Psalm #22 (For the Thirsty)

Today I'm offering my Psalm #22, which is inspired by the text from Isaiah 55. I'd be remiss if I didn't give a little nod to Carl Sandburg. But that's it. Just a little nod.

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"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!" Isaiah 55:1

Psalm #22 (For the Thirsty)

Everyone.

Who received the messages today, of your brother’s business failing, or father’s spill down the slick steps? Or did you see your cousins contrasted against licking flames? Baltimore burning.

Everyone.

[tweetherder text="Women with their mirrors, looking, painting lips, hoping to be noticed by husbands, wandering."]Women with their mirrors, looking, painting lips, blushing cheeks, hoping to be noticed by husbands, wandering.[/tweetherder]

Men in the basement, clicking. Synapse firers. Face flushers. All the profiteers of the pleasure traffickers, wooing.

Everyone.

The man in a closet thirsting for fire. Rocks and numb, rocks and numb. The blushing alcoholics daily born. Shooting, shooting, always shooting. Ever- thirsting.

Everyone.

The doctor x-raying, the lawyer arguing, the wage worker at the restaurant, tip cursing. Vendors vending what machines cannot. Executives executing everything. Everyone pitting family against the score, sacrificing.

Everyone.

The soccer mom, going, going, in yoga pants, buying an idea of perhaps meditation, not its practice. Our children measured, graded, fitted, finished, scoring, scoring, always scoring.

The long-legged girl, the pock-faced boy, the collegians, who in their beauty do not believe their beauty, doubting.

Everyone.

[tweetherder text="Who thirsts the itchy thirst, unscratchable? Throat fire. Bone thirst. Brain thirst burning."]Who thirsts the itchy thirst, unscratchable? Throat fire. Bone thirst. Brain thirst burning.[/tweetherder]

Come.

Collective come. Congregation come. Hands joined, pulling, being pulled to moneyless milk and meat markets of knowing.

Come honest. Come thirsty. Come together. Drink prophecies from chalices of people, filling being filled, multiplying, loving, gleaming.

Come everyone. Everyone come.

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Psalm #21(Sanctuary)

Welcome to 2015! I know; I know--I'm a little behind. But rest assured, I was sucking the very last bit of marrow from the holidays, enjoying the sabbath. All good sabbaths must come to an end (this side of the veil, anyhow), and the grind must go on, which brings me to my first post of 2015.

In considering what I'd publish first in 2015, I ran the gauntlet of ideas. Should I lead with my One Song for 2015 (my take on the "One Word" craze)? Would Amber and I open with a Marriage Letter? Would I pen existential thoughts on wonder, or beauty, or the inevitable rise of the machines against humanity? I considered each of these (save and except for the bit about the machines), but instead opted to kick off 2015 with a continuation of my psalm series.

Sure, it's not all cannons, fireworks, and inspirational quotes, but there's something about the sparseness of a poem, the economy of it. And perhaps this is a metaphor for my 2015. Perhaps I'd like to explore sparser, more economical words.

On to the poem.

Psalm #21 (Sanctuary) was inspired by a holiday drive through the Arkansas Delta. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain on the eastern side of my grand state is home to a winter migration of birds like you've never seen. Thousands upon thousands of our avian friends fill the delta fields and squawk one to another. It's a sight to behold, and speaks a metaphor of sorts (if you're willing to listen). This morning, I'm offering you a window into that world.

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Psalm #21 (Sanctuary)

Gather all creatures of God and King, far from the riverbed’s evening blush. Come near alluvial’s winged throngs; Listen to Delta songs sung.

Near the rice tassels of Carlisle’s skirt, singing the songs of God’s ashen sky, rising and falling like ribbons of smoke, Flock of best Delta songs sung.

Congregation of the fowlest found— Snow geese in hunted month’s plumy field, Mallard drake, murder of crows, sparrows— Singing the Delta songs sung.

Here, find the Great Blue on stickish legs, priest of the flock belching herron hymns. Rhythm of liturgy, heaven bends Hearing the Delta songs sung.

