Last Sunday at Jubilee, where I go to church, I introduced a poem in this way:
This morning around 8:30, I read a post Howard put on the Jubilee Facebook page about today’s service, where he said that I was going to offer a poem. Shit….I thought sure I cancelled on that poem. I went through my recent correspondence with Howard and found no reference to cancelling. “Well I’m just gonna call him and cancel anyway – I’ve got no poem ready.” But all that started to feel really lousy, so I pulled out my poetry book and came up with a poem that is serviceable – not great but good enough, not exactly on point for the theme of the service but close enough. And if you spin the theme to embracing our imperfections, then it’s right on the money.. So here it is, full of imperfections – it’s called “Shit”.
SHIT (Majo, 11/3/05)
This morning, shit, my bus was late
It made me late for work
My job today might be at stake
This world did not regard my hurt
I do not only think today
That things are going very wrong
I know it in my bones
Or, where do I know it, actually?
I know it in my mind – that biggest know-it-all
My mind does not only think and think
Mr. Descartes, sir
It thinks it really knows
Talk about a job at risk!
If my mind is not really right
Is not sure, does not know
And know for sure it knows
It fears for life its very self
What if my old mind, day-in, day-out
Is making all its knowing up?
Is maybe seeing nothing as it is?
But perhaps is just a movie screen
Projecting all its weary plots
As if they all were real?
What if I know nothing, not at all?
Save just that this moment here, of time and space
Is tied to every other one
As this breath to my next and last
Today I think that things are going wrong
Because I yesterday saw them as right
The hubris of my mind, my guide
Does bounce me like a silly ball
My thirst to know, to judge the plays
Is the only fatal flaw
Or what if even that is not?
What if this dramatic life I live
With me as hero, villain too
But mostly victim of the script
Is scripted by a bigger brain?
By Life, which sees and is it all
Me, my fellow actors, props and stage
I will insist to tell my tale
Full of fury, idiot that I am
As long as Life gives me that role.
This moment’s glimpse of waking up
Is just as it was meant to be
But no better or no worse
Than the next moment’s fitful sleep
Nothing here is good or bad
Including my persistent dreams
They are all, like this poem, too
With its freedom, flaws and doubts
Just part of the show
Like you and me – and him and her
At least I think it’s so – you know?