Tree of Life

Jen Delyth

Tree of Life

- by Lucy Hinton, 2006

Human life-and-love

is a seamless blend of the ordinary

and the extraordinary;

the existence of each

is carved out

by the other

like all good paradoxes

The profane gives

the sacred

a place to abide.

Every day,

human hands

toil the soil,

caress their love

and meet in prayer

The roots and shoots

of the mundane and the holy

incessantly yoke

within one vessel

one intercourse

one sacrament of wine

and bread

The beloved's face

will sometimes scowl

and always age

Passionate vision

will some day

shake hands

with the spade

Neither need


be any less


in the open gaze

of ordinary eyes

The human world

is the heavenly kingdom


all the love

for which we starve

The earthly burden

of the living

is the envy

of the dead

who have no shadow

The mystic seeks not

to sing herself

to the otherworld

but to embrace more wholly

nature's riches here

in ordinary hearts

and work-boot miracles

both glorious-and-lowly!