the poetry knook, the poetry of stephen m. james

Poems with the tag ‘god’

Something’s in the water

(A meditation for Mother’s Day and Christmas)

“Something’s in the water.” Chuckles surround.
“I’m due. Get ‘em out with spicy Thai.”
Down in straps infants spit-up over shoulder and lapse
the recurring flow–before nine and after one,
suckling two, singled out, like the single ones so few
within the stained. Glass. Body–broken.
Created to create, duty to do, should we adopt, a different view?
Turn a cheek when asked if trying instead of
shoving our Brothers and Sisters, sighing:

A gleam in God’s eye, a moat in mine.
Doused at a shower: games and pastel flower
present from the eye, a tear, ducks out early dashing hope
upon the rocks by Babylonian stream, the placenta’s quite salty,
but ’tis sweeter than bare melancholy.

Christened: yet another granny or grandpa’s claim,
last week’s was not averse to holy, genocidal names–
ache and money enough can get triple the glow, the pound,
the flesh, the ounce add up every week, you know, weighing down,
C-cups runneth over to nursery wants ten more
fingers, ten more toes, to fight the battle
in the basement of babies booming below.

Impregnated with fertility in winter–in spring:
proud pistils sing standing up theirs in-carnations
on Sunday two of–May the un-mothered run away.
But no matter the year, we worship a child in the end:
bowing to our cherubs in bathrobes, tiny babes in bulletin,
sliding through choruses on the backs of asses to Bethlehem.

For God so loved the world that he sent an advent series
every year to remind the shepherdess, in her barren fields,
to treasure up these things and ponder them.


Then sings your soul

I am amazed at the beauty that touches your tounge[sic].
Then sings my soul my Savior God to thee;
You’re a good friend. I like being around you
how great thou art, how great thou art!
I’ll write a letter to recommend you if you ever need one.
Then sings my soul my Savior God to thee;
i am thankful for you and your creative thoughtfulness.
how great thou art, how great thou art!
Several times I have thought about how good you are to me

Then sings your soul, my Savior god to me;
how great thou art. . . how great thou art!


When on the mountain

When on the mountain,
I know I am living for You
just maybe, not everyday.
When in the valley,
suspect, dark, done for
just want to pronounce Your name.
On that knob, hallow to my heart
I cried serving–undeservingly
washing familiar sandals that walked close by,
begging, “Come tear my bread today.”


Laughter on a wedding night

Laughter on a wedding night
Thank God, no professionals
for this is a covenant not a job.
How do we use these things?
Oh well, a lifetime to figure out. . . .


These god-like stones

These god-like stones will end with time,
ruined and lost among progress’ monoliths.
My hair tunnels into my ear as I
light matches in the frozen wind.
Ground is hard to till with rocks
animals and specters now call home.
I search for morsels on withered plants
sprouting from concrete catacombs:
the midnight hunger of the prosperous,
waking from pillows of down to go downstairs
searching for more than food.


How do I prayer?

How do I prayer?
Can I talk images (1000 words):
visions of what please me and you,
if I concentrate, am I louder
passive or active voice,
out loud or in my head
is on the floor better than in my bed
if I elaborate will events differ?


Please look down momentarily

Around me the sinful creatures try to connect to a Holy God.
Unable to sing, I sulk carried away by the flood of worship.
The poet or prose couldn’t provide the pen for this praise.
Avoiding rocks and rapids threatening my concentration on your face.
Do I dare to look up and blind myself .
Please look down momentarily.


Thinking of You (III)

It’s labor thinking about all the pregnant girls.
I always wanted to be the guy they came crawling to
So I could be a road sign pointing to the Cross roads.
I never could say whore or the like,
Because they believe you sometimes,
One time,
Then they break like porcelain.

No reason, no complaint
Other than a screaming “Why, why did you do it?!”

You don’t think that you deserve me and
That you would leap from tall buildings in a single bound.
I’m sorry if I never thrill you like someone else.
When you tire of the party, tell me.

If my opposite is ingrained, you’ll never change
Like the yearbook signatures: “Never change.”
But you can change, because I cry every night
Throwing objects against the wall from my bed
When I think of you in bed.
Then, I never want to see you again
Because I’m ashamed, but I would never tell you because
They believe you sometimes
One time,
Then you might break like porcelain.

For a millisecond
I wish I could have ran when I wouldn’t have felt guilt.
No matter what I say;
No matter if I can’t say anything
I still care.


Hide you may

Hide you may. I will seek you out.
I will strive to hold my hands on your back
And keep my thoughts above neck
Hide yourself and make me run longer
Let me know the inner you
Before I know the outer you.
I want you to be modest not just to others
But the one you love, me.
I get a charge from the unknown.
Don’t you? The mystery of what might be. . .
It won’t matter because we know
The Truth evident in us, our images of God.


Don’t care about Happiness

Candy rots my teeth: succulent girls, games on-screen, scenes from my past–wasting in apathy.
Order me a window seat among the clouds awaiting storms and falling debris, drowning for
I don’t care about happiness–insecure when smiling, laughing–
artificial as a sad clown performing.
Rock climbing, dancing, playing with food,
Fun exists to relate to those craving the new.
Living in the present, never the moment, hope I never will
Forget my holy harbor, never charting ahead without rudder or sail:
terminal dead reckoning I am a present for others to unwrap.
Trash my paper into waste cans: all my masks!
Happy when depressed–at peace, resolute.
High–not on THC or manipulating music–
on forced relationship I adore,
Indebted to sacrifice to the one called Jesus.
Wanting to die for His cause, but to live for it?
If wrong, is me worth living? Betting my soul on my God
Self-taught that nothing selfish has worth.
My time is not mine; never was or will be.



© 1993-2024 by Stephen M. James.