God and King’s creatures gather you here. Listen to best congregation’s song. None is as simple, as loud, as bold. Emulate Delta songs sung.

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Another Look at Psalms Past

Last year, I penned the below psalm as part of my Monday psalm writing series--a series in which I attempted to create some more liturgical poetry. It was inspired by the text of Psalm (Psalm 2), which begins with the following:

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed...

As appropriate as the psalm seemed to the geopolitical climate a year ago, it seems even more appropriate now.

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Psalm #4

If I might impose; allow me to to suggest a reinstatement, a return, a coming like the splitting of another veil, the fission of this present from the eternal Real, so that men might tremble in the memory of their once Edenic selves.

Could there be a quickening return of the Immediate Dramatic, a natural transfiguration of clouds, from mist to Face, a thundering rising from the earth's bowells, ozone steaming, rising upwards like asphalt incense?

Were I so bold, might I request a trumpet, a white horse, an inimitable, fierce army of the once low, poor saints? Might the air be filled with all that Is, so that those who would breathe life are filled with life, and those who breathe death drink only dread?

On the mountain called expectation do the suffering poor wait for the terrifying, Vehement Beautiful.

In the deserts of war do the greater men fill their mouths with the orders of bones.

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*Photo by Shawn Semmler, Creative Commons via Flickr.

Psalm #20 (Genesis)

From time to time I pen my own psalms. Follow the link for the entire corpus (such as it is). And too keep up to date with all of my writings, drop by my Facebook page and give it the old thumbs up. (Thanks!) Today's psalm was inspired in part by the artisans of Tuscany. In the same way, though, it was inspired by the artisans I've encountered in the Ozarks, the Appalachians, and the Mississippi Delta. Enjoy.

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Psalm #20

These are imperfect metaphors: the wine-maker in the vineyard, tender with his grapes; the fromagère with aging cheese, gentle in the salty-washing of rind; the leather worker etching a name, shadows past the surface of tanned skin.

These are imperfect metaphors for times more tender, washings more gentle, and hides more etched with words eternal.

Creation creates; the work of hands echoes, "it is good."

Amen.

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*Enjoy a few photos of the artisans of Italy.

 

Luciano

Luciana cultivates a vineyard and olive grove on the outskirts of Castelmuzio.

cheese

Sandra and her husband Ulysses (you read that correctly) operate a cheese farm on the road from Pienza.

Leather

Valerio Truffelli crafts amazing leather goods at Bottega Artigiana del Cuoio in Pienza.

Art

Amber and Erika Morrison ran across this wonderful artist who'd set up shop near a small church in Pienza.

The Come by Here Psalms

I've been thinking about Emmanuel--God with us--and the Great Come by Here of God. In considering the ways in which God visits us, his people, I've come back to these two psalms (notice the lowercase lettering; these are my psalms, not the biblical Psalms). In any event, I'm reposting Psalm #1 and Psalm #4 for your consideration here. Seek God and he will be found.

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Psalm #1

If there came an eternal morning on the wings of the robins collecting daily manna,

Seek God and he will be found;

one that woke soft silver, and rose new orange only to return to soft silver and to rise again new orange, and so on and so forth,

seek God and he will be found;

if there were only the quiet before the house waking--the mother, the children, and the coercive routine--

seek God and he will be found;

then prayer would linger like morning mist and praise like the Northern Cardinal calling.

seek God and he will be found.

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Psalm #4

If I might impose; allow me to to suggest a reinstatement, a return, a coming like the splitting of another veil, the fission of this present from the eternal Real, so that men might tremble in the memory of their once Edenic selves.

Could there be a quickening return of the Immediate Dramatic, a natural transfiguration of clouds, from mist to Face, a thundering rising from the earth's bowells, ozone steaming, rising upwards like asphalt incense?

Were I so bold, might I request a trumpet, a white horse, an inimitable, fierce army of the once low, poor saints? Might the air be filled with all that Is, so that those who would breathe life are filled with life, and those who breathe death drink only dread?

On the mountain called expectation do the suffering poor wait for the terrifying, Vehement Beautiful.

In the deserts of war do the greater men fill their mouths with the orders of bones.