Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Church History poem, attempt #2

Joseph Sr., ca. 1812

In the spring he sows hope,
but come fall he reaps only the empty wind—
so all through the long Vermont winter,
there’s a bottle in his hand.

He drinks like Noah—to drown
a flood’s worth of sorrows,
drinks until he staggers to and fro
as earth itself will in the end.

This is how I understand that story where his son,
infection arching through the bone,
turns down the surgeon’s offer of anesthetizing liquor.
“I don’t need that,” the boy says to his father,
“I just need you.”

Monday, March 10, 2014

I wanted to write a poem about Mormon history, and this is what I got...

Baptism by Fire

The temple is burning to ash
Because a boy saw a pillar of fire

So let the worshipers wander in the desert
Casting shadows in the light of a bush God burns

Someday we’ll make a bushel of this city
Will you still see, beneath it, a glimmer of candlelight?

One moment I’m a zealot on the roadside
The next, I’m speaking with a tongue of flame

Was there ever a beginning? I’ll ask you
Or a time without your spark?

Open your books in the darkest night
And read God’s word by lightning!


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