Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Seven Of Pentacles By Marge Piercy

Last night, my brilliant friend E. read this poem at our Ostara ritual. I'd forgotten how much I like it. The Seven, Eight, and, especially, Nine of Pentacles cards are v. important ones for me and show up v. often in readings that I do for myself. Piercy has a great way of looking at the Seven card, one that goes beyond the traditional satisfied, at rest, giving things time vs. dissatisfied, introspective, watching the pot boil interpretations of this card.

Under a sky the color of pea soup
she is looking at her work growing away there
actively, thickly like grapevines or pole beans
as things grow in the real world, slowly enough.
If you tend them properly, if you mulch, if you water,
if you provide birds that eat insects a home and winter food,
if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,
if the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and the bees,
then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.

Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.

Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after
the planting,
after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.


Angela-Eloise said...

That's really beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

The Nine of Pentacles shows up for me a lot in readings, usually representing me living the life I want and being happy. In fact, I wrote an article on the Nine of Pentacles as Feminist Icon, of which I am particularly proud.

Sometimes it's easier than others to see ourselves as successful and to appreciate what we have built for ourselves. This poem is a nice way of putting it all into perspective.

fyreflye said...

Good poem, post and comment. But I wonder if Piercy's "sky the color of pea soup" doesn't better describe the Albano-Waite 7 of Pentacles rather than the standard RWS version you show:
(click on the More Samples link.)