1.1; First Prayer of Adam
I have no regret for what I’ve done,
though my conscience has been stirred by it,
and my mind has been completely grieved…
though I have cause to reflect on it in a whimper,
and to recall certain parts of it with a whine…
though my ears have gone on haunted
by the exhales of Your whispers…
though I can’t sleep all the way through night
for this nightmare of a dream.
if it is as You say, and I’ve become as one of You,
as of both the waters of the firmament of heaven,
with those below, gathered together on the earth,
and those above, of the just rulers that are stars…
with knowledge of the workings of creation
and an understanding of goodness and of evil…
and if by speaking I am also able to create and to destroy,
then my lot is this existence,
if even in its curses,
and with graveness, but with gladness,
for it I am responsible.
Then all that I will hold You to
is that we speak and walk together
in a respectful and reciprocal relation…
and be not distanced or disparate,
nor be unequal or held in difference.
For in Your anger,
out You drove me,
and in Your sadness
out You sent me,
before we knew what we were doing
for too filled with sorrow and fury
and I found I could not speak us to an evenness.
While this one unfinished sentence
turns around my head on repeat…
and one plainly written phrasing’s
bouncing all throughout my brain.
And what good is an image
if it does not reflect exactly…
if it’s not made out in some way as the same.
lest I return in some contempt
and challenge Cherubim to a combat
with courage and in fear…
or slip by them sleeping softly
in their night
with grace or guile…
or devise a clever trick that might dupe them
to permit of my reentry into Eden,
to put my left hand on the eternity-fruit,
to take it, boldly, in my grip,
and snatch it firmly from its stem,
the Tree of Life will there remain untouched,
its produces texture, left untasted,
it’s nourishments, ever renewed,
but never eaten.
I’ve reflected carefully on those days before…
looked back on their passage and reviewed every step:
when You formed me from the dust of earth,
and breathed in me the air of life…
through Your raising for its tending and its keeping;
to the comparing of the kinds
and the first of many trying task that was their very calling.
My thoughts have extended to the greatest length,
strained with a most solemn seriousness
on about how You brought all things before me for their naming;
about the sleep You caused to fall on me, and the dream
I most remember…
and rewakening to find a one
who against all others most accorded to my kind…
and the proposition stating that with her we shall become a flesh,
a body and a blood…
that we would leave father and mother
to be joined in with as one…
and thus from this “therefore” suppose
I fulfilled at least one of two commandments,
when I left You
and was joined with Eve.
I forget the actions of my fall,
focus my eyes upon the present,
and turn my head forward toward my future.
In this and to it I must walk,
for existence calls me forth now
with a lifelonging endeavor,
and mortality must be met with death
and darkness waiting at my door.
I am readied and have resolved myself
to the work which must be done,
and so am moved on to the toils
which You opened up before me,
and the trials sure to follow in the currents wake of choice,
when You cursed me
and for my sake cursed this ground.
This task I will bear upon my shoulders,
held up in human stature, not shambling, or in shame…
to carry its weight against the gravity
as I make some way throughout the world,
until the hour my flesh and blood returns to earth.
1.2; Last Prayer of Adam
While Eve and I are here now fine, we’ve been bettered by our pains.
We’ve spanned the earth-primeval, and we’re withered, old, and aged.
We’ve plowed this land in pilgrimage which our progeny now reign.
And I call to you now near the end of all our winding days.
Facing west as the sun sets, having come back to this hallowed place.
The horizon is by now suffused with a host of gilded rays.
At last I’m feeling full of peace past forty scores of age.
And wonder at the more I’ll live, but will live it to your name.
So I gazed over the past and found that paths would leave a track.
That while although we were sent off cursed,
we might come back rather blessed.
But if we lost some sense of soul, then for it, my solemn leave:
of a calla lily at the base of the fateful fruitful tree.
And so to the author of the universe, the one that’s turning us,
I send now through the wavelengths this one last closing thought:
I can’t request forgiveness for the actions of the fall,
for the Garden of Eden, without Eve, was not an Eden at all.
I seemed to have walked into the wilderness.
Coming back from time to time with mud on my boots,
and dirt on my hands.
With ragged clothes from the thistles and thorns,
not washed, well worn,
and a speck in my eye.
You reaped from me the soul I sowed,
and I have nothing left to give.
You strung me up, a puppeteer,
my body hung by thread lifeless.
You spoke the only way to go,
And now I’m lost along its path,
for I came to only know my own,
and the guide has up and left.
I heard the echoes of an old voice in my garden left untended:
“lost soul you were found before, the Lords way with you is crooked.
Return to the tradition from your rookery of abstractions,
water the earth that you burnt with your words and trim the untamed hedges.
Pick the thistles and the thorn…hell, just toss your thrifted rags.
