Image by Bilal EL-Daou from Pixabay

Theological Dilemma

Your God is narrow-minded.

His denial of science confounds,
as if in competition with the mitochondria
for your soul’s raw energy.
Praise be the host’s osmosis.

Fill me with
mesosomes of the essential,
green me with intensity
of the light.

Stop trying to be right.

Your adherence to so-called scripture
builds with associative accumulation.
“So sweet the sound of
the daily struggle with compassion;
many ran afoot thither*
out of all the cities and beyond.”

Lyrics awaiting a chorus.
Sheep or shepherd?

Your red-faced brimstone
only makes me blue.
The lavender in the field
sighs with me, bowing in the breeze.
Chanting aslant their own sweet amen.

The grass is tasked with asking this:
Why is no blade ever afraid?
We are coverage,
flowing with breeze,
life by degrees in inches.

Here is your love – and your compassion.
Nature was. Nature does. Nature is.

Late Concedes Early

Always convenient as place to hide,
quiet, isolate, essence of alone,
comfortable shelter of shadow as home.

Sounds amplified, imagination run amok,
children wake in restless nightmare
as I toy with constructing ideal sentence,
staving off death with metaphors inviting
comparative animation, illumination,
that space between thought and breath,
midnight and elusive forever,
the breadth of infinite possibility.

Eyes adjust, as phantom laughter
rings from some corner of memory,
emerging as whispering image:
posing, imposing, a fragile movement
grabbing handfuls of surrounding dark.
Slow disappearance is inevitable;
safety fades to anonymous shadows.
Absence, regret, and hope comingle.

Quickening pulse
rides rough and tumble
through night’s loneliness.
Soul’s desecration of
unfulfilled expectation
smudged by cudgeled cracks
leaks dusty sunlight.

We emerge on the other side,
reminded that said void
always bows to morning,
surrendering emptiness
of dark creation
to the judgment of
whatever subjective day follows.

Discussion

Called down to the principal’s office
to “discuss my poem,” to explain
the images of deep, dark, holes
of utter blackness, of spiraling void
and death. I had obviously been
contemplating things that caught
the teacher’s attention, things beyond
my limited abilities to express
the infinite oblivion, the tunnel
beyond our understanding, the
serene quiet of what might follow.
What scared me scared them
for entirely different reasons.
This was not the kind of poem
a second grader writes, but I
was a reader, a thinker, an old soul,
and in the end, my words sufficed
to show them that some second graders
watch the news, hear the death tolls
of the ongoing war, heed the lyrics
about love and revolution, and
sing along loudly in their own ways,
because a troubled world
of fear and violent uncertainty
invites the kind of deep thoughts
that I had on my summer vacation,
even at that tender young age.





Gary Glauber is a widely published poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist from New York. He champions the underdog while negotiating life’s absurdities. He has three collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press), Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and Rocky Landscape with Vagrants (Cyberwit); and two chapbooks, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) and The Covalence of Equanimity (SurVision Books), a winner of the 2019 James Tate International Poetry Prize. Another collection is forthcoming soon: A Careful Contrition (Shanti Arts Publishing).

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