Friday, September 18, 2020

WWJS-What Would Jeremiah Say

 

I will scream,  I will cry out
I will not keep silent
I will moan like a woman in labor
who knows her child will be stillborn. 
For this nation has sinned against Me 
and profaned My Holy Name.
For a long time I have kept silent 
Hoping that they might repent 
and live out their promise 
but they have not.

They have taken land 
from those before them 
created treaties based on lies.
They have given as gift
Covering knowingly infected with death
They have marched these precious ones
Along trails of tears to barren places
Where suicide and addiction become rife
Then desecrate their holy sites without shame

They have brought slaves 
on ships of death 
to toil beneath the lash 
Picking cotton to go to mills 
where brown lung and debt poverty 
stalked those who labored there.
Then when slaves were freed
They created Black Codes
Jim Crow
and new forms of slavery under another name.
They have pitted poor Blacks 
against poor Whites 
lest they realize their oppression together
and rise up.
They have killed the innocent and unarmed in the streets
Reckoning lives of color not to matter.

They have caged children 
and forced sterilization  
on women of color 
and on those they deemed 
feeble minded.
They have buried this genocide 
this ethnic cleansing 
under the guise of fancy words 
and high sounding programs
All the while claiming  
that they are "pro-life."

They have failed so miserably 
at the stewarding of creation
That fires burn relentless as a dragon 
Weather changes 
and creation sickens 
like a patient with stage 4 cancer.

Yet they do not hear or heed 
My warning in this.
They have surpassed Nineveh in their cruelty
They have murdered their Jonahs
Therefore I will consume them 
with fire
Drown them in the blood of their people 
This nation shall fall, become a byword 
an object of scorn to the nation's
All who speak their name 
will hiss at their destruction. 
Nineveh repented and I relented
Had Sodom and Gomorrah 
recieved such a warning  
they would have rent their garments covered themselves in ashes  sought My forgiveness.
But this people will not.

So I will come in tears and wrath
Pour down destruction 
like boiling oil.
But I will not destroy completely. 
I will seek a remnant 
faithful to My commandments
Who knows
Perhaps the city shall be rebuilt 
And the land once more bear fruit

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Canine Sacrament

 

The fur around her ears 
is still as soft 
as when she lay next to me at three months.
That moment when
Exhausted by politics and pandemic 
I lay there 
stroking that soft, fine fur
Wondered if it was possible 
to have in this day 
a relationship with God 
as tender as that touch.
The answer came 
as invitation and promise
The still, small Yes 
that cracks open mountains 
and topples empires.
So that now to rub her ears 
is a call to prayer.
When the world has beaten me down
I draw a circle around the two of us
Touch that soft fur of the Promise
and pray
Our Father 
as her head rests on my lap.

Monday, September 7, 2020

How Could I Give You Up

 

I have heard that even puppies
Go through the "terrible twos."
Only they do it 
at six or seven months.
Regressing
Stubborn
Hosea described it,
at least the part I feel,
"When Israel was a child
I loved him....
Out of Egypt I called my son."
Even crotchety old Jeremiah 
has God talking about 
all the good things 
God had wanted to do for Israel. 
Today was hard
Oreo seems to have started 
Right on time.
Plopping down in the grass 
when she's told to stand,
She's figured out 
that the leash 
is attached to her training collar 
So she takes the leash in her mouth
so that she cannot be lead 
or corrected. 
Ignoring every command, 
she hunts in the grass for cicadas. 
I've read that more puppies 
are returned at this time 
than any other.
What was once cute and cuddly 
now is just a pain in the ass 
so back they go.
Just 
Like
That 
God seems to have had those feelings 
And yet....
I sat on the steps.to the deck tonight
And remembered how Oreo and I
used to sit here in the early morning  when she first came to us
Both of us still sleepy 
we watched the world awake.
It felt sad the we can't do that now
But maybe just a little like God
I say, "How could I give up on you
O Oreo"
And maybe a little like me
God says, "We'll get through this. How could I give you up My creation
My Beloved"
And maybe both of us say,
"We'll try again tomorrow."
I call her name 
and we go in the house together.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Until We Speak This Truth

 

