Books About God

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“It grieves me that you wake up frightened”, sayeth the book about god.

Does god grieve for my fear?

I don’t know.
How would I know?

But I do, wake up frightened that is.
Everyday.
Frightened that the hummingbirds will not come back.
Frightened that while the flowers bloomed and rejoiced in the sun, I looked away.
Hopeful petaled faces waited for me until they could wait no longer.
Frightened that I’ll never find the downbeat to live in real time.
Frightened that I won’t get what I want,
and frightened that I will.
Frightened that I would wake up in an empty space.

The book about god says there is no empty space.
This god novelist sure has got my number.

She knows what I know.

She wakes up in a pool of her own regret and terror.
Everyday she thinks something about this familiar dirty window is comforting.
Something about the dark recess of the house, where the air is still and the little dog sleeps, something about the smell of coffee in the morning seems like home.

But is it?

Is it the one and only,
or only one of many?

She knows what I know
and she still writes books about god.

Parables About Nothing

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He said I was savage.
He doesn’t know what that means.

***

A hermit was walking in the woods and came across a coral snake.

The snake had been bitten by a cat and was badly injured.

The hermit felt bad for snake and took it home to nurse it back to health.

Months passed and the snake healed but the hermit had become very attached to the snake in the meantime.

One day, while having some special time together, the snake bit the hermit in the face.

The hermit picked up a rock to crush the snake’s head and cried, “how could you?!?!”

The snake never blinked. “Why are you crying?,” it asked, “Everyone knows that snakes make bad pets.”

With rock still in hand, the hermit pondered this while the snake crawled back to it’s home in the woods.

***

I don’t know who is who in this story.

Actually, I do.

I am both of them.

The Dark Continent: On A Friday Morning

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In the morning I sit on my bed.

Sunlight blinds my left eye while the shadow of hummingbirds flicker like a silent movie in the window.

I read a book with my right eye and drink coffee from my cup.

Carl is next to me having his own experience of the morning. This is the quiet denial before the loud reality of daytime sets in.

Morning is the time of coffee and books and of writing stories in pencil.

“The things you like about me now,” I told him once, in the days before he was broken hearted, “will probably be the things you hate about me later.” By “later”, I meant now.

I don’t know if he was listening then but he seems disappointed in the way things turned out.

I know my time here is running short.

Life is waiting but it will not take me for its lover until I’ve had a shower.

I should get off the bed and go face the day but something I read this morning takes me back to The Dark Continent, where the cradle of life rocks back and forth to quiet its bitter children.

With star shine like sadness in the sky,
a lone beast runs with the thundering ghosts.

This is Africa now:
trophies and tusks.

On The Dark Continent a patient spider sits in the dwindling shade of a one leaf tree.

With eyes that see in all directions it sees itself; once a great predator, now a vacant exoskeleton.

A lifetime of bones and teeth fade into the dirt but from the mountain tops everything looks the same.