Prosaic Parrot

(if you are viewing this via email, the website has a recording of this poem and commentary; click the title above)

“How do you like to be addressed,” I asked. “I’ve read enough to know three dozen ways.”

“Dance!” he said, “Or sing… with moves and melody no other child has ever brought, or even thought to bring.”

“Don’t you care for words?”

“They’re fine,” he said, “but only if you join those words in such a way as shows they’re what you really mean.”

“Lord…” I said.

“Lord!” he cut me short. “Why do you call me ‘Lord’? If that is what I really am to you, there are at least three dozen other things that mean as much to you and more.”

“Am I—could you say—what brings you pleasure?
Am I what you crave?
Am I, on your ev’ry map, the ‘X’ that marks out treasure?”

“Am I not
To you
What you
Have always been
To me?”

“Or do I merit only prose,
While you’re my poetry?”

— Brad Hepp, 5/19/2023

Wow. That turned a whole lot darker than I intended. I have been thinking about the huge spectrum of creativity available to us in worshiping God, and how little we bother to—or sometimes think we’re allowed to—employ. But the darkness of this poem may be deserved, as it turns out. Is mouthing “Hallelujah!” really a suitable stand-in for praise, or is it a bouquet of wilted flowers?

Full disclosure…. I wrote this poem after reviewing an older poem where I personified Beauty. I wondered then—as I often do—if people with a sense of propriety narrower than my own will judge me for using metaphors they don’t find in the Bible. Is Jesus rightly called “Beauty” incarnate? Am I free to create my own names for the Creator? I’ll probably insist on sanctified creativity to the day I die. In fact, I suspect it’s my special responsibility as a poet. For God the Poet’s sake, I should double down!

#singanewsong #prosaic #poetic #trueworship #ephesians2v10 #youarehispoetry

(background image by Hans on Pixabay)

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