I sing and celebrate garbage,
the rejected, the refugee,
The “wretched refuse yearning to breathe free.”
I lift up in the Light those treated like trash,
Those living in the junk yards of history.
Out of blackened wood from a bombed out church,
A black Southern artist made a mobile that took my breath away
rising with amazing grace to the sky light,
Saying “the whole idea was handed down to me by God
To use that which has been discarded
Just as we as a people have been discarded, made invisible.”
Out of shards of broken glass
from a bombed out church in Bethlehem
ornaments were made to make visible the love
that lights the world like the smile of a child.
Out of scraps of Scripture
George and Margaret sowed together a quilt of love
To make visible the power of God,
the hidden power in our hearts.
Out of used furniture, a poet makes a tree.
Out of dust and ashes, a mystic makes a path to eternity.
Blessed be this compost heap,
my gardener friend told me,
For out of its funky depths
will come the food that feeds your belly.
As you pull out weeds,
remember the words of a wise Indian:
There are no weeds, only plants
Whose usefulness we don’t yet see.
Remember the words of a wise woman:
The world is a rummage sale.
What some consider trash, others see as treasures.
Remember the words of a wise man: I count as garbage
all my achievements and degrees.
Only love matters. Only love turns junk into jewelry
A crown of thorns into a crown of light.
Anthony Manousos is a member of Orange Grove Meeting in Pasadena, CA (PYM).