Is omneity even a word…

Imagine the memories of pain and hurt,
discomfort, disappointment and sorrow
didn’t just dissolve as they tend to, but
were stored-up, like a single collection
which stayed with you – a pool of tears,

embarrassments, losses, frustrations
and fears teaming with every dread,
every haunt of what has ever happened
and harmed the hope of comfort and
confidence that all’s well with the world

or at least tolerable; sure, some do
linger but the sting eases away somehow
and recollections fade, or else the
assemblage of broken bones, cuts
and bruises, stubbed toes and loves
lost would crush you, as poverty ruins
through an abundance of nothing;
there’d be no hauntless nights, not a

single pleasant day, courage would be
ridiculed and driven to despair by the
burden of history repeating itself
because our crimes against humanity
are as simple as living through it all;

so consider it a mercy to lack a sense
of permanence like an infant puzzled
by an object hidden, taunted with the
Where did it go? game we all play
and bless the benevolent omneity for
the freedom to forget, if not forgive.

It was nothing special…

A grandfather took his
granddaughter to church today,
and it was nothing special;

he sat aside her as she refused
to leave his side as strangers
came close to wish her peace and
she clung tightly to a small toy horse
as grandfather’s hand rested on
her shoulder – showing bandages

and bruising and new scares from
the kind of things that come to all
who live so long to live; his suit fit
him once, I imagine, but today it
overwhelms his diminishing frame

as his granddaughters best dress
will soon be outgrown, and the words
they shared were few and
inconsequential it seemed to everyone
of us ignoring them because
it was nothing special.

No one has cried…

I am the tree that fell in the wood
with no one caring to hear,
the one at whom dogs bark
out of hatred instead of fear;
I am the one who spoke loud and clear
with no one knowing I uttered,
the door that is still a door
and not a jar unshuttered.
I am the book written but unread,
with a spine uncracked or bent,
the lure considered but dry,
un-tied, untackled, and unsent;
I am the road often taken and trod
derided in gospel and verse,
the angel that didn’t fit on pin head
in the sophistry that’s so perverse;
I am the billions ten times over
who have lived and loved and died,
the everyman ignored or enslaved
and for whom no one has cried.

It is what it is…

Starting a new religion usually takes effort,

not necessarily consistency, proof or fact,

just data and anecdotes, which means

listening and creating at the same time;

it’s an interpretive exercise most ignore

because of the difficulty of thinking anew,

and we’re really driven by insecurity and

the need for followers, but not this one;

it won’t matter if a single soul converts,

nothing will change if everyone changes,

because whatever happens will happen

in the new religion of it is what it is.

A little church in Indiana…

The sign says there’s a population of just 203,
but that’s a number from long before
the U.S. Census started to officially ignore
what folk’s around here call Harold’s Creek,
where Indiana State Road 44 crosses
County Road 260E, past Salem Road

at the only hollow in the earth for miles,
with six dusty, empty storefronts
too close to the two-lane and everyone
blames Walmart the shops are empty,

but the truth is they’ve been vacant
so long no one can really remember,
yet they know who to blame so
they can sleep at night, there’s no religion here
with two abandoned churches,
one was a Methodist clapboard that looks
so Americana, the other a brick Presbyterian

looking so Presbyterian, and they sit
on opposite corners of the four-way stop
now ignored as obviously as these
churches once were, but it’s easy to imagine the
booming voices of preachers
out-sermonizing one another through
open windows on steamy Sunday mornings while

their faithful flocks nodded off, and there’s a big,
old sign with an arrow pointing nowhere

to The Fourth Church of the Defector,
founded in 1892, a church started when
no other church could be right, and it took
at least four iterations to get this one right,
which makes one wonder, how bad
could it have been, back in 1892 that is,

but then you recall a bit of wisdom,
that when there’s nothing to fight about
people give up, and sometimes they just
give up anyway, like here at Harold’s Creek
near State Road 44 and County 260E in Indiana.

A church fire…

church fireThe day the church burned down
was the day I found my faith,
because if fire can destroy bricks
and hardwood in just minutes
there’s hope for the likes of me;

even at nine years of age I knew,
it was drilled into me, there’d
be a lot to change but who knew
the great unchanging, infallible
tradition would shift from red
to blue carpet; rebuilt, grander,

new smells to learn, new pews
to christen, new saints to spy,
but try as they must they could
not remain unmoved, instead
of hiding behind rails and veils,
a fire was the only thing
that could ever change them.