Saints Alive

Standard

We find no saints on Earth.
Just plain old men and women
Chipped, crimped and crackled.
Examine a fine bit of skin and you will find the mole of witchcraft…
But only if you want to.
Living bodies stink of life – the taxations of time, follies of youth, crippling doubt, condemnations of better souls…
What flawed creature could possibly be offered up to God as a paragon of what we can offer?
Present a good enough example
And we work it over with the finest toothed combs
Determined to catch the fleas that dig into every gleaming coat,
Loud in disappointment when we find it!
Toss out the charlatan! Another child of Eden!
Perhaps it takes the soft focus of death
To turn us into kinder judges of our kin.
There are no saints on Earth.
They exist only in words and our invisible hopes
The likes of which can dance on the heads of pins
And pass through the eyes of the Bayeux’s needles
Unweighted and unbound
Spiraling out of our grasp
To Heaven.

****

This is what happens when you read the news before breakfast, people.
EAT YOUR BREAKFAST FIRST.

NaPoWriMo.2 : Electric Rhyming Bugaloo!

Standard

That’s right.
It’s April, and that means we’re back to NaPoWriMo. The last time I did this monthlong poetry fest I was in China with a hefty amount of free time on my hands. Now I’m back in the States, and my time is still technically equal to what it was. Except, of course, for the longer list of things to do.

I’m excited to try it again, and I hope you, my audience, enjoys what happens when a poet must write everyday. Though if I’m being honest, I started a day early. 2.1 was written on March 31st. Yesterday’s post – which I’m posting below – is more about the process than just a poem.

Because truth be told, it’s been a rougher time for this poetess. I expect these rougher times are going to manifest themselves in my writing. I’d hope this wouldn’t upset you, but since I’m writing for me…

**** 2.2 ****

Parodies of Sad

I got a lot of positive response to my last poem, which I find interesting. Sadness- that is, writing from sadness, often garners attention because it is real. Happiness is harder to grab, harder to express without sounding trite. Sadness can veer into the melodramatic, but even in melodrama it hits a strange echo in us. Like the proper vibration to break a glass, different emotions resonate on different frequencies.

In my moments of sadness, I tend to write parodies and sing songs that sound vaguely like Garrison Keillor’s song poems from “A Prairie Home Companion”.

For example, I am still in the doldrums, so I came up with this parody of a song that I like to sing in general, “Let’s Have another Cup of Coffee, and Let’s Have another Piece of Pie:”

Oh life is just a bloody circle
We live and eventually we die
So let’s spike another cup of coffee,
And fuck it – just eat up all the pie

It’s true when bad things happen
People don’t want you to cry
So let’s spike another cup of coffee
And fuck it – just eat up all the pie

There’s a hole in my umbrella
And the storms come rollin’ in
It’s hard to keep on trying
When you never seem to win

I wonder if God chuckles
When he hears me asking why?
So let’s spike another cup of coffee
And fuck it – just eat up all the pie

It’s dramatic and sad, sure. But there’s something to be said for letting yourself wallow in words that make you feel better. Like teenagers listening to moody music. In my case, I listen to an old album “Songs of the Great Depression.” I guess, when I contemplate all the horrible things I’ve seen, and the myriad things which are worse which I have not seen, it helps to put things in perspective. Of a sort. Perspective is a terrible thing sometimes.

Hard Morning

Standard

God told me a joke.
First, he cracked my heart
As though it were a crisp cookie.
Into the space between the halves
He breathed a burr
That wedged and twisted in my chest.
Then, just when I thought
I too must fully break in half,
God sent me a sign.
A bird, trapped in the garage.
Grey, small, with long tail.
Poor thing,
Flying in ineffectual circles,
Singing hollow in the darkened space,
Waiting for me to press the button and
Return it to the world.
Very funny.
Great punch line.

Saint Brigid, Saint Patrick, Mary, and God

Standard

Saint Brigid, Saint Patrick, Mary, and God

Saint Brigid saw Saint Patrick
Walking by her lake of beer.
She called to him, “Hey, Patrick!
Care to share a cup of cheer?”

Saint Patrick winked and nodded.
“Aye, but I will drink no beer.
It’s whiskey that’s my drink of choice –
Would you like a dram, my dear?”

So Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid
Got to celebrating days
Until their song reached Heaven
(Drunk voices carry quite a ways.)