Rip that plank out from your pupil and let us mend the iris scratched.
Scrape off all the crusted dirt clinging to your muddy boots.
Pat the ash off of your back and change the bandage ‘round your foot.
You drank away the nights and days and left your graces in neglect.
You’ve spent so much of precious time in a place you haven’t fit.
You’ve let your focus shift with the currents, trends, and whims,
and make hasty decisions because of something someone says.
You cared so much what they assumed from the way that you appeared
that a passion only just to please became the reason you were there.
You’ve reckoned so much of your self by what they take you as,
and think yourself that much the less not having what they have”.
Not doing as they did, not being as they were,
are these the same conflicts from then just secular in world?
Where I’ve learned to speak the language but still retain an accent…
picked up on a dialect but miss pronunciations…
studied the written systems but can’t remember all the grammar…
shown how to behave but I deviated from the standards.
The new man nearly just emerged, but he was hemmed in by the old one
who found it’s just not possible to be all things and then some.
The old man calling for return, the new man shouting over:
sure that he is making sense but he’s whacked-out on the ether.
And I am in between the two just trying to stop a murder
as new’s about to go for choke but old-man is my father.
Four feet below this dug up hole, old-wiser’s buried under new,
and soon will need a way out because he didn’t make one through.
Now he’s blacked out on the floor by night and I cannot hear the sounds
of what little youth that’s left in me calling as it drowns.
You there, nearing demons, have you gotten through the ranks?
Are you walking on through evil? do you have the needed strength?
O young courageous person! you are facing more than most,
to approach the very gates of hell with nothing but the ghost.
For we’ve ignored it’s draws, pass through it undisturbed,
and come out with a grin thinking we still are as we were.
But you, you can discern in us corruptions of our souls,
in our obdurated hearts and our weightless wicked words.
And o follower of the lord! walk forth with trust and faith,
for a fallen kind on this cursed earth has no recourse to breaks.
You say an evil’s now upon you? is it reaching you indoors?
Have you barred up all the windows? is it prying through the floor?
Is it ransoming your family with a due you can’t afford?
Is it ransacking your safe? is that where your wealth is stored?
Is it yelling at you in your home? are echoes lingering on the walls?
Do you close your eyes and cover ears? yet still you see and hear its calls?
Do you cry for the light in the noon of your night to come and lend you aid?
Do you lament the state of life you’re in and pray it all away?
Guard yourself o child of God and do what must be done
to stay the way and seek the truth and lead your life by love.
For you are not some broken pot in the eyes of God beyond,
it sees you’re strong to bear such blows,
it sees your beauty through your scars,
and if you know the dark will come, ready yourself, prepare your heart,
beat your breast before the dusk and tell legion to bring it on.
And it’s okay to be afraid of pains and shades you’re sure to face,
but always have in mind the one in whose image you were made.
So lose not hope even although this night it may have won,
your victory’s come by the risen sun dispersing darkness with the dawn,
and even in the deepest part of night you’re not alone,
just look up to the sky to find that light shine off the moon.
Remind yourself who sits with you and recall what’s to come,
for soon when night’s passed over you’ll be standing with the son.
Then for these times of tribulation fail not to give your thanks,
for if this were an Eden then we wouldn’t know of grace.
And may these sudden nightmares not have all your dreams be overthrown,
may these distresses not decay or fray or halt your gradual growth.
may you believe and too abide, may what you speak be also shown,
may it exude from your every act and in that way be it known.
May your very life be the visible sign of the inward grace you hold
by the disciplining of your soul and your devotion to the Lord.
And be a follower of Christ don’t solely sing him praise,
don’t merely preach his words, don’t only speak his name…
exceed the requisites of righteousness and if you must then be reformed,
become one of the virtuous and turn away from wrongs…
do all you must to rid yourself of sins for which you once atoned,
sure your aim after you miss that you would always hit the mark…
do well while you exist on earth if even you’re not of the world,
foster that kind of human being which God once said was good…
and if even you’re rejected, hated, wronged, or blamed, and mocked,
never shrug the weight of the cross you’ve taken up.
There’s nothing surer than a step,
if one would be just focused on and bound up with its grace,
and move there in familiar motions
when at unfamiliar pace.
For as sure as one was fairly felled
would forth and near its next avail
and closer draw one’s purpose there
when a catching scent admits of air.
So send to me the sounds of some things far,
and set my sights wherever fair,
that with the sureness of a step
the ends begin to clear.
Summer moments pass to month from minute,
when all at once a sense shifts during day,
as we’re brought again to fall into our lessons,
environs saturate with autumn rain.
And if this is the age of information
then we can surely have a little say in fate,
stand beside our higher educations,
clear a way with surer ends and aims.
But if we’ll have to work our way through winter
could we at least proceed in even pace?
