Poetry for the Curious across the Religious Spectrum







(( I am less secure that art

   has life

   than certain of

   my artful wife


   )))))))))) metaphysical quatrains ))




               . . . is kind and forgiving,

Who is gentle and loving,

Who is mindful and grateful,


Who would love all that's living,

Who'd regret all that's dying,

            Endure all that's prideful,

Who'd forgive all that's hateful,

            Receive all that's holy,


Who would laugh when it's called for,

            Would weep over weeping,

            Would smile at her cat's smile,

            Would chase to amuse her,


            Would sleep when the time came,

            Would please all that's pleasing,


Who will last in my memory,

          Will last in the morning,

          Will last in the evening,

          Will last through my aching,

          Will live in my silence,

Who will shout in my absence,


          Will joy in the joyful,

          Will suffer most softly,

          Will die on a dark day,

          Will wake unto sunlight,

          Will sing till the nightfall,

          Will sleep with her lips moist,

          Will dream of salvation,

Who will prove God is helpful,


           Will turn at a beggar,

           Will comfort the lonely,


           Will shine like the starlight,

           Will shine like the morning,

           Will reign in God's kingdom,


Who will outlast the mountains,

           Will pity the rivers,

           Will never forget me,

           Will rank with the holy,


Whose Father will cherish,

[By Mother belove`d],

             Husband will cherish,


Till the dawn of redemption,

Till the last soul is counted,

In the flush of salvation,


Who will touch all that comforts,

          Will never know evil,

          Will love even Satan,

          Will weep at his passing,

          Will pray for his passing

From this earth to salvation,


Who will kiss all the wretched,


Who has given me courage,

         Has given me comfort,

         Has been MY salvation,

         Endures in my memory,

         Endures in my absence,

         Endured in her daughter,


Who prevails in the evening,

And the dawn of all mercy,


Who is tender and hopeful,

         Is childlike and wondrous,


Who was born to be helpful,

          Was born to be cheerful,

          Was fashioned from suffering,

With an eye toward transcendence,

Who watches me daily,

          Prays for me daily,

          Suffers me daily,

Who is never defeated,

Who will outlast the sunsets,

Who will wake in the mornings,

          Will live in the mountains,

          Will live in the valleys,

          Will sing in the sunlight,

          Will mourn in the wheat-fields,

          Will grow like the lily,


          Will outlast all grieving,

          Will grow like the lilac,

          Will outlast all climates,

          Will conquer all sorrow,

          Will never forget me,

Who will never abandon,


          Will shine through the twilight,

          Will grow in all absence,

          Will chant for the rainbows,

          Will weep for the planets,

          Will sing for the insects,

          Will whisper through nightmares,

That her life is a mercy,

That her death is a fiction,

That her living's eternal,


That this poem is her message,

From all that is holy,

From all that's Johanna,

To all that survives it,


That nothing can perish,

That our love cannot perish,

That our living's eternal,

         Our dying's a fiction,

         Her gift is her giving,

That her living is wondrous,


That no man can destroy her,

         No woman can hurt her,

         No being can harm her,

That her living's eternal,


That she shouts with her whispers,

The name of the holy,

That she whispers the holy,

That her name is forever,

         Her name is eternal,


         Her kiss is a river,

         Her arms are my fortress,

         Her thighs are my pillow,

         Her sex is eternal,

That her feet stride the waters,

That she swims through the ether,

That she rises to challenge,

That she falls is a fiction,

That she dies is a fable,

That she's born ten times over,

That she lives to enlighten,

         She weeps for God's children,

         She shouts for God's homage,


That she beckons all kindness,

For her husband, her daughter,

       Her mother and father,

For her brother, his children,

For all her descendents,

For failed Mona and Tara,

Even, yes, for their Father,

For IMAM, their Father,


Even wen in the apple,

       The sty in the vision,

       The sore in the fountain,

For the hope in the hopeless,

       The pain in the joyful,

       The strength in the abject,

       All weakness in giving,


For the theft of all challenge,

       The grief in all mercy,

       The man on the mountain,

For the Christ in the factory,

       The Buddha in murder,

For the saint in the forest,

       The Krishna in kindness,

For the Shiva in stabbing,

       The IMAM in stabbing,


For all hope in the water,

       All tears in the fountain,

       All pride in the meekest,

       All birth in Creation,

       All living in weakness,

For the sex of the hassock,

       The anguish of spiders,

       The truth in the fiction,

       What's good and what's holy,


And blesses the children,

And kneels to the weary,

        Fondles the wayward,

        Kisses the stranger,

        Sleeps with Salvation,

        Embraces the holy,

        Receives all the willful,

And endures all the wicked,


Shouts in joy at their goodness,

And prays for Jehovah,

        Prays for Jehovah,

        Prays for Jehovah,


And prays for his children,

        Prays for his children,

And prays for his children,

And prays for his children,


And is small, often chastened,

But large and eventful,

And is somber and earnest,

But giddy and hopeful,

And wise and ambitious,

         Kindly deceptive,

         Sober and honest,

         Cunningly joyful,

And dumb and dumbfounded,

By the great and the little,


But begging forgiveness,

And imploring forgiveness,

And requesting forgiveness,

Toward all of endurance,

From beyond the beginning,

To far past the ending,


And leaves on the fountain

Of a future she fathoms,


Who is small,

And quite fearless,

Given time and some healing,

And is known as Johanna

         Is known as Johanna,

         Is loved as Johanna,

And never forgotten,

And never belittled,

Beyond the beginning

To far past the ending,


This blessing, Johanna,


Forever Johanna,

My world without ending,

Prevailing, transcending,


All world without ending,


Lending love,

And defending,

Beyond pomp or pretending,

Oddly asking,

Just asking


Simply ALL that have knelt at this poem.



                      1994, 2011