Immaculate Mary descended
Down to the lake of beer
And Saint Brigid raised her tankard,
“Hey Mary, how ‘bout a mug of beer?”

Gentle Mary smiled at the pair
“I’ll drink something more fine.
If we’re in celebrating mood
I’d much prefer a glass of wine.”

So Brigid drank a mighty draught
And Patrick from his flasks
Sweet Mary had amphora brought
The angels rolled the casks.

The trio sat by the lake of beer
And sang hymnals full of praise
Until God himself popped into sight
(For he has mysterious ways)

“Across my kingdom’s reaches
Have I heard the noise you’ve made
You could awaken souls asleep
What happens in this glade?”

“Good Father,” said Saint Patrick.
“Come and join us for a drink!
Be merry and happy on a day of feast
Come on, Lord, whatdya think?”

“Holy Lord,” enjoined Saint Brigid.
“Let me offer you a glass!
Let’s celebrate the day of days
That many more may pass!”

“Almighty God,” spoke Mary.
“Come drink the grape’s delight
Let’s sing and dance and spin the Earth
Throughout the day and night.”

And God sat down beside them
By the lake of beer and song
He drank the whiskey and the wine
For God’s tolerance is strong.

Until, that is, God’s humor
Got the better of his mind
“Hey guys, check out what I can do!
Let’s see what I can find!”

Saint Brigid, Saint Patrick, and Mary
All paused within their drinking
Each wanting to see what the Lord would bring
To see what Yahweh was thinking.

With a mighty clap and a joyous noise
The Lord gave out a cheer
And all around the angels sang
And drank at the lake of beer.

Yet when the magic settled,
And the power had all been spent,
The only thing that God had made
Was an awkward looking rodent.

Its tail was rat, its fur was white
“I shall call it – an opossum!
It shall confound my mortal charges…
Now, which Saint had the rum?”

Saint Brigid cheered the creature
And Saint Patrick cried “Here! Here!”
Sweet Mary laughed and clapped her hands
By that merry lake of beer.

*****

Saint Brigid of Ireland is my patron saint, and her prayer involves providing beer for all eternity for the holy family. On this, Saint Patrick’s day, I like to think that God gets to enjoy him/herself with the Saints.

And like all drunks, strange creatures get made when God gets tipsy. I mean, the platypus, most deep sea creatures, the opossum (which I call God’s sneeze).

[Day] 28

Standard

Day 28: Switchboard Prayer

 

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

Also Buddha.

And I guess if any ancient spirits unaffiliated are nearby

If you could lend an ear as well.

Ahem, Amen.

Our Father, who art in Heaven

But this is not your church, God.

This is Buddha’s home

So, Buddha, do you mind if I talk to God?

Or perhaps you are a part of God?

No, you were a man of transcendence

Which means you play cards with Jesus

Great – am I being sacrilegious?

Hail Mary, full of grace…

You are so much easier to talk to than God

Woman to woman, I think you get me

Better, understand me a little more.

Don’t tell him I said that.

He already knows anyway.

Where was I?

Ah yes – so please Buddha

Since this is your house

Do whatever it is you do for good people

And do it for the good people I know.

And God, understand that I offer my prayers to you

But I’m not sure you get reception on Buddha’s mountain

The signal might be a little fuzzy

And isn’t it better to try and get along with everyone?

Forgive us our trespasses

(Like trying to pray to everyone at once.

I’m just trying to be fair here!)

As we forgive those who trespass against us

You know, I am no longer angry at that smoker who shoved me.

It’s this holy vibe I’m getting from Buddha

He’s got mojo here

Again, I’m being sacrilegious.

Again, forgive me my trespasses –

Apologies to all parties.

Buddha, forgive me for praying to my God on your mountain

God, forgive me for asking Buddha to help me out

Mary, mother of God, just put in a good word for me

Bodhisattva of Not Messing Things Up – step up your game, Dude.

Sorry, I think my informality is fear

That in asking any of you for help

I’m only making it worse.

Here’s a candle.

Here’s some incense.

I’m leaving now.

Peace be with you all.

Ahem, Amen.

 

 

—-

 

This is a free form poem, in that it is almost exactly the inner monologue I had trying to pray to God on the top of a Buddhist mountain, and getting thoroughly awkward with myself.