Earth Gospel

Author | Tamara Miles

Tomato seed, apostle whom the Earth loved most.
Mustard seed, for all the faith we need to move mountains.
Apple, who tricked us and got our names on the board.

Aloe, the balm of Gilead for all the hopes we had.

Blueberry, a memory of ancient verse and creed.
Cinnamon and cardamom, the scents and flavors of the Baghavad Gita.
I am the taste in water, O son of Kunti, and the radiance of the sun and the moon. I am the sacred syllable Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether ...

Carrot, to help the blind lead the blind.
Dandelion, escaped by the prophet Daniel just in time when he dreamed
that he was both lion and den and interpreted that to mean he was alive.

Daisy, counter of blessings and he loves me; never, though, he loves me not.
For he that is without love is a clanging cymbal.
Elephant ear, who fell from too much pride. Let this be a warning, brethren.
Eucalyptus, for when we are inflamed.

Spinach, a favorite of Samson and all strong men, but not Delilah.
The Philistines be upon thee. The Philistines be upon thee.

Sassafras, to get to the root of it all.
Mint, to sweeten the breath of the gods before they kiss us, deeply,
and do not apologize for it, because they know the rules of poetry
as laid down by M. Burns.

The honest and beautiful and truthful first object of poetry is a longing for sex.

Gardenia, the most fragrant chapter, at the southern end
of all our troubles.

Hosta, whose name is everlasting, and Heather, for abundant love.
Iris, for all the mothers we grieve in white, blue, and purple.
Jonquil, lover of self who drowned from looking in too deeply, too soon.

Lantana, who can take the heat from forty days and nights in the desert
before we come to the promised land.

Lemon, for keeping our hands clean and therefore holy,
but only after digging in the earth.

Milkweed, to bring butterflies and appreciation for small winged graces.
Nettle, because it stings and awakens us again to necessary pain.

Pansy, for diversity.

Rosemary, for Ophelia and all those suffering from romance
and death wishes, to help them remember the going under, the sweet drowning.

Rose, thorned beauty, because we keep touching anyway, though we come
away bleeding, because the scent of love is powerful; it lingers.

Queen Anne’s Lace, a veil, for being loved like Christ loved the church
and gave himself up for her.

Sage, for the wisdom of Solomon, who remembered his first love and built
temples in her honor.

Verbena, for sleeping with the sainted poets and angels, and after our loving,
sleeping sweetly and soundly, but not without dreams.

Willow, for those who weep and are comforted, now or in a coming age.

Yarrow, lover of bleeding heart liberals and once again,
the poets, who will never stop the flow of blood or tears until the Revelation.

About the Author | Tamara Miles teaches English, Humanities, and College Skills at a technical college in South Carolina. She had a remarkable adventure in July at the Sewanee Writers Conference, where ideas and wine flowed freely. Recent publications with her poems and other writings include Fall Lines: A Literary Convergence, O'Bheal Five Words Vol. IX, Love is Love, an anthology benefitting the families of shooting victims in Orlando, and Auntie Bellum magazine. Upcoming publications that will feature her work Subprimal Poetry & Art, Pantheon Magazine, The Tishman Review, and Verity La.