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A Poet’s Response to Hate Crimes

A Poet’s Response to Hate Crimes

Poets are sometimes called upon to write what arrives in thought. This is one of those poems. It was originally written in response to religious “unrest” in Old Jerusalem; it means just as much (to me) today.

The Shipwreck of Grace

sin (n): an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law
 

They tell me Jesus died for our sins
Yours and mine
These eviscerated bodies we’d rather not claim.

Jesus left room
For acts not so divine
Turning off the lights, for example,
Might transgress divine law
Since he called the light good
But there’s nothing immoral about darkness
Or what happens there…mostly.
Do I waste his time
Praying for light
When I might meet him
Here in the dark?

He made me perfect, not sick…
How can a perfect creator
Form people of faith
Call them to his will –
To murder non-believers
Sick in immorality?

Accept that?
How can I forsake all other ways except
This shipwreck of grace –
Perfect tomb of skeletons
Broken in some zealous abyss?

My faith wants food
Fire
Breath
Children, parents, friends
Light and dark
Sound and silence
Music, dancing and quiet rest.
A place
Saved for some ascetic hippie
To sit down in our circle
And speak to us
Of God.

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