Jerichos

Long before her son’s whirling and untimely demise, my paternal grandmother believed in her traction with elected officials. I remembered this belief upon my first campaign, which was, parenthetically, about the loss of a single child and an unjust judge.

Who save me

would draw a line between Mamaw and the rise and fall of Hasmonean kings?

Amidst all this talk of unjust judges and rising kings

I tell myself there must be

sycamores in Jerichos still

Awaiting His return

Machine Translation

The old woman and the older woman sit down across a flimsy folding table. Between them there is a plexiglass barrier, the kind you might encounter now at a doctor’s office or the checkout line at the grocery store.

This time we all know we are contagious, right?

They type into complementary machines–one English to Korean and the other Korean to English

Do not forgive these Korean letters, forgive something else if you will.

The devastating depths men may plunge to

If the womenfolk fail to speak.

The Remarkable, “Yes!”

John 4:12 KJV

[12] Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

I have sat in the noonday sun with these two people for hours here and there over the course of my own friendship with the Man in the story.

He could have just answered her–

Yes!

You betcha!

Absolutely!

But he knows I will be listening, that others will be listening so..

John 4:13-14 KJV

[13] Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: [14] But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

A person cannot go wrong with living water.

But it is worth noticing the question she asks–

Is Jesus more powerful than Jacob?

Strange to think of all the days when

The hope of Mankind hinge on the Jacobs of history.

When Jesus was coming

The Breaker

The strong right arm of God

The one who makes all other heroes look

Like chumps and losers

Jesus–

Living Water

All hat, no cattle

I once did a series of poems called the calvarium poems. I called them that. They remain in a kind of womblike obscurity, you could say the poems were like children

If only an ordinary person like me could

Cast a spell with words

Hocus pocus–live!

Abracadabra–live!

I alternate between believing

That the dry bones are the children tossed away from their mothers, their doctors, their strangers holding signs and vigil across the street from the alien clinics, iron bars on windows, misleading titles, security guards and not enough imminently visible heartbreak over this or

The people, the-all-of-us, too craven to save their little, perfect, amazing

Calvariums.

Simile

Prayer is like a huge dirigible, you can see the basket, but not the balloon or the weightless lift

God is the air, the world all around

Prayer is like a child standing in the tip of an iceberg, can’t see the ice beneath the water

God is all the ocean

One day we will see all

we cannot yet

Eschaton and testing for Covid-19

About a month ago I spent a day dragging my family through a crash course in coronavirus. It was appalling.

  • The range of symptoms is highly variable.
  • Carriers can be asymptomatic.
  • With over 200 mutating strains, the range of severity in this disease can be highly variable.
  • A person can be exposed to the mild strains, and still get hit by a secondary, more severe infection.

We put too much emphasis on testing. Testing would be great only if there were limitless tests and the tests were far more reliable than they are. If that were the case then we should all follow a protocol of weekly prophylactic testing.

Not feasible right now.

A few years ago my family started to play a modified version of a very complicated fictional tennis game from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. His version was very apocalyptic (fitting); ours was as well but with a fraction of the complexity.

In our version two teams of as many people as you have (evenly divided, of course) face each other on either side of the net. We divided as many balls as we could muster and started hitting them across the net relentlessly. The opposing team did the same. At a predetermined point (like music chairs), we would pause the game. The team with fewer balls on their side won that round and then we would continue.

Great cardio workout. Quickly exhausting.

That is coronavirus. We will all face an onslaught of a relentlessly moving, mutating virus which can spread quickly, if not effortlessly, through contact and fomite transmission.

Eschaton is a fun game.

This is not. But if I know one thing about how to “win” at eschaton, it is organize your team and don’t stop lobbing the balls back across the net.

We don’t play eschaton right now. Our tennis court is closed. That is a good thing. The best way to “win” at this is to assume we are all spreaders and keep us all

Six feet apart.

Pray. Pray because our lives depend on it. Imagine what a simple game of eschaton would look like if

God were clearly on

The winning side.

Matthew 17:20-21 KJV

[20] And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. [21] Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

18,000/3 weeks from today

While my son brushes his teeth I take the number of people who have died by now from Covid-19 in the United States and divide it by our total population

Then I find what Day Italy had the same ratoo

Then I take the number of people who died in Italy today

And divide it by the total population

Then multiple that decimal by our total population

By this rough equation

Three weeks from now our fatalities will bave

Risen to 18,000

And all the pleasant pictures

I have been having the mildest of stress dreams–quirky, bureaucratic hotel check ins, attempts to gather the hard-to-shepherd, things washed away. I know why the dreams have come, and I doubt they will leave me soon, even if the heat and intensity of a gathering sun should cause them to lose their inevitable grip and dissipate

I turn to morning songs and croak out broken praises

Think I should listen to the Gospel, but chose Isaiah instead

Because these are old

And New Testament times

And we are all in wont

of fierce faces

Isaiah 2:16 KJV

[16] And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.