This first poem for National Poetry Month, then, is one that plays with the history of Christianity, Judaism, and the basic concept of the Holy Fool or the fool for God.
LAMENT OF A FAILED ACOLYTE
Desperation can come from having nothing but God to love.
Desperation I’ve a long acquaintance with.
Desperation and hope
have been the twin pillars
between which I’ve sailed,
trying to avoid being eaten alive
or sucked in,
aiming at the narrow gate
sometimes called Jesus
who’s run me aground on hope.
Unlike despair, hope’s not a sin
against the Holy Spirit but only
against logic and forty years’ experience
wandering in this hungry desert,
waiting for white wafers of grace
to descend and bring another presence.
If I sound mad, it’s no wonder,
in this shaggy, lice-ridden skin
with blood of locusts on my tongue.
My big mistake was asking
in for company.
Avoid divine guests, I say
now, drowning in painful, terrifying love.
There’s been a mix-up somewhere.
I put in a request for ecstasy,
Published in Heart's Migration (Tia Chucha Press, 2009)