Monday, July 20, 2009

I Want God

In the spirit of summer relaxation and brain vacations, I'm going to continue to post other people's poetry, for you all to enjoy.  My cousin, Evan Dunn, wrote this poem and performed it at a spoken word poetry slam awhile back.  It's a worthwhile read.

I Want God
By Evan Dunn

Sit down and muse with me before the
fire burns desire
into the pages of my history.
I am unfulfilled,
like an unresolved chord
missing the third strand of rope
caught in the wind,
my fears rescind
my scandalous hope.

No mystery,
that the fire burning desire
into the pages of my history
should find me wanting God,
with passion something fierce and blistery—
blistery, not like the bubbled bumper sticker
on your Subaru Outback,
designed to designate superiority,
but instead screaming insecurity;
not like the glass that makes your mirror;
you so wish it was deformed,
so you pull your collar nearer:
but it’s perfect.
For its imperfection reflects your imperfection perfectly.
And you want more.

Just like before,
wanting God all the more,
for all your failures
that sew shut doors
just like before.

I want a God who
doesn’t disagree,
doesn’t mind my endless apathy,
who will pay my bills,
and bring me coffee—
don’t forget the artificial sweetener
in the drink of my choosing,
oh, and I get free refills,
because God didn’t make me,
I made God,
and when people died
my tears were shed,
not His,
and when little children cried
my veins were bled,
not His.

So I want a God who
feels a certain degree of sympathy
for me,
because I know what it’s like
to lose love and love lost things,
and I’ve spent so many days waiting
for the fat lady to sing,
and my ears are still straining
to hear that gorgeous note ring
in my ear—
Or maybe she already hit the note,
and I can’t hear,
for surely Deliverance from Death
is deafening,
and now life and I
are on two entirely different levels
like cubes to squares,
or color to the blind,
or free will to an ant—
I want a God who’s kind,
who waits patiently on my shelf
for me to come home
from another night out
with my heart on the roam,
and doesn’t get out of His place,
because, when I struggle,
God doesn’t see my face,
or hear my prayers—
I think He’s more like Cuban cigars,
or lofty airs,
always expensive,
hard to find,
and a tad removed,
a bit unkind.

I want God to be big,
and thoroughly involved,
to make sense of this viscous mess
into which we’ve evolved.
He’s gotta be there when I’m down,
and force me up the ladder
to the smile from my frown.
He must be with me!

…in my distress,
when hope is scarce
and I don’t dare
step lightly,
or my heart will tear a chasm in my chest,
…in my brokenness
when I screw up
and hurt my friends,
and this time
the fissure is born in their bones,
not mine,
…in my proclivity to hate
and at their behest
I would recount each sin
one by one
just to show I want to be done,
God must be with me!
…in my dishonor
when I’m ashamed
was that a mistake?
an honest mistake?
…in my loneliness
because honestly I didn’t make
it on purpose,
and honestly I can’t fake
…in my fear
though it’s practice
has proved natural
…in my loss
and common,
I am uncommonly common,
and especially not special
…in my gain, and benefit
in that I have tasted
heaven and hell,
…in my cost
though both fractionally…

I want a God who understands,
but when it comes to obedience
who stands
with the liberally laissez-faire
who’s always there,
but never too close,
who conveniently invades my personal bubble,
my blistered existence,
only when it won’t cause trouble,
who will show my blind eyes color,
and reveal my third dimension,
who will approach me without façade,
without pretention,
but who will not ask me to give up myself for Him,
unless He’s done the same.
I want to be rapturously wrapped within His arms,
but only sometimes…
I want a God who’s only love and never intrusion,
who’s only clarity,
never confusion,
but I haven’t noticed
that God doesn’t come
when I don’t want Him,
so if I really want Him,
maybe I should come to Him,
or come where I see Him.

God doesn’t show
when I do things that I know
I shouldn’t.
I often walk a mile blindly, anxiously shifting,
and at the end I wonder,
“Where were you God,
why weren’t you lifting
my soul?”
But was I looking?

I want Him when life is tough,
but I mistakenly only call on Him to soothe
my trembling hands
when they shouldn’t be trembling.
Perhaps He’s like a diamond in the rough,
but I only look when life is smooth.

Father, we are fractal, fractured, fractions of ourselves,
forgive us for condemning you,
and you would forgive us, deliver us,
from Hell,
and… well…
we don’t deserve it…
You made heaven,
and for those you choose,
but still I’m caught by the noose
that says I get what I want,
when I want,
how I want,
the way I want it—
the God I want
is sympathetic, apathetic,
powerful, weak,
one moment I have to run,
the next, deny,
and the next, seek;
I don’t think I can make up my mind,
‘cuz He’s all-perceiving, and blind,
too bold for me,
and too quiet to fix me;
Say something!
Have you said something?
I want God—

But I must recognize
the fine line that lies
between the God I want,
and the God He is.

Especially since
sometimes I want things
that I should not want,
and more often than not,
I haunt myself with me.

He invaded,
and retook
what was rightly His in us.
We are His.
He is power, He is love.
He is bold enough to break through our boring barriers,
and often comes in quiet storms,
raging rests that overtake our souls
with wonder, and with awe,
He is all—
And in this mirror,
Him showing me who I am,
He pulls my collar nearer—
There are no blisters!
No imperfections;
They’re gone!
And I hear the song-like note over my shoulder,
in my ear, which once was deaf,
in my head, my mind is made up,
singing, powerfully still, simple words:
“I have made you perfect.”
That is what salvation sounds like.

It is not as I described, is it?
I did not have to bargain with God—
He bargained for me…
With himself.
I did not have to argue with God—
He argued for me…
With himself.
I did not have to hide,
not even confine Him to a shelf.
Though I deserve to be on His bookcase,
He instead holds me before His very eyes—
I can see His face.

Thus sings grace,
our seldom-sold solace,
that trains our trifling hearts
to dream,
to dream;
that teaches our troubled souls
to hope,
to hope;
to know eternity within
as eternity with Him.
Muse on the mystery,
that He takes the blistery,
and makes it level,
so the horizon no longer carries on
the night,
and instead
the dawn.

The fire burning desire
into the pages of my history
has crisped my blistered existence
into ashes,
the Phoenix God of Resurrection,
Jesus Christ,
blows gently on my fibrous ruins,
… and life…

Monday, July 13, 2009


My little brother's friend is a poet, and a good one at that. I enjoyed his most recent poem, and I thought you might too. There's more where this came from!


A flame fell over the horizon,
Followed by livid lilac smiles
And the sun's salmon-shaded shadows.

A new king's coming.
The blue above bows,
bending to a darker hue.

Creatures concede his supremecy,
Closing their eyes
In reverence to his reign.

Lowered heads lie on sunset beds
And cool air claims the atmosphere.

This is the Night.
A diamond-crested crown on his brow
And Moon-jeweled septor across his lap.

He sits upon his throne an emperor,
Submitting only to God and a sunlit sky.