Sunday, February 9, 2014

New Poems, February 2014


It’s always a misstep,
That first move
Out of yourself,
Sparked by the desire
For enlightenment,
God’s favor,
Or peace of mind.
Later, you’ll be grateful
For the stupidity that
Set you off in the wrong direction,
For what else could have brought about
Your voluntary adventure
Out of stasis?
Call that stupidity faith.


“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”—Romans 12:20

Either Christ was wrong about that,
Or his transcriber was,
Or the illustration meant something
Other than the obvious
Two millennia ago.
For when this love of the enemy
Finally arises, it’s different
Than you imagined:
Feed him and you feed yourself
And give yourself a drink.
And heap burning coals on your own head.
His angst is yours,
As is his stupidity,
His intelligence,
His undeserved beauty,
His pitiful ugliness,
And his dog.
And vice-versa.


You can sometimes catch of glimpse of them
In that moment before concepts intervene
And see that the publicity missed the mark.
For if “holy” is truly “other,” then they’re not holy,
And if “holy” is closer to God, then God’s no closer to them
Than he is to anyone who’s crushed in spirit,
Or than he was to Judas or Devadatta.
Which they understand, and the world is healed.

Zen Nativity

Q: Do you believe in God?
A: Oak tree in the garden.

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