night,
and three loaves of rye are in
gestation. A deep satisfaction comes of this
mixing of primal elements:
water and oil;
salt and flour;
and now a little honey for hope.

Can you imagine a more fitting metaphor for
life? This long night of rising is not dark, though.
The oven light sets this bread on fire. This
brightening in oven is
like Christ in grave;
death is tested and
found to fail as
sour dough takes wings
and makes bread of
tohu wa-bohu, of
chaos.

Tonight I sleep, while the world is born again.
Tonight I pine, waiting for You to slip into loaf.

What is this Dough?

What is this dough? This
melange of broken wheat,
salted water and yeast gone
wild? This rogue lump will not yield to
my will, yet still it calls me into
its rising.

I cannot knead this
dough without attending to
its soul: it will not be
bread unless I
heed its call,
listening to its song,
its laments, its lauds.

This mystery – growth
under hand
under time
under fire
– sustains as
dough mysteriously
rehearses again the
coming Reign:
bread for the hungry.

What is this Dough?

What is this dough? This
melange of broken wheat,
salted water and yeast gone
wild? This rogue lump will not yield to
my will, yet still it calls me into
its rising.

I cannot knead this
dough without attending to
its soul: it will not be
bread unless I
heed its call,
listening to its song,
its laments, its lauds.

This mystery – growth
under hand
under time
under fire
– sustains as
dough mysteriously
rehearses again the
coming Reign:
bread for the hungry.

The Poetry of Bread

This poem in my hands,
this dough rolling round
my fingers sings
of soil, of seed,
of leaven, of levity.
No metaphor, this loaf
is the real deal. Its rise
upends depression
reverses detestation as
flour weds yeast weds water – salted and oiled.
In this feast of chaos, this orgy of gorging,
each ingredient eats the other,
smothered in love’s wager. And then
a miracle emerges – a loaf, no six! – and each one
anxious for flame, for fire – this poem
now ready to be read,
aching to be eaten.