I’m writing this post as part of something exciting called a synchroblog. Truth be told, I am not awfully sure how it works, but I know that a lot of people are writing under a similar theme and at some point all of our blog posts will be linked together by Anarchist Reverend. How groovy!
The other day my friend Peterson Toscano helped me knock the following poem into shape. When I sat down to write the final draft this evening I felt like he had heard the poem I was trying to write in the middle of so much noise (the resounding gongs of overworked metaphors, explaining too much, repeating myself…)
And that is what religion is like for me too. It doesn’t really exist apart from the connections I have with other people who can see the shape of my faith as I try to figure it out. For me, it is often queer artists, activists and theologians, who seem to know me in their work. I think the stories I write are sometimes an attempt to explain how that happens. And so I will leave you with this poem. Thanks so much to Shay for his wonderful blog, and to Peterson for his help.
The son of God wept
Over his city.
Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem.
You who kill,
How often I have longed to gather your children
As a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
But you were not willing.
Let me gather you now
And speak as your mother.
I hear your longing,
And I am sad for you.
You do not realise who you are.
How mother you are.
A mother hides her children under her skirts,
She hides her children within her body,
The way I hid you in my heart,
So deeply sometimes that I forgot you belonged to me.
When someone is under your skin,
You can forget them, sometimes,
As you forget your own body,
Like looking in a glass darkly
And wondering, who is that woman?
You wonder where your children are-
Who is their mother?
They called you a king.
So many people needed you.
Sometimes I forget how you came to be that man.
That is all it was, that pain of yours,
It was simply something that you had forgotten.
But I want to tell you about your children, Jesus.
In the moment of your death;
The advent of the world’s greatest forgetting.
The curtain of the temple, torn in two,
From top to bottom,
Like a heart,
And instead of finding themselves
Joyfully, in the emptiness
Beyond the thick drapes,
The people were frightened,
By the absence of the God they had imagined.
So they took the beautiful fabric of that story
And pieced together something unintended,
A costume dress for you, my son.
They clothed you
In their desires.
They ducked beneath your skirts
They forgot themselves in the dark.
They forgot their mother Christ,
As God turned his back on God,
Because they could no longer see your bearded face.
They slept deeply in your death
And felt, as one body, unrecognisable to themselves,
And they wondered who they were,
And where was their mother?
In the tomb of quiet forgetting
Those who are chained to your death
Dream in shadows and cannot form questions.
The egg cracks.
The dress they sewed for you lies formless.
A woman sees you break out of the cave;
Our soft mother God,
Set free, in the body of a gardener.