Thursday, April 3, 2014

Poetry is Prayer/Prayer Is Poetry

A prayer is not a poem, and a poem is not a prayer.  But they do, somehow, have something in common, both in theory and in practice.  For today, it's just practice.

O Lord, look kindly
on my heart, broken, bruised, black:
backward, still, but Yours.

what do you mean
"I shall not want"?
I want, O Lord, 
so many things
softness, color, weight
a mountain to climb
and strength to climb it
sleep when I am tired
an unexpected sunrise
to thirst and to be sated
what do you mean
"I shall not want"?
Teach me how to lie down
in righteousness, to love the
still waters, to eat what is
set before me
to live in the valley

of the shadow of death.

God questions me.
O mortal, what do you think?
Can these bones live?
Can these tears flow?
Can these hearts of stone break?
Can these barren bodies bear life?

Why ask me, Lord?
You know.
You know I am dust.
I have cried oceans
and all I have left is salt.
I have no breath in me.

O Lord, you know.
My hands are empty.
I open my mouth
and no words come out.

But hear, again, at midnight
my mourning morning prayer:
O Lord, Open Thou my lips
And my mouth shall declare your praise.

No comments: