Archive for category: Poetry

The Diagnoses

For my friend John, and my many other friends–namely, you.

*****

The Diagnoses

Asthmatic, inattentive, shcizotypic, bipolar
Baptist, disruptive, obssive, compulsive
Papist, malignant, maligering, maligned,
narcisistic, nihilistic, arrhythmiatic, benign,
infectious, unregenerate, failure to thrive,
distended, convulsive, collusive, catholic,
cancerious, alcoholic, anorexic, pornoholic,
anemic, allergenic, esophagitic, antisocial,
constipated, religious, autistic, agnostic,
dreamer, believer, night-terrored un-
orthodox, sacramental, mental, reformed.

Sum-certainswhich suffocate should
we think them whole truth.

*****

Thanks for stopping in! If you enjoy reading here, sign up to receive my bi-monthly Tiny Letter. This month, I’m exploring the fear of an uninteresting life, and sharing some news about an up-coming book, Coming Clean. Sign up and follow along!

powered by TinyLetter

Want to receive my updates in your inbox? Click here. Also, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

America #2

Last night, I read this article in the New York Times about Walter Scott. Scott, a 50 year old black man in South Carolina, was shot in the back by a police officer who claimed Scott had taken his stun gun in a scuffle occurring after a traffic stop. The article was disturbing. The video unspeakable.

*****

Dear America,

I am learning this new condition:
waiting in the flickering light
of television’s images of the dead;
the crying mother, daughter, or spouse
of another black man law-lynched.

It is a nightly anticipation,
the result of a force-fed diet
of truth, or the shock of a
different reality, or the descaling
of once-blind eyes, whichever.

And so, should you become
convinced in the pride of your
most exceptional dignity,
turn your eyes to your veins,
tap them, bleed them dry, test,
and know this:
your father is violence,
and your mother fear.

 

 

*****TINY LETTER SIGNUP*****

In the most recent Tiny Letter (my once-a-month, insider newsletter delivered straight to your email), I’m discussing the artisanal theology and the Fayetteville Hipster. If you’d like to read along, sign up below.

*powered by TinyLetter
Want to receive my updates in your inbox? Click here. Also, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

Once Upon a Christ (A Palm Sunday Reflection)

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. We began the service outside, crying “Hosanna!” and waiving palm branches in an empty parking lot. We continued the liturgy inside, engaged in a responsive reading that culminated with the people–with me–yelling “crucify him!”

That service gave birth to this poem.

*****

If once upon again, a Christ came
on a donkey’s colt over river bridge
and into marketplace, capitol square,
or the enormity of Sunday’s sanctuary,
would the rows ring with Hosannas,
the joy of prophecies personified?

                       Or

would there be only dry dreams
of fading green palms waiving in
the brittle memories of old men,
and the fading leaves of recorded myth?
Would the ghosts of fickle faith
hush or be hushed, know their hushing?
Would the powers, politicians, priests
mock their ancestors’ fear-filled charge?
“You see that you are gaining nothing.
Look, the world has gone after him.”*

*John 12:19

*****TINY LETTER SIGNUP*****

In the most recent Tiny Letter (my once-a-month, insider newsletter delivered straight to your email), I’m discussing the artisanal theology and the Fayetteville Hipster. It’s a little bit snarky, a little bit graceful, a little bit introspective, and a whole lot of fun. If you sign up today, you’ll receive a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song “Train Wreck.” It’s a song I wrote about pain, loss, and the love of God.

*powered by TinyLetter
Want to receive my updates in your inbox? Click here. Also, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

Doulas

A short poem to those who’ve labored with the dying. Yours is the kingdom of heaven.

*****

doula (/do͞olə/) (noun): a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.

Doulas

I’ve known doulas
of new mothers,
who’ve labored with;
through whispered doubts
and the burning spring
of new life weeping
into this world,
they’ve served.

Their reward is this:
to taste the miracle
of innocence born.

I’ve known doulas
of the dying, too,
who’ve carried spirits
from world’s womb,
who’ve spoken
stories of hope
for dimming eyes
and waning smiles.

Their reward is this:
to taste the miracle
of innocence reborn.

*****

In the most recent Tiny Letter (my once-a-month, insider newsletter delivered straight to your email), I’m discussing the Lenten season, the darkness of my heart, and the discipline of quiet reflection. If you sign up today, you’ll receive a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song “Train Wreck.” It’s a song I wrote about pain, loss, and the love of God.

*powered by TinyLetter

 

Want to receive my updates in your inbox? Click here. Also, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

First Meditation

Heads bowed atop folded, sweat-sticky arms resting on wooden desks,
Mrs. Logan led us past the daily eraser lint and chalk dust,
deep into the imagination of seventh grade boys.

“Meditation,” she said, word unfolding like velvet blanket from mother’s alto,
“is a gift from God. Picture an orb, incandescent bulb over formless void,
bottomless chasm, or ashen open ocean. The orb is Christ.”

Time swung in rhythm–eyes on the watch, we each grew sleepy–
and in mind’s eye the orb drifted over bawdy Spanish beaches,
over the bare myths told in boyhood locker rooms.

“This is the Word not yet flesh, not yet nailed to tree but hanging in sky.
It is greater than sun and moon; it is creating the first Eden. Imagine?”
The first Eden, where all was naked and unashamed,

where mediation was unsullied by adolescent dreams of sex, or hunger, I imagined.
“Jesus, the always hanging orb, or ever present Savior comes to create peace.
See him approaching; feel him pushing past breastbone; know his peace.”

Voice calling into deeper dreams of decadence, of Eden’s perfect breastbones,
of sticky pomegranate smiles, powerful stallions, and multi-orbed skies,
I followed into innocence, into the wide-eyed wonder of time lost to sleep.

“Lunch,” the orb whispered, and pulled arms up from luscious earth, through clouds,
and into the groggy then of a Cheshire smile, the chorus of girlish giggles.
There, the mystic orb dissolved into the face of Mrs. Logan,

and left me to contend with that which was also real.

*****

In the most recent Tiny Letter (my once-a-month, insider newsletter delivered straight to your email), I’m discussing the Lenten season, the darkness of my heart, and the discipline of quiet reflection. If you sign up today, you’ll receive a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song “Train Wreck.” It’s a song I wrote about pain, loss, and the love of God.

*powered by TinyLetter

 

Want to receive my updates in your inbox? Click here. Also, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

© Copyright - Seth Haines