Among indigenous traditions, it may be asked whether an idea, a vision, or a course of action will “grow corn.” Is it sustainable? Is it anchored in the Earth? Will the village be nourished, hearts and minds and bodies fed? A simple yet powerful test for decisions that must be made not only at personal levels, but within community, national, and global contexts, as well. I wrote this poem in 2004.
Does It Grow Corn?
The question before you this dark endless night
Comes straight from your soul where your passion burns bright
Pure of intention, fired from within,
The answer you’ll find ‘neath the external din
You’ve known it for eons before this time born
Ask yourself simply: Does it grow corn?
Does this path bring peace, or a lack of contentment?
Does this way nourish, or leave you unfed?
When you go beyond ego and move to discernment,
Which way gets you moving on what you have said?
One choice speaks to pleasure, the other to service
One to your body and one to your soul
Your task now, discover the sweet integration,
The Union undivided, your being made whole.
Try all you want to figure it out
Make yourself crazy with possibilities endless,
The mind will whip you into unyielding frenzy,
Its search to judge your options relentless —
Your heart knows the answer if you will but listen!
It whispers your name even as you resist
The best hearing comes when you truly allow it,
Make space, make time, for all that you’ve missed.
You’ve known this for eons before you were born
The only question is: Does it grow corn?
Out of your love, is there grounded compassion?
Inside your tears, is there fuel for e-motion?
Can the seeds of your vision sustain through fruition?
Can your boat stay on course in a vast, swirling ocean?
Strengthen your vessel! Make strong your container!
Mend your basket where tattered and torn
This is your knowing and has been forever
The question before you: Does it grow corn?
This one or that one, the either, the or
No longer support you as they may have before,
Now is your season for growing your corn
The harvest was yours long before you were born!
Hands of Creation, heart of woman and man
Seamlessly woven in the Infinite Plan
You’ve known this for eons before this time born,
The question is the answer: Does it grow corn?
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