Tag Archives: god

Monologue: The Nature Of God

Now and then I am challenged
to define my spirit and my beliefs,
usually by someone deep in the binary.
I see dichotomies coming a mile away:

are you a good Christian or an evil Satanist?
Are you a stupid believer or a brilliant atheist?
Do you hajj? Do you kneel? Would you
have lit the pyre or been one of the burned?

I do not speak of these things precisely
to avoid the silliness of such talk, but since
you did not ask and yet seem curious
I will say this: whenever I come to a place

where my road ends in a choice of right turn
or left turn and everyone around me urges
their preference upon me, I turn around
and go back the way I came, or I sit down

on a spot in the middle of the road
and observe the land and sky all around,
see if perhaps there is a pond or ocean
nearby, or a river or stream. 

If you do not understand this
you could never understand what I might say
about how I apprehend the nature of God.
You would not learn enough of who I am.

If you decide that I must therefore be
among the ones to be marked for burning,
go ahead: burn me.  Burn me
for what kind of fuel I am to you. 

It seems that in your world there must be
a name for everything, whether or not
you understand it. Decide later,
after I’m gone. Name my ashes instead.

I’ll shrug off your name for me
as the wind carries me off
in small eddies and tornadoes,
in all directions at once.


Liturgy

Some say there is
a singular God,
a mad male monster.
We ought to stick him
in a dumpster and move on.

Some say God
smells like grand incense and 
is made of love and gentle words.

Some say sulfur
is heaven’s breath and
you’ll smell it forever in hell
to remind you of God’s 
withheld kiss
if you 
don’t watch out.

Some say, c’mon,
you morons, you children, 
you can’t prove God so there isn’t one.
They shit on the notion
and laugh as they make you
wipe up after.

I’d like to tell you about
the God I don’t worship
but keep at arm’s length
because of all those people
I just mentioned
but you scare me, you
whose certainty blinds you
to how often received truth changes.

This God I acknowledge
but refuse to worship
resides 
in a crack in a dungeon wall,
holds a handcuff key sacred
without having hands,
seeps 
like groundwater to the surface
in the dark and soaks the land
before growth, 
but never
causes anything to happen. 

I don’t understand it,
neither do you.
But clear as day
there’s the water, 

there’s definitely
a prisoner singing
in the dark,

and there without question
is the sound
of manacles cracking open.


The Agnostic

He admits to himself
that there are fleeting times when
he still believes
that up in the sky

there’s a bearded solution 
to all of this pain. He knows better,
of course, always has,
just like the cool kids do.
But knowing better
isn’t always enough to banish
certain things from his head
that took up residence long before
knowing meant more than believing.

What he thinks he knows
about such things now, he does not share.
All the cool kids would sneer.
All the cool kids know better than him —
by which he means they have a better process
for knowing. They’re better at knowing 
than he is. When they know something,
they know it. He, on the other hand,
keep gnawing at the knowing all the time,
trying to know better, trying to know more
and more certainly, and it never comes to him.

All this is to say that tonight, right now,
he’s aware of how alone this makes him.
How nothing is reliable. How no one
is in the same boat, at least not anyone
he could call and ask for help. There’s this
one important question he needs an answer to
and if there’s nothing beyond himself to provide
a safe space to ask it, he dares not say it out loud.
All the cool kids would laugh at him for feeling that way.
All the cool kids would turn away if he asked them,

so he doesn’t ask, and slowly pulls away.


The Gospel According To Saint Synchronous

Born and baptized
more than Catholic,
an excellent student
of the Western canon

who did not realize
until almost too late
how much it had also
blasted into near-dust.

Much was given 
as well of course 
but not enough to fill
certain fissures in

his well of being. Much
not directly stolen
leaked away into
the now-dry walls

as a result and to 
compensate all he had
was binary thought, 
a reliance on self

alone, a single meddling
God; not even a scrap of spirit
to call upon in everyday
objects, animals, flowers.

