Parable of the Sower: a prose poem

The Parable of the Sower
by Mary Harwell Sayler
Matthew 13:3-23; Mark 4:3-20; Luke 8:5-15

“A farmer went out to sow,”
and some say he was stupid or careless or wasteful with the seed, which he let fall all over the just and unjust. Some of the seeds clung like stick-tights – hitchhiker seeds that stuck tightly for centuries until inspiring Swiss naturalist George de Mestral to invent Velcro – sticky seeds that produced weeds like burdock known for medicinal purposes and sometimes purposely planted as a vegetable to be eaten or treated like the sunflower family to which burdock belongs.

“Some seed fell on hard ground” –
paths too often taken to be open to anything new. Some fell on stone, sliding off in rain or finding a crack to sink into then growing roots strong enough to split a rock, which is not easy. Some of the seeds settled into nestling soil so good for growing that thorns liked it, too, and rose up – tall, crowded, dense, and as overwhelming as fear or worry and as brightly colored as almost anything urgent. But some seeds found a fine place to light, take root, bear fruit, and feed you, me, the birds, and anyone else who’s hungry before sending out new seeds that the farmer went out to sow.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. Originally published in the Spring 2013 issue of Penwood Review, the poem also appears in Mary’s book of Bible-based poetry, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.


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