Rebecca Gayle Howell

How to Plant by the Signs

When the ground is lit

when your back, hands, intent are lit


full well

full dawn of dark


when the tide swells

(forget sea)


when the tide swells in soil unseen

root stem leaf


when the moon is in its age


plant that which rises

above the ground to bloom


full well

full fruit


in the old of the moon

When the sign is in the loins or breast


when the sign is in your feet

calloused (yes bare)


if what you wish is to harvest

if what you wish is to reap


grow the hour long


take the seed of secret

in your palm


spread it like a witness

spread it like a disease



This poem is from Render / An Apocalypse (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013).