Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Poetry Tuesday: "False Idols"

What a whirlwind few weeks!  Between our trip to Arizona and last week's hurricane disruptions, I feel like I've fallen out of time somehow.

I looked back through this blog, and I saw that it was only 2 weeks ago that my contributor copy of Adanna arrived.  As always, I'm impressed with the physical beauty of this journal.

I was happy to see my poem "False Idols" in the pages.  This morning, I'm thinking about how I might cast that poem differently if I wrote it today.  And maybe later, I will write a different version.  Maybe I'll write a False Idols poem each month.

And suddenly, I'm thinking of a larger collection, a different way to frame my poems with a spiritual theme:  false idols, true gods.  Hmm.  I'll keep thinking of this. 

But for today, here's the poem I wrote in June 2015, just published in Adanna, with a link to Luisa Igloria's poem that inspired mine (with thanks to Dave Bonta, for curating his Via Negativa site, which has inspired many of my favorite poems that I've written):

False Idols

“Every few months we thin
the coffers in our temples.”
                   Arguments with destiny: 12 by Luisa A. Igloria

We worship the god
of self-improvement plans, that idol
made of the gold of all our hopes
for lives changed
by exercising more, losing weight,
adding this, subtracting
that, these plans cost.

We thin our coffers
at the temples of our false
gods. Instead of potluck
suppers, we go to one more workout or work
late in our fluorescent offices.

We have banished
the other prophets who declared
a different gospel of improving
ourselves by purifying our souls.
Let those prophets preach
to the wind-scoured landscapes.
Let them eat locusts for lunch.
We shall dine on food cultivated organically,
We shall drink wines made with grapes
grown in a far away soil.

Only late at night, our electronics
silenced, do we hear
that still, small voice
that declares all of creation
to be good and very good,
perfection inherent in our beings,
that small flickering pilot light of grace.

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