The Church Of The Hairy Woodpecker

I mention my pain out loud and
to facilitate my healing, kind folk
point me toward a hymnal for the Natural Congregation

of the Church of the Hairy Woodpecker.
Pick it up, they urge me. Go into the woods
and sing along, or better still, just listen.

I do and it’s certainly a lovely rhythm,
but not meant for me. I’ve tried
and the peace of nature’s not my language,

not in my range; I cannot fake it well enough
for the congregation gathered there
not to know and not to stare.

Instead I’ll sit here and keep the windows open
and think about what it would be like
to be rid of the kind folk, to just leave

the windows open and let the Church
say what it will about the one who won’t come
to the service. He’s got his own

God, or hymnal, they might say. If they’re right,
I’ll sit in waiting for that for the rest of my life;
the windows are open. Let it come, and let it be soon.



About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “The Church Of The Hairy Woodpecker

  • Eileen

    Yeah. It’s hard for each of us not to share what gives our lives meaning and joy. My husband was so different from me in every way. His response to life was logical, but he envied my joy. Of course, my pits of despair are the other side of joy and a result of responding to life from my gut/feelings. You don’t get the good side of personality traits without the bad. It’s hard to accept that you can’t share the joy with someone you love or care about. In the last year of his life he found the joy, but also found it hard to articulate. I was so glad that he found the joy, but also realized he’d gotten in touch with all the suppressed anger and angst. There’s an upside and a downside to everything in life. A wise old man once told me, when making choices pick the one with the downside you can live with.

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