Mirage: My Rage

Fata Morgana !

Career churchmen, paid to guide
lead new-found converts to abide
in dull consumeristic stupor,
promises of living water
vanishing like desert pools
and luring onwards thirsty fools
who glimpse oases, there to find
dry carcasses of humankind
evaporation, drought and death.
You think you found it? Save your breath.
The springs of life become a puddle
where theologies befuddle:
muddy, stagnant, barely damp
how different from St. Jacob’s camp
where heaven opened in a dream—
unlike this churchy marketing scheme.

Strike this cloud we labor under !
Let it pour. Let Luther thunder.
Where is Calvin’s sovereign grace
and where the omnipresent face
of Christ enthroned in holy splendor ?
When will our divine defender
clear the record, end confusion
bring to a final, just conclusion
Babel, His dismembered body—
(can I get a witness, anybody?)

Spare me the free verse.
Try writing something rhythmic!
(Haiku overdose).

Prayer for Our Nation

John Newton  [1725-1807]

Lord, while Thy judgments shake the land,
Thy people’s eyes are fixed on Thee;
We own Thy just uplifted hand,
Which thousands cannot, will not, see.

How long hast Thou bestowed Thy care
On this indulged, ungrateful spot!
While other nations, far and near,
Have envied and admired our lot.

Here peace and liberty have dwelt,
The glorious Gospel brightly shone;
And oft our enemies have felt
That God has made our cause His own.

But ah! both heaven and earth have heard
Our vile requital of His love;
We, whom like children He has reared,
Rebels against His goodness prove.

His grace despised, His power defied,
And legions of the blackest crimes,
Profaneness, riot, lust, and pride,
Are signs that mark the present times.

The Lord, displeased, has raised His rod;
Ah! where are now the faithful few
Who tremble for the Ark of God,
And know what Israel ought to do?

Lord, hear Thy people everywhere,
Who meet to mourn, confess, and pray;
The nation and Thy churches spare,
And let Thy wrath be turned away.

Santería

Ogun owed Oxun for the fee he paid
to divorce Yemayá in the watery deep.
Babalu Aye‘s messenger delayed
(no rum in the bargain – price too steep)
until San Martín, divine caballero
deceived the third wife of el Indio Guerrero.

(Obatala‘s beats got lost in transit
the rhythm robbed by macumba-bandit.)

Eleguá cleared paths for He Who Opens Pores.
Black roosters smoked puros at midnight. Outdoors,
Santa Muerte was asked to turn down the noise
so Nana Buluku could get some sleep.

As she gathered ashé, reduced to a heap
of Yoruba fool’s gold anointed with blood
Oduduwa pretended he understood;
but his mother-in-law knew he never would
until Olódùmarè returned from the feast
having sacrificed roosters while facing east.

The santero drew me a pictogram
to protect me from forces my poem conjured
but the blood of a sacrificed perfect lamb
affords more protection, I knew. He wondered.

dessin vaudou 1