Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the past tense of faith & belief

the only way out, once was,
the only way in, can't go round
to the beginning again----

doubling back creates knots on this
tangled skein we weave, counting them
like prayer beads to our transgressions,
confessions we wear on our sleeves,
merit badges with crosses we carry
as if they haven't been conquered already

like redemption's on vinyl, collecting
dust in the basement, forgiveness a
rash that bleeds when we scratch it
and hope, soap on a rope, worn to
keep us from bending over in the shower
we blame for reactions to our actions
/inactions and pray to like we buying
a ticket for the lotto----

Y is a crooked letter, no one ever
straightens, belief, a road un-easy
but leads forward, toward new days
and faith, the essence of things yet
seen, but a whole lot less shallow
than its often made out to be---

but love, now that's the cotton candy
that holds it all together, melts on your
tongue leaving fingers sticky, making
holdin' hands with your [insert the
most bigoted word you use] neighbor
all the easier---

written for imperfect prose

69 comments:

Daniel said...

This one kind of has a "rant"-ish feel to me, like something negative or hurtful set you off. It really seems more like raw emotion than your usual passive observation. What brought this one out?

Sue said...

We're an interesting lot, aren't we? And we see through a glass, darkly.

And yes, it's the love that brings it all into focus.

Nicely done.

=)

Brian Miller said...

it kinda is Daniel...kid gloves came off...kinda...i live in the buckle of the bible belt, you can tell because of all the church signs and their catchy slogans, though it would be hard to tell sometimes...some of the most prejudicial people i know sit the pews...but i feel better now...smiles.

Teri said...

Wow--that part "Y is a crooked letter, no one ever straightens" is such a powerful one. Why...a road uneasy! Great play on words Brian (as usual!)

Titanium said...

Righteous anger. It's a beautiful thing. I do believe I could hear the crashing of the 'banker's tables' in the temple, just reading this.

Sometimes, you just have to say it out loud.

Elaine said...

(*insert raptuous applause here*) I believe, you made a believer out of me. Brilliant Brian!

CM said...

Harsh, but warranted at times, I do believe. For some reason, this reminds me of prosperity theology...if you are just faithful enough, you will be rich!

The Y part...as in asking why, I'm guessing. Yes, that is the harder road to take, but as believers, I believe we are called to ask why.

happygirl said...

Ouch, that can be me sometimes. I think I've been wearing my confession on my sleeve lately. I'm done. these are some strong words.

Fluid Idleness said...

Raw emotions seem to be expressed here. An anger, frustration. "forgiveness a
rash that bleeds when we scratch it". I like it.

ayala said...

I like it...righteous anger .... Nice!

deb colarossi said...

good good stuff, Brian

DJan said...

Just wanting to chime in here to say thanks for this powerful piece.

rosaria said...

Ah, love as cotton candy, what an image to linger on and on.

drybottomgirl said...

Amen. I am always intrigued by people who hide behind relgion and yet are so self righteous and judgemental. I need to be careful and keep my faith intact, and my eys wide open. What's So Amazing About Grace? (Phillip Yancey) is that it should be the one gift that is so freely given by the church but it rarely is......

JH_Poetry said...

This was inspirational for me. I also hinted a tad of humor. These lines:and faith, the essence of things yet seen, but a whole lot less shallow than its often made out to be---
Fugacious- a short time, period of time dict.com LoL

Lena said...

Your words always move me, Brian - (even once to the dictionary to look up 'skein')- and this write is no exception. There's more than a little bit of me in there!!

David Allen Waters said...

a bit darker, more harsh if you will than usuall, but brilliantly said...those who scream love aren't always the kindess souls are they...

nice bro.

Barbara said...

It's a long road. I don't think I care to go back to the beginning. Too late. We've got to try to get it right the first time...nearly impossible.

Heather said...

I like the idea of cotton candy holding love together....enjoy the rest of your day!

Eva Gallant said...

Whoa! Tell us how you really feel, Brian. lol Sometimes letting off a little steam helps.

Pastor Sharon said...

In the end. . . Love does win. And after all, God is Love. It is written that way.

This is wonderful way to release what you really feel. And, as a pastor, who truly does not enjoy being classified with Bible thumpers, wouldn't we all be a lot better off if we could just forget how to judge and love. After all, we are ALL created in the image of God.
Why is that so hard for some people to see?
I just don't get it. But then the Y is a crooked road that never gets straightened.

In the end, Love wins.

Betsy said...

I totally get what you're saying here. And I feel it, too.

tracy said...

"Y is a crooked letter, no one ever
straightens" so many quotables coming from you lately!

The Retired One said...

Love="the cotton candy that holds it all together".....wonderfully said, Brian!!!

Magpie said...

Somethings just need to be said.
"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Matthew 7:3

The Retired One said...

P.S. I SO HEAR YOU about some of the loudest Bible Bangers not being the "most Christian"...hypocrisy is one of the biggest sins...
look at that group protesting at military funerals. They should be so ashamed.
And all of the bigoted people bashing gay people. It is ridiculous.

Sage said...

Love and cotton candy! :)

Barbara said...

Very raw and righteous - love the cotton candy part best.

Marcus Goodyear said...

This is good. I especially like some of the surprising rhymes. And I agree with the first commenter who sensed something poetically "rantish" here. Justifiably so.

My favorite part was this:
"redemption's on vinyl, collecting
dust in the basement, forgiveness a
rash that bleeds when we scratch it"

arspoetica said...

"love, now that's the cotton candy
that holds it all together,.."--what a great line. I also liked your "Y" observations. A lot of truths here, some not so sweet as cotton candy. Then again poetry wasn't particularly made to feel comfortable... Strong write.

rhymetime(aka Pat) said...

Damn something obviously pissed you off
As you really gave a good scoff
What if I don't know any bigoted words
Do I just make them up like turds
I could always go with the classic f***
Or use something to do with suck
Yes most don't practice what they preach
They just want to extened their reach
Not caring what they do
Which bothers normal people like me and you
But they are to dumb
Sitting on their rather large bum

Reggie said...

Love the opening Brian, and then you paint the picture of how things get worse trying to double back.

I too love the "Y" image...love your ending...and again, thank you.

Percy Freeman said...

This is a great I could poem in reading it could almost feel your emotions pouring into it!

liv2write2day said...

Brian, this is a powerfully intense reflection on what we humans can create of spiritual belief systems. Maybe create isn't the word. Perhaps disfigure, or corrupt. It needs to be chewed on and digested. It is brilliant.

Shewriting said...

all we need is love, love , per The Beatles. I just posted my imperfect prose and forgot Emily's on vacation this week. Glad someone else besides me wrote something I could read :)

KB said...

Some of the most judgemental people I know go to church but also some of the kindest.

moondustwriter said...

Bri - great look at the whole ball of wax- the love keeping it and us together.

next stop NY C ya there

She Writes said...

Brian, thanks for all your kind words to the writing. If you ever go big please email me. I wanna know and I wanna buy :).

xxamy

Zuzana said...

Faith and love are both powerful emotions, they can do so much good when used wisely, yet again do a great amount of damage when they are not.
Your last paragraph is very poignant...
Have a lovely day dear friend,
xoxo

Just Be Real said...

Hmmmmm interesting. Blessings to you Brian.

adeeyoyo said...

Glad that's made you feel better, Brian. Sometimes church people (goers and pastors) are the worst adverts for what they espouse. You're right - love is what life should be all about AND faith to drive away our fear.

sonny said...

hypocrisy these days
comes sheathed in beguiling laughter....

bet you feel all better after this write....:)

ladyfi said...

A rant against prejudice - well done!

Lorraine said...

A story that has no answers, all I know is when my passion is awaken, I stop breathing

TechnoBabe said...

Prejudice and self righteous is such a turn off for people who have a world view of love. Always facing forward only means some people miss a greater perspective. Very good writing in this post.

natalee said...

Can I get an AMEN????? so true my friend!!!!! well said

blueviolet said...

I can't stand it when people pretend they're one thing and they're really another.

Myrna R. said...

It's important to release emotion and you do it with such style. I like the strong words in this one, which in spite of the anger and disullusion, create a sort of prayer that acknowledges that love, real love is the ultimate all.

Natasha said...

In the absence of love we are nothing. No matter what god or nation you bow to, now matter what world or alien life form...To love and be loved is the only thing that pushes us to evolve, to be the biggest and brightest we can be. Judgement is always wrong, because perception is the most personal experience we have in this bubble. No matter how hard you hope, no one will see it exactly as you do...they may lie and tell you they do...but its impossible. There I go again with my ramblings, could go on and on...but I don't have much of a following in the Church of Natasha, so I'll save it for another time. Awesome write, and again, your fault for my wasting much of your comment space!

Bossy Betty said...

I hear you, baby!

trisha said...

beautiful brian. very beautiful.

slommler said...

Love...hope!! Let the light shine.
So beautiful Brian. I like thinking about love as the cotton candy of life. Pink of course!!!!!
Hugs
SueAnn

TALON said...

This is so layered, Brian. And "like redemption's on vinyl" - I like that a lot.

People do seem allergic to forgiveness, sadly...

Hope said...

really enjoyed this one Brian.

just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your blog very much and i have an award for you over at my place if you would like it!

thank you for your post!

AmyLK said...

very nice "rant". Hope you feel better having it out.... :)

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Mona said...

:)

:)

:)

...I am still thinking...which of the numerous words that flashed my mind should I insert...

Belinda said...

Yes to love. Always.

joanny said...

Brian

powerful, emotive stuff, sticky like cotton candy bittersweet is it then? Uh?

Well bittersweet for me I forgot to link up -- but I did write a poem - sigh- how do you manage to stay on top all you do amazing really it is.

joanny

The Empress said...

You are clearly a more mature, in control person that I can be.

I have no patience, no tolerance, for such neighbors.

I know I should kill them with kindness.

But I can't.

It's so very, very difficult...which is the point of your post-- isn't it?

doh.

(thanks for allowing me to arrive at my insights on my own, Dr., makes them all the more meaningful..)

Joybird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joybird said...

I see you're serving cappuccino today. :) I really like this one. I think I shall go and read it again.

[spelling error ;)]

Ami Mattison said...

Restrained and lyrical, but a rant nonetheless. And I find it divine and redemptive. Faith--the "essence of things yet seen"--is my watchword these days, and indeed real love, compassion, and empathy make holding hands with my bigoted neighbor a whole lot easier. Thanks for this.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

A FAVORITE FOR SURE.

Where would we be without FAITH and LOVE. The world would be too tough of a place.

secret agent woman said...

This sent me into a reverie trying to decide what is the most bigoted word I know.

Marla said...

Lots going on in this one. Made me think in several directions.

trisha said...

nothing pierces our heart more than shattered pieces of faith, trust.

trisha

mama-face said...

so good so good so good

Y is also a fork in the road...

Syd said...

Love does hold it all together. If we would just believe in that then all else would fall into place.