Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter 2000

I'm not at home, but I found this on the web for an Easter poem. Admittedly it isn't a very happy poem, but it is an honest poem about too early a conversion and the psychological damage that ensued from that adoption of absolutes while still a teen. Published in Poets' Canvas.

Easter 2000

In Hyperion Dan Simmons invents the Shrike,
a monster of blades and rays outside of time.
All that approach are slain, yet I find him
less fearful than Jehovah, and as for Christ,
I am ashamed. What should I say?
"Forgive, O Lord the way I wound my fellows,
calling my black humor a rubber knife?"
"Forgive my jealousy of you
who renders me forever second-born?"

At sixteen, head emptied by acid,
I didn't feel joy but dread
electrify my sternum when converted.
The pimpled corpse God claimed
inside that yearbook picture
would never rise. A virgin until married,
I gave triple tithes while a poor student—
what does a child know?

Your unimaginable grace was just that.
I labored not in faith but out of fear,
fear of missing your voice—
for which I paid in voices multiplied,
none of them yours.

I expect no better of the dead—
and so you say we are born—
but when my world was young
you made me old, a dwarf oak
riddled with scars and squirrel holes.
This is no brag but what the Pentecostal
whirlwind reaped of me, and little enough it is.
Mercy is beyond me. Lent may take
cigarettes or chocolate but not my blood—
besides, mine isn't magic.

Have a joyous Easter in any case. When it comes to an example of a happy faith, I'm not much better than Kierkegaard.


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