All posts in Poetry

  • The Magi and I

    James-Jacques-Joseph-Tissot-Journey-Of-The-Magi

    On the Twelfth Day of Christmas and on the Eve of Epiphany I thought I would re-post this. It still speaks to me and for me.

    This is T.S. Eliot’s majestic poem Journey of the Magi with my quasi-interpretation of it. And it’s more than an interpretation — it’s also a kind of autobiographical confession. For I too have had a hard time of it…and like Eliot’s Magi I would do it all over again.
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  • The Last Train Out of Monkeytown

    TrainTracks

    (This poem has deep meaning for Blind Man at the Gate, but many of the references and allusions probably only he understands. Don’t bother asking him to explain the poem, I’m sure he won’t.)

    The Last Train Out of Monkeytown
    Blind Man at the Gate

    He caught the last train out of Monkeytown
    Bought a ticket on Easter 04 and was eastbound
    Left the wagon train beamed from outer space
    Said adios to the obtuse and turned his face
    Toward something he hoped was there
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  • Kyrie Eleison

    Camino
    Kyrie Eleison
    Brian Zahnd

    Six months ago I walked across Spain. Five hundred miles.
    Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
    Forty days and forty nights.
    A full life with two full moons. Harvest and Hunter’s.
    Heat and cold. Dust and rain. Wind and calm.
    It was all there.
    Beauty and blisters.
    Ecstasy and exhaustion.
    Pleasures and pains.
    Mountains, forests, and plains.
    Spaniards and Germans.
    Americans and Russians.
    Brazilians and Peruvians.
    Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese.
    They were all there.
    I was all there.
    Every step of the way.
    A million, three hundred thousand — give or take a few.

    I saw my life. The Camino was my life. My life compressed to forty days and forty nights.
    A five hundred mile walk of life. A precise (or at least an approximate) reflection.
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  • About You

    dreaming-tree

    About You
    Blind Man at the Gate

    Let God talk to you
    About you
    For if you imagine God talking to you
    About her or him, those or them
    You’re on the fast-track to Pharisee City
    And life there is anything but pretty
    The worst stuff I ever heards
    Began with these scary words:
    “God told me to tell you”

    Reminds me of when that guy shouted, “Judas!”
    And Bob Dylan said, “I don’t believe you!”
    (“Play…very…loud!”)
    How does it feel?

    Let God talk to you
    About you
    It’s a bit of good counsel
    I try to let God talk to me
    About me
    Because my worst enemy
    Is not her or him, those or them
    But me
    So Jesus save me
    From me

    It’s not the enemy without
    But the enemy within
    Who will do me in
    Jesus save me
    From me

    And what about you?
    Well, I have some good news
    Jesus believes in you
    It’s true

    So cast off that heavy yoke
    That miserable constraint
    Where you think
    You have to
    Set everybody straight
    You don’t
    Have to

    Let God talk to you
    About you
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  • Peace Donkey On Palm Sunday

    palm-sunday-an_african_jesus_christ_s_triumphal_entry_into_jerusalem_riding_on_a_donkey_to_the_enthusiasm_of_the_crowds

    Peace Donkey On Palm Sunday
    Blind Man At The Gate

    The king approaches on Palm Sunday
    Forsaking the glorious war horse
    To ride a ridiculous peace donkey

    Gentle as the wings of a dove
    Inaugurating the reign of love

    Conquerors come with hubris, blood, and violence
    Riding stallions of famine, war, and pestilence
    (They tell me Genghis Khan killed ten million)

    The Prince of Peace comes without breaking a bruised reed
    Swords are now for plowing, spears are now for pruning
    (I’ll tell you for a fact, Jesus killed nary a one)

    If Hosanna praises rocket’s red glare: Weep over Jerusalem!
    If Hosanna acclaims kingdom come: Let the rocks cry out!

    BZ
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  • The Magi and I (An Epiphany Post)

    journey-of-the-magi

    T.S. Eliot’s poem Journey of the Magi with my quasi-interpretation of it. Which is more than an interpretation — it’s also a kind of autobiographical confession; for I too have had a hard time of it. And like Eliot’s Magi I would do it all over again.
    Read more

  • Turn The Page

    Tomahutu

    Turn The Page
    Blind Man at the Gate

    In our journey through the holy script we’ve not yet reached THE END
    Turn the page
    All that is to be said has not yet been said
    Turn the page
    Long ago the writers finished the text
    But the players have not yet said it all
    There are heroes yet to take stage
    There are dramas yet to be resolved
    Turn the page
    We’ve lingered long over this familiar leaf
    And it’s beginning to turn yellow
    We’ve begun to forget that which has gone before
    We’ve begun to think there will be no more
    Turn the page
    We find comfort in that which is now too familiar
    But the thrill is gone and the story has stalled
    Turn the page
    To move on in the divine tome is not a betrayal
    Of that which we have come to know and love
    But to understand the story demands that we
    Turn the page
    But those afraid to turn the page
    Discourage and disparage and in fear rage
    “If we turn the page things will change!”
    Yes Read more

  • Moonset

    starry-night

    Moonset
    Blind Man at the Gate

    Last night I watched the moonset
    From where I sat
    It was half past eleven
    Between Longs and Ypsilon
    There I sat
    With the moonset
    In the enfolding dark
    Growing colder
    Knowing
    I’m growing older
    And time flies
    But still I sat
    Long past midnight
    Under Rocky Mountain skies
    Until the stars came out
    I saw the Big Dipper
    And the Milky Way smear
    Seven meteorites
    And one satellite
    I hope it wasn’t inflicting cable news
    On God’s good earth
    BREAKING NEWS
    Theater shootings are a thing now
    When I was a kid we saw shoot ‘em up Westerns in theaters
    But they don’t make imposters like John Wayne anymore
    (T-Bone Burnett said that)
    Now we have real shoot ‘em ups
    In…
    Theaters
    Schools
    Malls
    Churches
    Anywhere
    Because Americans have a right
    To act like John Wayne
    “Bang! Bang! You’re dead!”
    But it makes me wonder
    When will America grow up
    And act like an adult?
    I don’t know. . .
    Then shooting star number seven
    Calls me away from the madness here below
    And I remember something about
    Each night giving a little grace
    To help wipe away the sins of the day
    Time to sleep
    And dream of peaceful things
    The moon sets
    The sun also rises
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  • Income Tax Day by Walter Brueggemann

    IMG_5278

    Income Tax Day
    Walter Brueggemann

    On this day of internal revenue
    some of us are paid up,
    some of us owe,
    some of us await a refund,
    some of us have no income to tax.

    But all of us are taxed,
    by war,
    by violence,
    by anxiety,
    by deathliness.

    And Caesar never gives any deep tax relief.

    We render to Caesar. . .
    to some it feels like a grab,
    to some it is clearly a war tax,
    to some — some few —
    it is a way to contribute to the common good.

    In any case we are haunted
    by what we render to Caesar,
    by what we might render to you,
    by the way we invest our wealth and our lives,
    when what you ask is an “easy yoke”:
    to do justice
    to love mercy
    to walk humbly with you.

    Give us courage for your easy burden, so to live untaxed lives.
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