In honor of our current visit to the Lone Star State, I'm including here a poem by the Texas-born poet Mary Karr. I'm also including, just for the heck of it and not because he has any connections to Texas--though perhaps he should--a poem by Aaron Belz which I read in the public lecture I gave Sunday evening. Enjoy.
DESCENDING THEOLOGY: Christ Human (by Mary Karr)
Such a short voyage for a god,
and you arrived in animal form so as not
to scorch us with your glory.
Your mask was an infant’s head on a limp stalk,
sticky eyes smeared blind,
limbs rendered useless in swaddle.
You came among beasts
as one, came into our care or its lack, came crying
as we all do, because the human frame
is a crucifix, each skeletos borne a lifetime.
Any wanting soul lain
prostrate on a floor to receive a pouring of sunlight
might—if still enough,
feel your cross buried in the flesh.
One has only to surrender,
you preached, open both arms to the inner,
the ever-present hold,
out-reaching every want. It’s in the form
embedded, love adamant as bone.
In a breath, we can bloom and almost be you.
Avatar: A poem (by Aaron Belz)
Blue computer graphics woman
with smooth cat nose, you are
purer, more in touch with nature,
and actually quite a bit taller than I--
and although you've discovered
that your soul mate is really just a
small, physically challenged white guy
gasping for air in a mobile home,
you've decided to stick with him.
I'd taken you for one of those shallow
pantheistic utopian cartoon giantesses,
but now I see that I was way off.