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Elaine Gingrich

About this Christian Poet:
I have been writing poetry since childhood, and my poems have been published in various church papers. Currently I am polishing my collection "The Expectant Heart" in hopes of publication. Several writers‚ groups and conferences have helped me hone my craft, but I have no formal literary education. My son kindly calls me a true amateurˆone who studies literature, reads and writes for the sheer love of it. Poetry is my medium of discovery, often a journey to the unexpected. With words I wrestle, puzzle and exult.

My husband and I have raised our four children in Georgian Bay country in Ontario, where the rocks, lakes and trees cry out God's grandeur. This poem began with a spring walk, listening to the exuberant sounds of rushing water. The thirsty earth drinking in new life triggered the image of celebrating Jews, thirsty for life and hope, lifting their glasses in the Hebrew toast "Lchaim!" "To life!". An even deeper thirst draws us to lift our glass to Christ who lifted His voice and then His dying body in the ultimate celebration of life.

Life Thirst: L'chaim

How thirsty you are in the spring,
Earth with your thousand mouths.
Everywhere orifices open
Gaping for trickle,
                   Stream and torrent.
"A drink please," you whisper,
"Please, more water, please."
Mounds of snow you demolish,
Water that travels for miles to slake your thirst.
Cracked skin softens to mud,
Leaves compost, soil moistens,
Thirsty for more, for the future, for life.
Woodlands and roadsides chorus
With the trickle,
                          Thunder of running water,
Gulping faster,
                   Gasping for breath,
Eyes closed,
                   All mouth,
Lifting your glass, "To life! To life!"

How thirsty you are in the spring,
Earth with your millions of mouths,
Recalling a dry, dusty hill
In a sun-scorched Judean town
Where the thirst of a thousand generations
Whispering for water, "Please, a drink."ˆ
Culminated in one agonizing cry
From One lifted up, "I thirst!"
And the parched world drank
As His blood trickled,
A strange, salty drink to satisfy the thirst of the millennia!
Everywhere you hold high
Crystal goblet, plastic tumbler,
Tin cup,
                   Gasping for life,
Gulping faster,
                   All mouth,
Belly overflowing with Living Water.
Lifting your glass to Him who calls, "To life! To life!"

Copyright ©2005 by Elaine Gingrich