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Oasis Poetry

Oasis Poetry

>Oasis > Poetry > Honey




1. Quiet yourself and imagine dropping
down into the dark abundant well of your
soul. Take a few moments to feel that deep place and become aware of God's presence there.

2. Silently read the poem completely
through once.

3. Read the poem out loud.

4. Slowly read the poem again silently,
savoring the phrases, the words, the feel,
the taste of it.

5. On a blank piece of paper or on a page in your journal, complete the following:

a. The first image that arose in me as I read this poem was...

b. My immediate feelings after reading this poem are...

c. The reality that has been unearthed for me by reading this poem is...

d. If I were to paint a picture about this poem I would include my work of art...

e. If I were to add a line of my own somewhere in this poem it would be...

6. Read the poem out loud again, but this time as a prayer to God.

7. Sit in silence to see if God has a response to make to you.

8. End with your own prayer or poem of thanksgiving.

by Tina Barr

Dexter says after Independence they left
without teaching the wasps to make honey.
We talk about the tree of good and evil,
how drink or smoke comes to live inside us,
like a duppy. They're hungry so the girls
go down beside the cruise ships and give
themselves for money. He shows me
a walking stick carved with fangs, Marley's
face, a pineapple and the word Jamaica.

First there was only the hut he constructed
from aluminum and bamboo; he sells spin toys
made with chestnuts, maracas filled with coffee beans, bowls from calabash, necklaces
of brown seeds from flame trees. Now
there are fifteen shack shops; their owners
had babies, and found a way to eat. Resorts
toss the fish heads, the bones from pork roasts. Along the roads, egrets, riding chestnut cows,

flies off their eyes. There are fruit trees all over, papaya, banana, plantain, ackee that's poison
until it splits open. My eyes take in layers
of teal, turquoise, navy, a streak of green
against a coral reef. The wind blows past
my ears, carrying the voice of a child, the racket
of stays against a mast. Those mountains hid
the Maroons, when the sound of gazelle horns
blew freedom. Under the palm-thatch kiosk

a man sells liquored juices; yellow-eyed
crows sit, small judges in the rafters.
Visitors, beer-bellied, sagging, stumble with drink,
line a sidewalk to gamble on small racing crabs.
Dexter was born in a barn somewhere in this parish.
He says god is around, the way the wind
blows palms. We can't see wind, only its roving
through the fronds, turning the ends, each green
spear threaded on the spindle of the wind.

Copyright ©2003 Tina Barr

Gathering Eye Book Cover"Honey" was first published in The Antioch Review, and now appears in The Gathering Eye, winner of the Tupelo Press Editor's Prize, and due out this year from Tupelo Press. To purchase a copy of The Gathering Eye, visit the non-profit bookstore Sacred Path Books & Art. This link is provided as a service to explorefaith.org visitors and registered users.


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