“Waters of Love” and “Birth Water”: New Poetry


Christ and Creativity

Pastor and poet Sharon Benton sent these poems last month with the comment, “It’s the end of January, so baptism texts may be over…” And yet the themes of void, chaos, formlessness, and being born to new life are timely as we approach Ash Wednesday and the reflective season of Lent. In Mark Jesus’ baptism is followed “immediately” by his wilderness sojourn. And so it, oftentimes, with us as well.

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Waters of Love

Genesis 1:1-5 and Mark 1:4-11

Life begins in the waters of creation.
The void. The deep. And the spirit of God swept over the face of the waters –
    first creating one-celled,
        then multiple-celled,
            and eventually the endless numbers of intricately-evolved organisms
            that populate the earth today.
                                And God called it good, beloved.

Life begins in the waters of creation.
The womb. We’ve all been there. Floating in the watery sac of amniotic fluid,
    we each grew from 2 cells,
        to multiple organs,
            to the wondrously complicated being that sits in the pew
            next to your neighbor: you.
                                And God called you good, beloved.

Life begins in the waters of creation.
The Jordan River. The place where Jesus stepped out of the waves and into his mission and ministry.
    Growing from one Word of love,
        to multiple acts of justice,
            into an infinite call for each person to follow… into new life.
                                And God called the baptism good, and God’s child beloved.

The Deep.
The Womb.
The Jordan. 
New life begins in the waters of creation.
And the new life is good.
Beloved.

—————————-

Birth Waters

I want to step down
into the waters of creation –
the deep
      the formlessness.
There is an unmaking that calls to my soul-deep self
      an unmaking of matter
      a return to my cellular components
      and even their dissolution.

I want to drop to the depths of those waters of creation,
a part of the nothingness that was not

              … and then
sense the Spirit’s brooding over me –
      wind-like
      dove-like
      unimaginable in my un-state of being.

              … and then
as from nowhere (because there is no “where”)
a voice of Love
      speaking
     making
      knitting my cells into more and more
        (of a piece with Creation – never separate – never again).

I want to step down into the waters of Creation –
      warmth
      a womb
      holding me as I become
       (I already am)
       Birthed.


2 replies
  1. Jennifer C
    Jennifer C says:

    Sharon, I love your poems. Birth Waters makes me think of my son, who was born in the water. That birthing moment for us was, and is, powerful and full of symbolism. Your words capture the experience.

    Reply

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