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poetry

Jesus didn’t just hang there on the cross,
he melted in the sun.
our fondue savior
who flows down
for us
to reach out and dip
whatever we damn well please
into his substance.
and we take
and eat.

My brother, Uzzah
reach out your hand so that I may touch it,
take hold of it,
joining our lives together.
My brother, we shall touch god.
We shall look with wonder and awe
and love,
and touch everything we see––
like small children we will grab a hold
and thrust the world into our mouths––
we will taste and see that the lord is good,
and we will not surely die!

we will stretch out our hands
and strike down the pillars propping up the heavens,
unzip the sky
and bring such otherness crashing to the ground,
collapsing into our beautiful this,
beautiful here,
beautiful everyone.
the god which we cannot touch shall not be our god
for we have touched things far too wonderful for god not to be within them,
and we did not surely die.

here,
underneath our feet
is the dust and dirt which is the very slow-beating pulse of god,
both holy and unclean,
the ground underneath our being
and the ground of our being!
for in it
we live and move and have our
being.
oh, the world is an ark
that each of us carry,
stumbling along and dropping it.
My brother, we will reach out our hands
and touch the presence of god
and keep the world steady
and we will not surely die!

 

that jesus man had his limbs plucked off a tomato plant in immokalee

after being nailed to a tree in brazil that sister dorothy couldn’t yank him down from.

no, nailed to a forest.

no, nailed to people.

what’s the difference?

(vines and branches entangled with power and preservation, constricted by profit margins, or thrashed aside by boys playing explorer in the woods with wooden swords)

either way, the god-man limply hangs from the backs of women plucking red-ripe cherries from coffee trees in ethiopia,

east of the place where Jesus’ skin is a rich cacao brown,

drenched in hershey’s chocolate.

we bend down to kiss his feet and then wipe them clean with our hair in order to make him white again.

This is pretty unbelievable. I have been enthralled by this video and have watched it probably 30 times this morning. It is haunting and beautiful and fills me with awe, amazement, and wonder at the dissonant groans of a creation in pain.

Out of my meditation on this video emerged the writing below.

From MAKE

What would the trunk of a tree sound like if a cross section of it were played like an LP? With his creation YearsBartholomäus Traubeck attempts to answer that question by using a turntable, PlayStation Eye Camera, a stepper motor to control the arm, and computer running Ableton Live. As you’ll hear in the video above, the rings of the tree trunk, as interpreted by this piece, create an eerie and ominous piano track that sounds like it was taken from psychological horror film… [via Creative Applications]

YEARS from Bartholomäus Traubeck on Vimeo.

____________________________________

Here am I!

the terebinth, the oak.

the dissonant prophet,

naked and exposed,

crying out in the wilderness.

every breath is an echo

of the years measured in circles,

the closed circuit of life that

pulses through me

(brother air,

sister water,

sister mother earth)

I sing for thee.

can you hear it?

 

beneath me

earth breathes slowly

its chest rising and falling 

like yeast struggling to work its way through dough.

it covers its mouth and coughs

in a cloud of flour.

the shake tremble groan

longs for warmth

but the oven keeps opening and closing,

opening and closing.

“how can we all be nourished?”

whispers the humble earth.

can you hear it?

 

at my feet 

rivers and streams whisper their prayers.

a desperate flurry of confession, repentance, and pleas for mercy

swell between my toes and

soak the dirt dust earth

like wine drenched bread.

i partake, being joined to the rest of creation

and acknowledge

the suffering and brokenness

that i stand in the middle of and watch.

i struggle to clap my hands.

can you hear it?

 

with my hands stretching outward

the breeze dances through my fingertips

and into my very being.

to inhale the violence of the air

is to love my neighbor.

the water dipped earth rising through my body sustains me

as it meets the air

and subsumes it,

composing this strain.

can you hear it?

to the seed of hope,
planted deep within the womb of a woman who would sing.
her song will cultivate the promise of a tree
planted to absorb the filthy air and painful coughs of a groaning earth.
let the rain fall.
let the roots of jesse drink
and let the branches hold up
underneath the unbearable weight of warm sun and cool moon
and the pain they refuse to discriminate against.
to the tree of hope,
cut down and pierced,
a stream of vinegar flows into the pores of the earth
and drowns the roots,
disrupting oxygen, carbon.
choking, breaking.
our faces reflect in the pool gathered at our feet.
such is our hope,
that we are made of the same stuff,
broken by the same winds and storms,
and that we decompose together and our lives
blend into one, recapitulated,
with all the sickness and pain
and failure and uncertainty,
a sprout pries through humus.
a new tree emerges from the soil,
stretching toward heaven with stunted branches
and awkward growth,
digging into the earth
and becoming one flesh.