One day he fell ill and
died to the notion of 
a precious afterlife where
he’d still think and still be himself

and instead struck upon
the idea of floating 
across the divide, and saw
there was no divide between

life and death and next life, and as
his own name fell from him,
he said he would be back, smiling
because he knew it was at once

a truth and a lie and a new
Gospel According To Saint
Synchronous arose that said,
find your deity where you are

and forget
my name
as soon as
you do.

 


Talking God In A Dark Parked Car

Sitting in a dark parked car
talking about God. We don’t
have to agree, but we do,
somehow, considering 
how differently we came

to these conclusions.
This doesn’t mean
that we are correct in our 
assumptions; perhaps it means
we’re just equally dull at cutting
through the God-fog.  

They are talking
of the glow from God-walking.
I am talking of the shadow
tied to all our ankles. Read me
one of your God-poems, 
they ask.  I do, and they
respond in kind. We speak

in a dark parked car
of how we each use land
to find God — it’s not abstract
to seek God, there’s a place in God
and God is in places and
location is holy and physical
is sacred.  The dark parked car
is still running,

I finally turn the lights off as it runs,
as we talk of where we each are going
in the next hours — onto a plane for them,
up the street to bed for me, finding our ways
from the God here to the God there,

taking God with us from the parked dark car
to the next place, or perhaps not — perhaps
that will be a different God there, or at least
a different face of the same God.
Does it matter which is true
when 
a dark parked car
has already been a temple in our world?


The Search For God

People I know and love
kept saying there was no God.
I didn’t buy it. Could have sworn 
I met God once or twice.

I went over to the former God-place.
No one was home. I let myself
in. Looked through scattered papers
for a current address. Admired

some old family photos. There was a lot
of unopened mail piled up under the slot,
though not as much as you might expect.
Nothing offered a clue as to

the present whereabouts of God. I did see
an oak tree failing out back, a garden
of dried-up stems, a pile of brush
by a cold circle of ash. Began to realize

that God must have moved on long ago from
such settled addresses. Maybe God
bought an RV on credit and took up
a nomadic lifestyle, campground

to campground, put faith in
long ribbons of road under holy black wheels
in pursuit of happiness. Maybe no one
had ever offered God happiness. Come to think of it

God was never smiling when I ran across them
on those strange occasions when we met.
There was a grimness to those
moments. I was unsettled. Perhaps 

God was as well. I don’t blame God 
for putting distance between us,
now that I recollect that appalling neediness.
I cannot imagine how long I’d stand for that.

I left the former house of God and walked
a long way down the road seeking their tracks
until I came to my senses.  Let God be happy,
I decided. If I believe anything, I believe

they’ve earned a right to restlessness
in the face of our constant pressure — 
and I’ve got a home of my own. So
I turned back. 


On The Varieties Of Religious Experience, Part 2

The Great Mysteries
aren’t fiendishly difficult to solve,
which is why they are rarely solved;

too many search for 
keys to the complex locks
so visible on the door,

when all they need to do
is push upon them and
walk right through;

the Greater Mysteries
have their solutions
written upon

the welcome mat
at the feet of the frantic
sleuths fumbling there;

the solution to
the Greatest Mystery 
Of All

isn’t even on 
the other side
of the door

but don’t expect to hear
anything about that one
if you refuse to put down 

that key and turn away
from the door
that was put there

for the sole purpose of distracting you
and getting you to walk away
from the truth.


The God Moment

If you believe in a God
which intervenes
in individual lives
and you do
what’s asked of you
knowing a God’s
behind it then 
Evil you do is still 
God’s will, rest easy and
be at peace as 
you just may be
The God’s parry, forcing 
another into Good
for A God’s Plan; there’s
a Pattern for this,
you may seek
Judas out and ask when 
you see him for
more details.

If you believe in a God
still present but 
less interventionist in Small-
Scale, do what
presents itself for doing
as you see fit and Right
as the sweep of Universe
serenely and sincerely moves
according to the tides of A God’s
design without a tug on it from
you and your small actions; if
a butterfly, blah, blah, etc.,
then you are the 
unknowing butterfly of 
such a Design and you’ll 
get the wings you deserve,
or none at all, but A God
will be served and thanks for 
your service.

