Grain and Grapes
This word came to me
From one whose wisdom shapes
The destiny of many:
Let your thought be fruitful:
Men like grain and grapes.
I’ll not be loved of men for my gifts
If men want grain and grapes alone:
My thoughts are gnarled, fantastic trees,
Grown up untended, barely pruned,
From ancient seed I have not sown.
Their snake-mouthed roots are in my heart.
I feel them hungrily intense
Drawing the seething love-sap out.
Prodigally I feed them all
My being’s vivid affluence.
But thus far they have only borne
Veined blue buds that bloom to be
Scarred flowers of inhuman pain,
And little opening leaves, like eyes
Full of a grave futility.
Strange flowers foretell strange fruit
And gods stay breathless while they grow
Men call and look for grain and grapes,
Their homely, humble earth-warm fruits;
But heaven is silent. The gods may know.
From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.