Nobody Wants Jesus

I wrote this at Easter time a couple of years ago.  I still like some of it, but I now wish to rewrite it.

Nobody wants Jesus

Nobody wants Jesus to come.

Oh, we all say we do.

But we mean the Jesus

who looks like us,

who talks like us,

who carries our very own prejudices

in his heart.

 

We don’t want the Jesus

Who, like His brother Thomas,

plunges His finger

into gaping wounds,

the ones in our sides.

That Jesus

asks too much.

 

We don’t want the Jesus

Who has looked

into the eyes

of the wild God,

The Holy Mystery,

Who screams,” Love!”

from every rooftop.

 

We don’t want the Jesus

Who didn’t care for empty piety,

Who desired more than sacrifice,

Who commanded mercy,

Who prayed for enemies,

Who loved the outcast–

The Beloved, enfleshed.

 

With followers

like us,

it’s a wonder

He ever had to flee to the desert

for solitude.

doubtingthomas

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Musings on Hope

Hope seems to be the theme of my reading today.  The poem for the day from Shambhala was “Hope” by Emily Dickinson.  Here is the text.

Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Just before reading that poem, however, I read Thich Nhat Hanh‘s discussion of hope as an obstacle in his book Peace is Every Step.
Western civilization places so much emphasis on the idea of hope that we sacrifice the present moment.  Hope is for the future.  It cannot help us discover joy, peace, or enlightenment in the present moment. … I do not mean that you should not have hope, but that hope is not enough.  Hope can create an obstacle for you, and if you dwell in the energy of hope, you will not bring yourself back entirely into the present moment.
I don’t think I have a point by any of this other than to say that I think the juxtaposition of these two pieces was particularly thought provoking to me today.  I think that hope may be one of those paradoxes of life that are, to some degree, unsolvable by the intellect and must just be “sat with.”

Dandelion sun
By avmaier from USA (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

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The Things that People Shared

This is the final poem in my series of found poems created from the July 20, 2011 edition of The Stranger.

The Things People Shared

 

Things that people shared:

      grilled goat testicles,

grilled pheasant,

                    balsamic bing cherries,

and the miracle

           of shit.

 

Someone

quibbled sweetly.

            The skies

partly cleared.

There was dancing.

Casa de la Música, Trinidad, Cuba. Octubre de 2016. Fotos. Yoel Díaz 09

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Burning Beast

This is the second of the three found poems, made from articles in Seattle’s weekly, The Stranger (July 20, 2011 edition), that I mentioned in my last post.

Burning Beast

 

It was a downright nonsummer,

a wet one,

pretty much ensoddening

all flesh

or trying.

 

Someone said

the drifting smoke

was somewhat apt.

 

It was raining hard.

The Beast’s spirit

seemed to

shower rain.

https://flic.kr/p/6Xzbqu

Original by Coconino National Forest

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Doomed Houses

Here is the first of three found poems that I put together in July of 2011 while sitting at the bar in the Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle, Washington.  The poems came from the July 20, 2011 edition of the Seattle weekly newspaper, The Stranger.  I used to know the page numbers involved, but, alas, that information has been lost.  The Stranger proved to be a fantastic source for found poems.  I really recommend it, if you’re into that sort of thing.  And Elysian isn’t a bad place to throw back a pint or two.

Doomed Houses 

I. Bang through the wall,

    filthy and happy,

of an emptied-out,

demolished

  maze of

         bank vaults.

Thousands of

     metal doors fight –

held open, pulled closed –

  trying to show

        a freer, wilder

landscape, morphing

into a mechanical

roadside attraction.

 

II. A raven glows

            and spins

outside the house,

      burned, meticulously,

with the limbs

        of the tree,

burned with

playful patterns

visceral, violent,

     indented in the skin,

dirt and grime

                embedded

into the skin,

 a perfect deathbed partner,

 a sagging soul.

 

III. Something of a

            wakelike awareness

will make

   the coming

             demolition

    take on

       the imagery of

             economic darkness.

   Shrink-wrapped

   in plastic,

you see its dirt.


20131203 Istanbul 251

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Stewardship

How wonderful would it be to look back on your life and realize you had accomplished something like this couple in India?

I have said it before, but it’s worth repeating.  We were made for this planet. We are to be true stewards of what we find because it doesn’t “belong” to us, whatever that means in the context of our finite lives.  We belong to the Earth, and we can take that responsibility seriously, or we can ignore it at our peril.  This couple has made a serious effort to leave their part of the planet better off than when they found it.

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Poem…or admonition?

Just to keep the poetry month theme going, here’s a fridge magnet poem that is really only a general admonition to myself.

blood_honey

It does remind me of the Green Man archetype, an image to which I have long felt a connection.  Matthew Fox says that the Green Man reminds us to be “wet and juicy” and fully alive.  All living things are full of blood or sap or liquid of some kind.

The phrase “take and eat” also calls to mind the language of the Eucharist, an invitation to share in a meal of Christ’s body and blood.  It’s also an invitation to a remembering (or, as Cynthia Bourgeault has said, “re – membering”) of Jesus.  That ritual is intended to reconstitute the body of Christ in some way (depending on which denomination you fall into).  I don’t want to get into that here, since I’m not a theologian, and this is hardly the point to this post.  I don’t know if there is a point to this post.

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here is an image of the Ludlow Green Man in Shropshire, England.  I’m sure you’ll agree he’s a handsome fellow.

 

Ludlow_Green_Man_misericord

Note – edited to add links.

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