If you believe in A God
which Set It All to Move
and stepped away to watch
and never nudge, do
what presents itself
to be right and good, counter Evil
as you see fit
while considering always that
you, cog of the Work,
might be broken,
hold a secret flaw
someday to break by Plan
or Accident
or Planned Accident and
thus become
God’s Popcorn Fodder.

If you believe in That God
whose Scarred Face
is currently buried in 
Torn Hands,
A God who won’t raise
The Head to peek right Now,
do what you find
good and right
and counter Evil
as you see fit,
understanding that on
a scale we can’t imagine
we may be
That God’s karma.

If you believe in All God
at once, do what is presented
for doing and
speak to each item
in the List of Potential Prophets
for its own Counsel, counter Evil
as the Splinter
or Stone commands or
suggests, don’t be afraid to step
where a step is indicated as
that spot compressed below the Foot
and your sense of the Ground
is as much Church or Altar as
a Church or Altar built for 
attention — do not segregate, 
aggregate; onward into All God.

If you believe you are The God,
why are you reading this?
You got This.
You do what is presented to you,
prop up Good or counter Evil as
each is offered.
That’s a good God,
doing whatever a God
Moves A God To Do.

If you believe in No God,
you are likely to do
what is presented
as a Thing To Do,
not because
of debt or threat,
and to suggest
Another God
might cover this eventuality
would be worrisome as
it necessarily excludes
your No God,
so No God for you,
so shall it be.

Now, here at the close
of All the God-Talk:
are you expecting The Bow
On the Package, ready for
unwrapping?
Are you excited for a 
Conclusion?

Fine.

Roll dice.
See what comes up
and see how you feel
about the particular arrangement
of little spots on bone-hued
cubes for Gaming.
It’s as much certainty
as you are ever going to get. 
Roll, and roll again,
as God is said not to do — 
it’s the Power we alone hold — 
to do what’s presented for us to do
each time the bones roll.
Call that moment
before they come to rest
a God Moment if it helps you
choose your turn. Call on 
The God as needed.

Here. 

It’s always
your turn.


The Ceiling Called God

When I was young,
God lived in buildings. 
We heard He was everywhere
but we knew his home address
was down the street,  just past 
the market.  

Now I think God is a building.  
No walls, no floor, just a ceiling
as high as one can imagine. 
Every door you can find, marked or not,
is an illusion that one must work with
to find the path to lead into God. 

Some tell me I’m not right
or I’m downright wrong
as they sneer about the whole notion
of The Ceiling Called God; no matter.
There’s infinite room
for all of them
under those rafters

when there are no walls to divide us, 
when there’s no floor upon which 
to trample each other as we rise
toward a great height 
we will never touch.
God The Ceiling
is always out of reach,

doesn’t know what we’re up to, 
doesn’t care. It hangs over us
without fussing and war and struggle,
with no gender, no creed, no race,
not even a face. Serene in its indifference
to those things, the Ceiling Called God
does its job and assumes we
must be doing the same.


Profanity

in this place long ago
lived people who carved

nine thousand names
for their god
into this temple.
every seed they planted they saw
as a spark of green prayer
that would rise 
as it sprouted and grew,
perfuming the eyes of heaven
like sweet smoke.
they could hear and see
voices and vision in the earth itself
back then 

and now you’re trampling that,
tourist.

don’t claim it doesn’t matter
simply because those
who made this place

and worshipped here
are gone.
tell the truth about it:
if all were still thriving,
you still would not care because
you don’t care.

you don’t care about
what is sacred because
you think of
your god
like something from a comic book:
merely a possibility.  

you don’t care
because back home,
your god has no face
in your soil.


Cobblers And Watchmakers

Originally posted 7/31/2011; original title, “Cobbler’s Faiths.”

