Christ in Watercolor

Here’s a poem that’s been sitting in the back catalogue for a while and gone through multiple revisions so far [This is draft #5]. It’s been submitted to a few places and keeps getting sent back, so it might take a lot more work to get it out. See what you think!

——————————-

    I

My Father has sent me
to find bread in the wilderness,
or, if there is no bread,
to discover loaves in the earth.

The tide of the dust
lifts and bathes me
to my waist. As I wade
the ever-pleating sand
rubs my soles and chips away
flakes of unyielding flesh.

I have seen cities form
and crumble with the coming
of the clouds at morning,
their parapets milky-white
in the scaffolding of the sun.

    II

Music has not flowed from
the stones for days; echoing
through the thick breeze, voices
wander in search of ears
to claim them. Their language
is one I speak,
but not my native tongue.

My eyes do not see
clearly the shadows
that rise as rocks mask the sun.

    III

“he has joined the tribe
of the desert,” they will say,
and i will not live
to correct them.
my gut has risen to force
its way through my chest;
hunger and starvation
converse in the silence.

    IV

Finding a speck in my eye,
i have stopped to gaze at its size.
What seems a boulder
is now a grain;
light carves a pass through it
as through still waters.

The scabs on my soles
have fallen away,
leaving new flesh
under their veil.

    V

Clouds drift and tumble across
the horizon, jutting their parapets
higher across the plain.

I float on each new tide,
a chunk of driftwood that
seeps with all knowledge
of where it is directed.

My Father will not come
to me but I will go
to Him. All was buried
in sand, and I was fed.

—————————–

[Having trouble? Read Matthew 4:1-2.]

Thanks for reading!


Slats

The sun slid down
the screendoor sky, casting
orange over the brush.
Noah had already trudged
home, leaving Jacob
to decide the fate
of the August evening.

He walked along the path
marking the tobacco from
the corn; stands of old stalks
stood against the horizon,
slightly higher than his
head and older
than he could imagine.

Shoved between sheets
of trees, the corn crib
leaned with the wilting
clouds; Jacob marched
through the clods, ground
beneath his boots.

Yards off from the crib
a voice perked his ears,
rising from the husks,
sliding through the slats, and
dragging bits of earth
with it to the pine canopy.

Jacob crept closer, winding
like a strand of kudzu,
through the black-
berry briars.
The sound rapped softly
against the leaves.
The first word he snatched
out of the air hung
like frost on a pine needle,
“son.”

Curiosity awoke, his slow-eyed dog
and he pressed his ear
against the crib wall
to catch all he could.

“mercy on me
my family. Let my son
know love
let ‘im feel
fear of th’ Lord.
Help me a good father
good husband
to Milly.
water outta rock
in the wilderness”

He pushed down the stalks
of dead corn as he headed home.
He watched Pa eat and wash up
and send them all off to bed
like he’d done each night before.
He lay awake that night, until
the crickets stopped creaking.
The smell of dry husks
made him think of God
still listening between
the slats of a father’s cry.

-W.B. Hurst


Indie Jesus!

https://i1.wp.com/www.dobi.nu/yourscenesucks/indiejesus/scene.jpg

Indie people have recently come to my attention as the “new hippie,” though you could never get away with calling them that to their face. Well, along with the rest of Indie culture, we now have a savior for these mountain men, one who “doesn’t take no crap from the man.” While Indie Jesus may have kept his sacrosanct sandals and beard, he has been given a +1 Sweater Vest of Truth to replace his simple, white robes, and the addition of a vintage belt assures Him that He’ll be accepted at the next Pitchfork staff meeting.

I wonder if He stays up nights listening to Bon Iver? Now all we need is Hipster Paul of Tarsus.


You Can’t Take It With You

Wonders abound in the worlds of religion and irreligion, but one of the most fascinating came to my attention today: a site dedicated to saving your pet in the event you get “raptured”. After taking a cursory glance, I figured this was purely a joke site that was made in 5 minutes by some atheists looking for a laugh, but it turns out that these guys actually get money for their work.

The contract is harmless enough. Here are a few snippets:

“In the event of the death of the subscribing pet owner prior to the Rapture the contract will remain in effect. EE-BP will continue to honor the contract for the remainder of the contract period. We do not adopt / rescue animals except as a result of the Rapture occurance.”

“Should a relative residing within the rescue location not be Raptured and opts to retain the pet(s), EE-BP will not take possession of the pet(s). No refund will be tendered.”

“If subscriber loses his/her faith and/or the Rapture occurs and subscriber is not Raptured (aka is “left behind”) EE-BP disclaims any liability; no refund will be tendered.”

Quotes taken from Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA – Contract and Payment

They do actually have subscribers, and members of their organization, confirmed atheists who have no worry of being taken should a rapture occur, will honestly uphold their end of the bargain. Also, a portion of the revenue made from their Google advertising is donated to food banks in their area. These guys are legit, and some people are worried enough about the rapture that they legitimately fear this. Seems like these guys are helping a lot of people, while helping us laugh at ourselves a bit, too. Check them out.


Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA