Wednesday, June 6, 2012

kHARMa is the altar we die on

Lynchburg, VA

The difference between the righteous & hypocrite
     is a trip---

Two men sit, outside Starbucks,
after 10 o'clock, night's grit descended
     the moon is a broken circle,
     the broken moon halo-es in the clouds
both acknowledge my presence through my downed
car window, where i mooch internet & they talk---

how church goers today got it all wrong,
shifting a bit in their seats, making small adjustments
as one describes the size of the rubber phallus
one girl in the youth group got caught with, sexting---

on and on they moan, how the pastor is all about
the glitz & show, they should be more involved
admittedly, but but but

finally one says, "when i get my turn in the pulpit,"
interjects himself with, "but you know i won't , cause
every time i interview, i tell them how I do things---
and they never call back."

They laugh & laugh
overpowering the crank of my engine
their wet laughter following me to the edge
of the parking lot

a cache of gravel
under the tires groans
as i turn away.

written for Imperfect Prose & Theme Thursday

62 comments:

Brandee Shafer said...

This inspires me. It really does. I am so tired of the church, lately (not a church, but THE church). And maybe my own personal solution is to never say thing...never argue (in my head, or otherwise) w/ a thing, but instead to use that energy to be the church I want to see.

SaraV said...

Hi Brian--guess grit was in the air last night...*smile* you pulled me into that cafe, enjoyed sitting there and listening in

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Touches me too Brian...we are so "DONE" with traditional church and the RULES and REGS made up by them...not God. Hypocrisy seeps out every pore...leaving no room to SEE the needs of so many people...

Pat Hatt said...

What a mooch
I suppose beats a butt sniffing pooch haha
Fun to listen in sometimes
Makes for some rhymes or crimes and beats mimes
Even though their view is worth a groan
I guess everyone needs to moan

Rachel Hoyt said...

I have felt that way about church for a while. Love the poem. You can really feel the moment as you read. :)

SueAnn Lommler said...

Borrowed time...listening to the wall...secrets shared by all!!
Churches so clean but undercurrents can be so nasty!!
Hugs
SueAnn

DJan said...

Very descriptive and a fun read. I like it when your stuff is more accessible, like this is. But then again, it's also fun to have my head squoze now and then.

Laurie Kolp said...

Wet laughter... I know what you mean. So many have resentments like that toward church. I was one of them until I learned that spirituality isn't the same as religion. Now I can accept the quirks of the Catholic faith and attend happily.

Sue said...

Hypocrisy is def groan-worthy, now matter which side of the pulpit it comes from...

=)

Sue said...

oops

Make that "no" matter.

;)

Myrna R. said...

Well, I guess I was like those men once. I criticized, tried to change things a little but quit. Don't think I'll ever return to institutional religion. I've outgrown it. That's what I tell myself. Perhaps I'm just another hypocrite taking a different path. I know a little about karma. And so your poem stings me.

Claudia said...

i may have had difficulties to stay calm...grrrrr...have big problems with people who think they know everything better and think they are better and they have all the solutions if only someone would give them a chance to bring it to the people...if they want to change things...they should start, changing them, but sitting at starbucks, talking bad about others doesn't help anything....ha...need some fresh air now to cool down...well written sir

Valerie said...

I daren't comment, Brian. Too many things happened..... but I love the way you wrote about it.

kaykuala said...

It's fun for them to indulge in empty talk.Come to think of it. We dare to take a stand whether religion is involved or otherwise. Great write Brian!

Hank

Mary said...

People should be careful who is around when they start talking! There might just be an internet moocher, looking really involved in his task, nearby!! Smiles.

AmyLK said...

its amazing the things you hear waiting. And of course everyone thinks they can do things better than others.

Hilary said...

I like the layers of perceived right and wrong, theirs, hers, yours.. everybody's for that matter.

Archna Sharma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

Starbucks "where i mooch internet & they talk---" is the scene of "mighty" and "significant" conversations that distract us from the task at hand, and then how is our Kharma doing? I can imagine myself there, trying hard not to interrupt, leaving before I am done . . . . Lovely Lovely, the alters we build and speak from.

I am much impressed, again.

Archna Sharma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Archna Sharma said...

I like the image of the moon as a broken circle. It holds itself whole and then cycles again, breaking from within, allowing some of us in. I like to think that there is always an opening.

Such an interesting conversation to share. Thanks!

Matt said...

I'm not religious myself, but I can imagine it gets crazy sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Claudia. Ranting and gossiping about it doesn't change the world. It's irritating when others gripe and complain and talk a big talk about how they can do something better but never even try to accomplish it.

Being intentional and having the courage to take the steps and work to make the world/community a better place is the way to have impact. Something I as well need to be more intentional about....

Tara Miller said...

That was me love (above):)

Rachel said...

this is daring!

so much depth in this. i feel blessed to be in the church we are in, the one that LIVES JESUS instead of just TALKS ABOUT JESUS.

JANU said...

Oh! I know the types...talking religion and doing every thing opposed to what they say...beautifully written.

ells said...

I am glad some else mooches at starbucks:) I have traveled through so many avenues of “church”...I don’t know much...but I do know ...we all have our logs~

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

The Church has to change a lot to keep up with the modern times and it is imperative that they drop all their old fashioned ideas which are facing opposition from the modern generation.If they are rigid soon a time will come when many of its followers look for some other ways of worshiping God. Jesus clearly said - WHAT EVER YOU BIND ON EARTH WILL BE BOUND IN HEAVEN AND WHAT EVER YOU UNBIND ON EARTH WILL BE UNBOUND IN HEAVER.

This clearly means that the Church has the authority to give up its old ways of thinking and adapt to modern ways.

Your post is very thought provoking.

Best wishes,
Joseph

Steve E said...

NEVER do I mooch at Starbucks. If I get within a half mile of their store, I must have some of their product. Now that is not to say I never took a couple extra sugars, or aluminum coffee cups "while on the road again" (not true!)

But this is not ABOUT coffee or Starbucks, right? It is about the 'rights of mankind' vs 'rights of nature'.

I think none of this will matter in the end...and if it matters--well, then it's NOT the end, right?

Another "spellbinding" story. What is 'spellbound' on earth also is spellbound in heaven--do I got that right!??

Old Ollie said...

never let religion get in the way of your faith

Daydreamertoo said...

Oh I say!~! LOL
The things you hear nowadays.
This made me smile but, it is so what today is all about, really.
Another good read from you Mr. Brian :)

redemptionsbeauty said...

I was just at Starbucks answering some questions of a friend about church and was wondering what eavesdroppers were thinking. Always careful about what I say regarding the church, I would never want what I say to lead someone away from God. If you wrote about what we talked about I wonder what you would say. :) Another wonderful story from Brian!

Laurie Collett said...

Great post, Brian! So much to think about! When we see Jesus face to face, we'll have to give an account for every idle word. Those words that criticize the church and that undermine our own testimony must be especially grievous in His eyes.
Blessings,
Laurie

happygirl said...

Yep, I hear you. I've been feeling this for longer than I'd like. I'm working hard at leaving personalities aside and focusing on content. :)

hedgewitch said...

Outside my wheelhouse, bri, but human nature is human nature in all things, and any social group of big-brained primates is much like another, so I do relate, especially to that groaning gravel. Second stanza is vividly descriptive.

Dolly@Soulstops said...

hmm...still pondering...your words have that effect on me, Brian :)

Alice Audrey said...

Some people really don't belong where they want to be.

Heaven said...

First, the title is intriguing. Second, people gossip and imagine the things they want to change, if they are at the pulpit. Honestly, we just need to look at ourselves first ~

ayala said...

Love it, Brian...I hate hypocrisy !

manicddaily said...

A wonderful flow to this, Brian. k.

Daniel said...

Your response of driving away reminded me of the old saying about people voting with their feet.

Emily Wierenga said...

love that first line. and the tires groaning on the gravel... and the wet laughter. like they're getting off on their own sickness. i pray to become so aware of my own hypocrisy that i cannot stand to be anything but real. no matter the cost.

Craziness abounds said...

It doesn't matter where you go there are always hypocrites and morons! So glad you came over to visit today! It's always nice to meet new people. :)

Cara Sexton said...

If only authenticity came easy. If only the church wasn't made up of us self-righteous Pharisees. It is the cry of my heart to see honesty among us and I glimpse it, every now and again and then see the filthy state of my own heart, breaking toward healing step by step. Thank you for this open, brave post.

Magpie said...

The problem with religion is man. :)

Jenny Woolf said...

As usual your work brings me right there. I can almost hear those guys and feel the sense of depression that would overtake me if I did hear them in real life.

Lorraine said...

From the life we lived, once you've accepted all failings and mistakes and small mindedness and selfishness, etc etc, do it now and it won't be so painful when you review your life, I hope you're not too far above me, I'd love to chat with you face to face in heaven :)

the walking man said...

What the fuck is a church? sounds like a place you park with the radio on cop into some wi-fi and listen to left overs from the tower of babble. Really though Starbucks...drinking that mess is like doing penance.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

"The Church" is nothing more than the people who make it up. I miss it sometimes. I really do. But I can commune with my saviour in so many ways and I don't think he won't hear my prayers just because I don't attend a church. My sister-in-law tells us we are going to hell because we don't go to church. She is a deaconess and her husband is a deacon. I can take him, but she thinks she is God's sheriff ...... She never extended condolences or attended the service when my son died. My youngest daughter calls her "the judge" and tells her that she is the reason she doesn't attend church and congratulates her on keeping her church from growing and letting in the sinners. She doesn't get it........

Stephanie said...

Amazing what you can over hear as you sit and wait :)

Miranda said...

convicting words. We must be the example that radiates Him to bring the people to faith and not just a religion.

Kim Nelson said...

Love the window this opens for the reader, revealing a clear view on that dark night. The trip... the difference... yep.

Amber said...

Nice...thank you for sharing this. Super convicting. Now what?

Lolamouse said...

Why don't I ever hear such interesting banter when I try to eavesdrop? I need to hang out with you!

Little Ms Blogger said...

I admit I gave up many years on THE church when my parish priest was sentenced to prison for embezzling about $2 mil to spend on him and his bf and thought nothing wrong of it.

I'd rather see mankind act humanely towards one another and I have my own way I commute with God.

Fred Rutherford said...

Very cool. I love this, I've noticed myself these "ironies" of church folk. It's funny, some seem to think they can live crappy all week and by going to church on Sunday they are completely absolved. The idea about the interview, that was great. Interview for the pulpit, very nice indeed.

Margaret said...

... yeah, but they don't sound "churchy" to me, just making excuses and trying to convince themselves they are right.

Whether a church is a structured thing or not, Catholic or non-denominational is irrelevant to me (and I'm Catholic) ... it is about each individual person's relationship and quest to continue learning. It is all about growth. Stagnating is NEVER a good thing... and those two seemed pretty stagnate. :)

Awesome write, Brian.

Debbie said...

A strange intersection resulting in a powerful vignette depicting the human condition. Thanks.

TALON said...

"wet laugh" two little words that, when put together, tell the entire story, Brian. Awesome.

poeticlicensee said...

Righteous hypocrites, Amen...

The Empress said...

I love how real this moment feels.

So many snippets in life, of other's realities we step into, for a moment.

It is like a living book.

I'd like to see the alternate reality where he does get his turn up at the pulpit.

Wouldn't that be a concept? Open mic salon at church?

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Fascinating poem. Hypocrisy is so common in religion, politics and the workplace, for that matter. It's so hard to escape. It's even hard to avoid falling afoul of it oneself. Nice job!