Thursday, November 5, 2020

Jesus reigns

 You hear, you see, you reign, and you will judge

When men oppress the least of these, the ones you made--

You hear, you see, you reign, and you will judge.

When nations rest at ease, feast on fat meat, sit

on the bones of these, the ones you made,

and say "peace! peace!", knowing the bones

beneath them cannot speak--

You hear, you see, you reign, and you will judge.

When the little, brittle birds limp, untended,

shiftless, and spend our pennies on their sins--

You hear, you see, you reign, and you will judge.

When proud men preen, and vomit lies, and call it truth,

and fools leap up like dogs to lick up what they spewed--

You hear, you see, you reign, and you will judge.

When greedy priests would weave another veil

between your spirit's power, and their flocks,

Or teach their sheep to heap self righteousness 

around their shame like dragon hoards,

or walk in judgment, blinded by the white boards

of painted over shame they cannot, dare not see--

You see, you hear, you reign, and you will judge.

And when still we go on stepping on our children's backs

to keep our ease, to keep our ease, to keep our ease:

You hear, you see, you reign, and you will judge.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The marriage of the Lamb has come; his bride has made herself ready

We sell our souls for privilege and power;

the church is no less guilty. An hour,

an age, God curse it. God have mercy,

we're worse than we believe. The curse we

bear we carry in our bones. We can't 

unknit it from our breath, it's printed

in the wrinkles of our brains. Stains

like commandments, God-engraved.

Our bread is poison--we consented

to eat, we called it sweet. How pure

the saints shine forth, unstained--

how full of shit. We eat the shit

the world sells, call it sanctified.

Was it for this our Lord was crucified?

When will the earth, revolted, spit

us out? We've sold the cure

for our disease for "peace," for princes,

for appointments. There's no salve

to stop this rot, this bleed. We need 

amputation. Christ, will this branch

that bore me burn? 

When will you, awful God, return

to judge your church?

God curse it, God have mercy,

who will pay for this unfaithfulness,

when your bride's idols splinter? 

Will you, in mercy, burn them

in our bones? Burn in the midst of us?

When will we tear out our eyes

that make us sin, that cannot see

past lies that were our parents'

inheritance? or are these lies

as old as Eve? When do we grieve?

Oh my mother, my brothers, 

when will you grieve?

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

daily

Alternate title: let's pretend i'm sixteen again. It's 2020, indulgence is survival.

 

I meet my dying every day,

going my way to work. She stops,

sometimes, to say hello, or raise

a hand to wave. 

No need to grab my wrist

for attention. She can wait

the years until I settle down

into my grave.

We'll have time, then, to 

get down to it: the conversation

we delayed, the real business. 

No rush.

She'll be familiar then

already, a face I've seen

daily, a white face, her eyes

a dark smudge

I can't read, though she seems

friendly enough.  Some days

I think, looking in the mirror

I'm becoming

less myself. My eyes less real,

like hers, my skin less flesh

and blood. She waves.

One day my heart too will

cease drumming

my blood cells on their tireless

rounds, it will all be still,

we will sit down

together

and she will put her arms around me

like a friend.

 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

october scraps

Most people on our street greet Fall with pumpkins

and campaign signs.

Someone's planted

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

--just like it was, I suppose,in the fifties,

when men were men. We knew then 

we were fighting the right wars.

Next door they've fenced their yard with flowers,

a bright thicket fence, dense with yellows, purples, reds  

humming, bee visited. 

From their power lines birds sit

and comment. It's not political, just

a place to perch--

to pour, fall voluble, their calls 

on repeat. Some bird version of

KEEP OFF MY LINE,

my branch, my bit of street.


 

Monday, October 26, 2020

September pieces

We live our days' work;

the sky glares down: blatant,

vengeful, orange

with far off fires.


We crawl through our days' work

like unwinged flies,

soapfooted, 

honeystuck,

besmeared with lies.


I'm piecing quilt blocks:

calm blues and greens,

right angles meeting 

squarely, where they should.

 

Outside the sky glares at us.

Our little screens blare at us,

promises, compromise,

thick with lies.


There is no peace,

no clear blue in us.



Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Things I put in my pocket

Most days we walk. The baby

picks up little precious things,

acorns, fallen leaves.

There is a dead bird on the sidewalk:

once it was a mockingbird, but

it does not say anything now.

Ants have eaten its eyes,

they seethe on it busily

packing away little parcels of flesh.

Next  door Miss Dorothy

white haired and stooping

pecks her tentative way

behind her little dog.

At the end of the street, 

across the road,

the middle school looms

crumbling red brick

and cardboard covered eyes.

Into its mouth

brown children go back and forth busily

it swelters and chews them, but

they get free lunch.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

My great grandmother gardened

My great grandmother gardened

her suburban yard: unlawned it,

planted it thick with beans, tomatoes,

peach trees-- an unruly, fruitful sprawl.

Indoors, she coddled shoots and starts

in yogurt pots. 

I remember how she filled all her windowsills 

with aloes and with wandering Jew.

She lived alone, green framed,

I remember how the quiet filled my ears.

She served me tomatoes, ripe and sliced

thick, dripping summer--she poured me 

sweet tea, thick with honey, fruit, and mint.

I watched my manners. I asked

the names of plants. I did not know, then,

how hard she was to love, 

that woman who made her own way, 

who divorced when women didn't,

who cherished no one. 

When I was grown, I heard

her children, dutiful, call her Mother

with no tenderness.

I remembered

she could coax new roots from a dry twig.