Some cobble their religion
from old songs half remembered
stray parental advice
advertising scripts
movie scenes
observations made upon losing virginity
every episode of favored cartoons
lines grabbed from books sniffed out at yard sales
or learned from peers better versed in cool
rare T-shirts
well-shouted poems

It seems as valid
as anything put together
by committees of old men
staring suspiciously at past wisdom
scrapping over papyrus and parchment
and vellum
with an eye toward
power

Each seems to offer
as much comfort to its believers
as the other does to its congregation

My God
is also a crafter
A maker of watches and clocks

Long ago
the Holy Mechanism was turned on
It made a cog of me
I learn the secrets of time
and motion for myself
as I mesh with All
and work in tandem with All
to bring All
forward

Sometimes I do envy
those whose shoes fit well enough
to let them cross these stone-seeded grounds
with such ease 
especially on those days when I’m deaf
to the Ticking
and I stumble and stub and bleed
while straining to hear it again

but then I reconsider
and smile through the pain

imagining what more important things
than worrying about me
the Watchmaker may be up to


God’s All Right

Originally posted 8/1/2010.

God’s apparently
a pan-Humanist —
he says,
“these are my people,”
while pointing everywhere
and confounding everyone.
Doesn’t seem interested 
in choosing sides…
mostly, he’s just
content to be God.

Or she is.  
Or they are.

Anyway, God’s all right.
Vaguely Amish,
kinda simple tastes.

Sometimes, though,
God says
fuck it. 
Sometimes
God belly-bumps you
and screams,

“Me dammit —
this place is a mess — 
who built this half assed world?
Who left me out here
without a backup?”

Looks you in the eye
the whole screaming time,
and it’s hard to fall back
on religion for answers 
when God’s
up in your face

with such big questions.


Creed

Originally posted 1/26/2007.

Worship
what works;
forget the rest.

If They tell you something’s forbidden
you can be certain

it offers something They can’t.

Forget about prayer
creating what you seek: prayer works best
when it fails you.

Those who die in their own evil
go somewhere you can’t imagine.
The ones who die good go the same way.

Imagine that an angel has power beyond
one stroke of its open wings
or you will never understand the ways of nature.

Pretend God
has your face. Pretend
Satan has hold of his mirror.

Move your jaws
in words that spell the same
both ways.

You will find yourself
saying little
and understanding everything.


Cafe Gospel

Dropped into a
small coffee shop
run by good friends
to see what was up
that day…

there were two Gods
with no obvious gender
on a corner outside
working miracles
for small cash.

Another One
watched them
suspiciously — written
on His face this question:
how could any de-gendered
Deity be? He stayed miserable
inside his car.

Found inside
a holy set of patrons
and there among them
yet another miniature God
having a cup of Yrgacheffe.
I took a seat and
spied upon Her
as she set about
changing things
in this one tiny world
She controlled,

then when she’d paid and left
stood and applauded my friends
for building a Heaven,
a Home
so easily attained.

Easy enough to bring
a deity to believe in here,
they replied, if you leave
your doors open
at odd hours
and stop judging
who shows up
and what shape
they take — I mean,

just look at yourself,
they said.
Go ahead.  It isn’t
blasphemous
to see yourself here,
belonging here.

It sounded
like what was needed,
like a Gospel,
like good,
good news.

I sat back down,
stayed a while longer.


More Than Full

I give my devotion
to an ecstasy induced
by observing how

the surface tension of water 
poured carefully
into a small glass

allows the top of the water
to dome slightly
above the lip, thus

revealing itself as neither half full
nor half empty but
more than full 

as physical law works wonders 
without requiring a suspension
of all I know.

Here’s the fingerprint
of a God I can desire:
Gaia allowing for astonishing things

without regard for my particular
presence.  My observation
and ecstasy are beside the point;

my place under Gaia’s skin
is not mine to decide.  Whether I delight
in being here or not is irrelevant.

What matters is not  
that my glass is more than full,
but that what allows it to be so

also allows the water beetles
and skippers to stand out there
on the pond like tiny Saviors

as if it were the most natural
thing in the world
to walk on water.