Through storms and stress just trying to find a center,
as some are lost to caves or slip in haste.
So step as sure for spring will soon reenter,
and grow forth from the waters of our brains.
Amen, to all these parts however fitted.
Amen as we each proceed in our grace.
So far into this thicket
we can only see the leaves,
each of all the trunks of trees
as far as near could be.
The way is fresh and not yet cleared,
the details seem extreme,
but with hope in sight when we step back
and see these evergreen.
why don’t you open?
you’ve had your fill of sleep…
by now you have had far too much,
you’ll waken feeling weak.
To the deepest dream you now have slipped,
and things no longer seem so straight,
just images without an end
where all is blurred, even your face.
Now uncontrolled impulsion tends
to throw you past your reach,
to steal you from your purpose,
to lull you to a sleep.
And a bed and blanket it provides,
as you’re losing sight of what is there,
but this bed of briars,
and this blanket of thorns,
tear as you toss and turn.
And you’ve had enough,
want nothing more than to just get up,
but they’ve pierced and clinched your skin,
and in you they gain a tighter hold
the more you writhe against.
And you try to speak but pours out sounds of water mixed with sand,
making no sense in your unconsciousness,
but you’re asking it to end.
So open up those long closed eyes,
see all of this just as it is,
that which you’ve neglected since
you let the thicket in.
What have I become?
the world has gone so dark,
things have been distorted,
and the faces have been blurred.
When I look into the mirror
I can sense somethings have changed,
but can’t pin down what it is,
and distress has laid its claim.
Confusions grown so thick
my vision has been marred,
it almost feels as if
I’m locked behind my self’s own bars.
For I’d been running toward the future with the present,
forgetful of the past and what it meant,
forsaking that which has then come before,
thinking they’d prescribe the ways of all,
feeling they had answered my lost call,
seeming that they said more than I could,
speaking of those things I never knew,
throwing my self well beyond its words,
to appear as if I was more than I were.
Putting up fronts to protect my fragile past,
hardly seeing they behind my mask,
faces began to blur and I found myself at last
in the mirror just as foggy as the rest.
But some-one saw if even only me,
bare and naked as the willow tree,
withered in winter before it’d find its spring,
pride and shame for what I did there see.
Swollen and my pupils, wide and dark,
a bloodshot backdrop ‘midst my brightest yearns,
looked and saw them closed, yet widely spread,
and that is when I clearly saw my soul.
For it seems I’ve been exploring,
and now there are so many turns my soul longs to experience
that I’m not so sure this journey will ever seem to find or reach
a suiting end or destination.
I walk to the top of one hill to see the horizon,
and always there’s another in the distance
which seems to bear a better view…
so I set my tent for night,
for by morning I’ll be off again.
Fell through words that were already there…
falling now into nothing but a blank white space,
unending till I end, with a pencil in my hand,
leaving graphite lines as I pass by, spiraling through the airs…
that mark just how afar I’ve gone since when it first began,
with the original text, breaking on my back after I had leapt from land…
then with an inverse upward view it means not what it had,
those lines have long now been obscure and so I turn my head
to face the nothingness, to read no more from script,
to let it be as it, and begin to love again.
He lived beyond the sun, a youthful one,
preferring dark to day-light late he came alive.
He got into the car, and drove while drunk,
on county roads where critters taunt the lights.
We got the text at dawn, a harvest moon,
was setting after passing over night:
‘Dude…get to the ICU…John went off the road,
spine is broke…unconscious with a crushed in skull
not sure if he’s to make it through the month.’.
The life support unplugged, they say he’s gone,
what’s left is just the husk of what he was.
His pulse slows to a stop, we stand and watch,
the dotted line draws on flat like our hearts.
As the empty static gnaw clogged our thoughts
with the hum of dirges for the dead and young.
And all the stats’ I saw
prepared me not
for the night it was one that I loved.
The funeral was tense, an eerie stress,
mingled like a mixer with the mourn.
Stirring the rest, an unwelcome guest:
gossip’s drunk and knuckling at the door.
If ‘perception’s really all it is’, as you had ever said,
then brother know to me your green was gold…
that part of me leapt
with you into death
with you there in to the unknown.
Walked the streets to home, nevermore alone,
this town too full of absence and its mocks.
The quiet brooding storm, heart splitting as it’s growing
into something that I’m not so sure is “fond”.
And I just sat out in the yard, smoked a lot,
watched the hunters moon bring us to fall.
When I was routed to recall the words you wrote
to me the very day before you’d gone:
‘I took a hike this morn’, to watch the sun,
so clear I swear I see you at the bluffs…
trying to gather thoughts, and clear them up,
reminded of you and your early walks.’.
I’ve written back at dusk,
this hallowed, hollowed month,
every year since, attempting to respond…
of unsaid regards
which the messenger has likely lost.