Thursday Poetry Blogging


Five Psalms
~ Mark Jarman

1.
Let us think of God as a lover
Who never calls,
Whose pleasure in us is aroused
In unrepeatable ways,
God as a body we cannot
Separate from desire,
Saying to us, “Your love
Is only physical.”
Let us think of God as a bronze
With green skin
Or a plane that draws the eye close
To the texture of paint.
Let us think of God as life,
A bacillus or virus,
As death, an igneous rock
In a quartz garden.
Then, let us think of kissing
God with the kisses
Of our mouths, of lying with God,
As sea worms lie,
Snugly petrifying
In their coral shirts.
Let us think of ourselves
As part of God,
Neither alive nor dead,
But like Alpha, Omega,
Glyphs and hieroglyphs,
Numbers, data.

2.
First forgive the silence
That answers prayer,
Then forgive the prayer
That stains the silence.

Excuse the absence
That feels like presence,
Then excuse the feeling
That insists on presence.

Pardon the delay
Of revelation,
Then ask pardon for revealing
Your impatience.

Forgive God
For being only a word,
Then ask God to forgive
The betrayal of language.

3.
God of the Syllable
God of the Word
God Who Speaks to Us
God Who Is Dumb

The One God The Many
God the Unnameable
God of the Human Face
God of the Mask

God of the Gene Pool
Microbe Mineral
God of the Sparrow’s Fall
God of the Spark

God of the Act of God
Blameless Jealous
God of Surprises
And Startling Joy

God Who Is Absent
God Who Is Present
God Who Finds Us
In Our Hiding Places

God Whom We Thank
Whom We Forget to Thank
Father God Mother
Inhuman Infant

Cosmic Chthonic
God of the Nucleus
Dead God Living God
Alpha God Zed

God Whom We Name
God Whom We Cannot Name
When We Open Our Mouths
With the Name God Word God

4.
The new day cancels dread
And dawn forgives all sins,
All the judgments of insomnia,
As if they were only dreams.

The ugly confrontation
After midnight, with the mirror,
Turns white around the edges
And burns away like frost.

Daylight undoes gravity
And lightness responds to the light.
The new day lifts all weight,
Like stepping off into space.

Where is that room you woke to,
By clock-light, at 3 a.m.?
Nightmare’s many mansions,
Falling, have taken it with them.

The new day, the day’s newness,
And the wretchedness that, you thought,
Would never, never depart,
Meet—and there is goodbye.

A bad night lies ahead
And a new day beyond that—
A simple sequence, but hard
To remember in the right order.

5.
Lord of dimensions and the dimensionless,
Wave and particle, all and none,

Who lets us measure the wounded atom,
Who lets us doubt all measurement,

When in this world we betray you
Let us be faithful in another.

Picture found here.

One response to “Thursday Poetry Blogging

  1. I actually had the pleasure of being a student of Mark Jarman’s at Vanderbilt in the late 90’s. He is as brilliant and sentient a teacher as he is a poet. Thank you so much for sharing that.

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