Tag Archives: psalms

Gatlinburg By The Shore

I drive straight through until I get the sea, just stopping for gas and quick snacks.

Gatlinburg on the shore is what this town is, but I can see the endless waters here.

The threat of rain as I sit on the beach, the sky the color of an old, neglected tombstone.

The waters just as dark in color. But oceans separate the worlds, the planes of being.

 

I walk on the sand, heading away from gaudy, crass city. There are cigarette butts

and beer cans and plastic trash in the sand. Nothing sacred or beloved. No pride at all.

I walk on the sand, and maybe just in my imagination, I see a mermaid out in the water,

and I hear her tempting and mournful song, the only true psalm in praising loss.

 

I stand there, between kingdoms, wanting to leave this one forever, not knowing how.

I see, however real, a mermaid past the breaking waves, a dream of spirits and angels

that made all this world pure and treasured, before we made all of it all about ourselves.

Her song is mournful, a psalm to loss, and standing there, I wish for the will to go to her.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

The sun is coming up, and those ruined waters are deceptively pure.

On and on over the lake, to the city below the sea, hopeless, so unsure.

The sky is wide open, and the clouds are wine dark, and slouch away.

I listen to the news, another mass casualty shooting, what good to pray?

 

Emily sleeps beside me, finally quiet, and like all angels she is unquiet,

and fearful, and plagued with nightmares, because love will not deny it

when blood is spilled and innocence taken and it’s all just a fucking mess.

I am her priest, the one to wipe away her tears, to listen to her mourn, confess.

 

Just the highway raised over water, and that water off into every direction.

Emily insisted we drive all night to see St Joan in the French Quarter, a connection

to why I became a priest, and why she didn’t give up on this misbegotten race.

I dreamed before her, unadorned and broken, and that she tenderly touched my face.

 

The news is off to another grisly death, to the stock market, to the hottest winter in years

Christians can’t write psalms anymore, pushing down every doubt, choking off all tears.

Emily’s vibrant blue spiral bound notebook is filled with the drawn blood of aching faith.

To follow God is to be beaten down and tired, trying for a fix to get by, oh Holy Wraith.

 

Emily stirs as we leave the water separating heaven and hell, heaven and earth.

The statue is a totem, made holy in our hope, in the torn heart that awaits rebirth.

I squeeze her leg to reassure her, and I give her a smile, and she smiles back to me.

Priest and angel and all the sum of our weary hearts, bitter hopes, baptized in the sea.