Until we speak this truth 
scream the agony of this moment
There can be no healing. 
Watching the world around me now
Isn't like watching a train wreck  
and not being able 
to look away
It is like watching the Hindenburg  
and knowing that your family  
is there above you 
engulfed in the flames.
Like watching the 911 films 
over and over 
and trying to figure out 
which one 
of those bits of drifting paper 
that weren't paper at all, 
but the bodies of those 
who leapt,
Which one is your 
motherbrotherfatherloverfriend.
Locked in that moment, 
perhaps forever
We all have PTSD together. 
Except there is no "P"
Only the foreverness of the violence
and the virus
And the grating voices of liars
Speaking from places 
of privilege and power 
asserting in their arrogant,
untouched distain 
that there is no pandemic 
no racism 
no white privilege 
no body lying in the street
Til you want to take them 
like a dog that has shit the floor 
and shove their face 
into the pile they have made.
Til a part of you 
bigger than you want to admit 
wants to watch while they watch 
motherbrotherfatherloverfriend
gasping on ventilator 
or under knee
Hear their loved ones cry out
"I can't breathe"
Do not say to me
You cannot say such things
How can you write such words?
Choke instead on your pain and rage
while wearing a beatific smile
Speak peace 
Though there is none
And do not remind us 
that the Psalms that praised 
still waters and green pastures
Also said 
my bones are on fire within me 
my tears soak my pillow at night
and blessed are they
who shall dash your children's heads against the rocks.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Attitude Adjustment

 

God and I 
been working on my attitude. 

You mean you agree with me now?

No. Oh hell no.
God's just been working 
on my attitude about it.

I don't know what you mean.

I mean that if I am right 
and still hate you, 
still treat you 
like the enemy who must be destroyed 
Instead of my sister, my brother 
That I love,
who has strayed
from the demands of God 
on those who follow Him 
and needs to be loved back 
Back into the Beloved Community
I have failed.

Why you sanctimonious prick! 
who do you think you are?
You pompous piece of....

Yeah, that's the temptation 
For me to make loving my enemy
into a weapon.
If i do, if i have,
I'm sorry. Don't meant to.
Sometimes my arrogance 
gets in the way of my following Jesus.

You think I'm not following Jesus?
"Judge not that ye be not judged."

You're right.
But I'm not judging you. 
Scripture is. God's Word in Christ 
Is.
You have judged
Your neighbor as less 
For the color of his skin.
You have let the sick die
The poor prisoner languishes 
(while the rich go free)
In fact you've made a business 
of keeping them 
in private prisons and jails 
because they cannot post bail.
You have judged your sisters 
and brothers 
less than
Because of who they love.
You have stood by
While the cry goes up to God's throne,
"God help me! I can't breathe."

You Marxist!
You support those rioting thugs.
People like you will destroy our country. 

I hope so. This country, 
at least as it now,
Needs to be destroyed. 
Recreated from the inside out.
"If any country is in Christ Jesus 
If it's people will humble themselves
and pray,
I will heal them, 
they will be made new"
We need a new country. 
We need a new heart.
We need a new attitude. 
And I need to learn to love you;
Even when you stand on your lawn
and point a gun at me
Even when you gas me 
and shoot me with rubber bullets
Even when you give water 
to the man who 
will kill me in your street 
and tell him you're glad for his help.
Even when your sheriff 
blames me for my own death. 

You son of a bitch
I liked you more 
when you were cursing at me.

I know.
But God's been working on my attitude 
And I have to find a way to love you

At least that's what I wish I'd said.

The Cost Of Puppy Parenting

 

It's 3:30 a.m. and I'm awake
The puppy lies beside me
twitching in her sleep.
She had not roused me 
to take her out,
One explanation is that 
her wild play athe the dog park
has exhausted her.
But then,
there was the pen she stole off the table,
Chewing it apart 
before I realized she had it.

I counted the pieces 
as I wrestled them away
The spring is in my hand 
as well as the ink rod
and most of the casing.
But there is a tiny piece I cannot find
And I am a worrier. 
I lie awake
Fearful 
that she has swallowed 
this tiny piece 
and injured herself. 
The loss of our last dog 
still a tender wound in me

So I am awake 
Wondering if I keep God up at night
brooding over my attempts 
to digest the undigestable 
and the way  I knock over 
in my exuberance at greeting...

Jesus asked,
If we as human parents 
give good gifts to our.children;
How much more
does the Heavenly Parent 
hover over us in our broken state
Waiting for the morning 
and the tail-wagging of prayer.

Monday, August 17, 2020

His Tail Light Was Out When He Died

His tail light was out
when he died
In the hot night on that dusty Georgia road
So was mine
A friend passed me on the road and noticed
Texted me
I ignored it til the next time
That I went to get my oil changed
Was never stopped 
And even if I had been
Would have recieved a warning 
and 14 days to fix the problem 
Show up at any police station
Get my citation signed.

But then
I am not Black
And driving on a Georgia road 
at night
Perhaps that's why he fled
Sixty years 
of living while Black
may have taught him what the rabbit
knows instinctively;
When the red fox comes
and you are alone in the night
You do not tarry to see what he wants.

The only story we will hear
is the trooper's,
And whatever footage 
Body and dash cams show
If they were on.
Even then,
When the stories come from that one source,
They don't quite match up.
We do know this:
His car forced into a ditch
Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis  
was shot in the face 
while both hands were on the wheel
Where the officer could see them.