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.

Coronavirus

All over the world

Right now

People just like

You and me

Have begun to

Live in fear

Of our own

Invisible, creeping

Spinning, spiny, tiny, inevitable invisible crowns

Empty shelves

Where once cellophaned signifiers of

All that can be wiped away–

Canned food, pasta, string cheese, milk

Fomite transmission

You and me

Gone

Don’t worry, Darling

He took all our thorny little crowns

Smoothed each out

Like a girl braiding her sister’s hair

Singing some sort of song about

A proper crown for the One True King

Come to save us all.

Planting Daisies

I pull down the old book, look for recipes for cultivating children, like the time she sewed the earth with dragon’s teeth and made them into men…

I don’t want men

I want daisies

Dozens and dozens, hundreds and hundreds, legions and legions, fields upon fields

Filled with Bellis perennis–beauties everlasting

Because only God can

Make lasting

Children out of words

And wildflowers

When you and I were unborn

An image has been taken, carefully constructed–a smiling woman with her small child, a pink placard, and a message of support for the categorical destruction of babies remarkably similar to her own.

When I was younger the rhetoric surrounding the clinical extermination of humans before the age of birth was careful, reluctant, almost sheepish or apologetic. Famous among these voices was Hillary Clinton who said that the aim of promoting legal abortion was to make it, “…rare”

When I was younger “the unborn” were called babies by those on both sides of the argument.

When I was unborn, abortion was illegal.

Not now.

Now there is a veritable cacophony of irate institutions and voices–democratic presidential hopefuls, movie streaming services, (ironically) the Disney company, a long list of celebrities, and that smiling lady with her baby on the grass

All bent upon promoting and facilitating medical murder.

And with each carefully posed picture, each premeditated exclamation of outrage they push down the simple facts–we have laws in this country which promote and facilitate the brutal, violent, dehumanizing murder of millions of people.

People who would one day watch Disney movies

People who might subscribe to Netflix

People who would argue unequivocally for their own right to life

If they were allowed to live long enough to

Sing

where have all the flowers gone?

Our children all

Gone.

We Speak in Parables

Could be a lost child or the appearance of a tear in ordinary fabric. Could be the silence of the resurrected or the name of a wildflower on the back of a bus, here today and gone tomorrow no recorded words, no age, no cause of death, just a suddenly re-spooling life

As though you could call what we do here spooling,

as though any word at all could substitute for resurrection.

Broken Alabaster

The Calhoun County Courthouse is a mausoleal mid-century modernist confection, the juvenile detention courtroom then a windowless (Chinese) box on its second floor.

Perhaps I am biased. I remember envying the parents whose kid had gone on a wild joyride and the various parents of pot sellers and users.

I remember thinking the local Baptist pastor who was there for jury duty was a harbinger of God as I spilled out

The terrible story of why I was there.

Which had to be after the judge used the shade of our old oak tree for his big white truck. After his lawyer son stood across the street, bemused as Mary, on the roof, hurled her salty invectives at me.

After the juvenile probation chief told us they would not hold Charles forever and I thought to myself as I looked at him, (what do you have to do in the state of Texas to get yourself thrown in prison?!)

They say there is a library somewhere, an Ivy League kind of library, which has thin panels of white stone from floor to ceiling.

The light diffused through the thin white stone, perhaps to show-off or to shield the books.

I have searched for it for years, can’t find it

So much like a pearl, mother-of-pearl, an alabaster jar

Full of the most unmistakably broken

Perfume.

A Voice in Ramah

The LA Times writes a puff piece on abortion doctors who travel to states like mine to kill the unborn.

Our Eichmanns

Our Holocaust.

Matthew 2:18 NIV

[18] “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”