The Pursuit of Bravery: A Lament, An Observation, and A Meditation

Author: John Lucas Kovasckitz

 

Three poems, written in the woods of Maine.

 

A Lament - 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
why must you live so far away?

It’s pleasant enough here, I think.

We wait every week for an hour or two,
wondering if you’ll show up. 

I’m the bell-ringer, 
to let you know where to come.
Our church has a big tree
and a red door
and is next to the graveyard
where my father is buried. 

You’re the only father I have now.

Sunday mornings,
we sing holy, holy, amen - 
our choir of shopkeeper sinners
and mechanic sinners
and housewife sinners
and barely-scraping-by sinners
and barely-old-enough-to-be-a-sinner sinners
but still sinners all the same.

We read the book you wrote,
and taste the stale body
and the bitter blood
of your son. 

We give money
to mail to you in heaven,
or perhaps it’s here waiting for you to spend
however you would like.

We sit
very
still

On wooden pews,
and say “brother” and “sister”
to each other
for we are a family
while we wait.

But you’ve never come. 

Or, at least, I’ve never seen you.

I know you’re busy,
taking care of other sinners.
And for the hungry Negroes in Africa
who would be very happy
to eat what is left on my plate.

But one day
I would very much like to see you.

//

 

An Observation - 

I’ve heard that Jesus doesn’t care much for the rich,
and he’s got my vote for that - 
bunch of oil-loving greedy bastards. 
Easy enough, I’d say.

And there’s a tax in place for the poor,
and I pay it good and proper;
for we are a Christian nation, 
and we can’t have beggars in our cities
for the love of Christ now can we?

And for the beggars overseas, 
God help them,
for if they can’t bring in a decent politician
there’s really nothing that can be done - 
on our end, besides. 
So that all squares away the poor.

But what about the middle class?

The tax-paying, 
God-fearing, 
Bible-believing,
Hard-working,
Middle class? 

For we are taxed, we are - 
until we’re red around the eyes
and white in the face
and blue about the gills.

Does Jesus care that I can’t afford the doctor?
Or insurance?
Or university for the children?
Or the mortgage?
And if the son of God knows how in the bloody hell…
I apologize, you see I get a bit worked up over the matter.
If the son of God knows how I am to retire,
He should inform me, for I haven’t a clue. 

I’m as grateful as I can be that He paid the price for my sins,
truly I am. 
But if Jesus can’t start getting his act together,
I may be forced to rescind my vote.

//

 

A Meditation - 

 

I receive you.

(Wait)

I receive you.

(Oh spirit, be still)

I receive you.

(Oh breath, mix with wind)

 

I receive you.

I give you.

I receive you.

I give you.

I receive you.

(Rise, bless and be blessed)

 

I bless you. 

I bless you.

I bless you. 

 

Make my fingers sticky
with the sap of blessings.
I bless the trees
and their outstretched hands.

I bless the soil, 
from Whom all blessings rise. 

Rise, and bless.
Kneel, and bless.

I bless the seeds,
and their unrelenting hope.
And I bless the dead,
for soon they will hold the hope of the seed.

Death and life.
Growth and soil.

Rise, and bless.
Kneel, and bless.
Give, and receive.

//