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Judson Jerome

Messianic

Consider the chalice: both what I seek
And where I find, believing Savior's blood
Was laced with meter and rhyme - my antique
Sacrament. Whittle toothpicks from my rood,
Store them safe in baggies. Probe stigmata -
These wounds were borne to suffer scrutiny.
Dissect and splice fourteen strands of data;
Affect the modern state of entropy
In Faith and matter.
Break it down, around.
Explain cumulonimbus from a God -
Shaped cloud, ignoring iambs in the sound
Of thunder. Drown out cadence as you plod
Rhetorically, arguing rain from skies.
Disbelieve in my Blood. Stone me with sighs.

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Deer Hunt

Because the warden is my cousin, my
mountain friends hunt in summer, when the deer
cherish each rattler-ridden spring, and I
have waited hours by a pool in fear
that manhood would require I shoot, or that
the steady drip of the hill would dull my ear
to a snake whispering near the log I sat
upon, and listened to the yelping cheer
of dogs and men resounding ridge to ridge.

I flinched at every lonely rifle crack,
my knuckles whitening where I gripped the edge
of age and clung, like retching, sinking back
then gripping once again the monstrous gun,
since I, to be a man, had taken one.

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The Unchosen

I guess I have a deficiency. God never
said boo to me when as a boy I stood
straining in church with muscular endeavor
for the sweet squirt of salvation. I never could
see why He spoke to this or that old lady,

sending her, hallelujah, down the aisle.
Was I alone in the congregation vile?
Or was their claim of spirit something shady?
And now when I read poets who simply Know,
drinking their imagery from God’s own cup,

whose poems "just come," and then, like Topsy, grow,
whereas I always have to make them up,
with never a tremor saying Break this line
or Save this phrase, regardless of its beat,
hear no obscurities which seem Divine,

and, knowing not God’s measure, still count feet,
I yearn that reason give me some relief

[...] Read more

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Empire in Winter

Love equals people times the square of the speed
of light.
If we but knew the way to split
our atoms of isolation, paradise
might be regained. Pipes are frozen under
the slow snow now. We sleep together mostly
to save our scanty firewood. Maybe need
will mother love's invention.
Doing without
is how we learn to do. The blizzard brings
neighbors together laughing at the store
as tumid pewter clouds let fall the seeds
of oblivion and renewal.
Should any find
these tattered words in the mud of the spring thaw,
carried by the spring flood, caught on the twigs
innocently greening, know words
came between
us, words tasted of apple, words blurred our vision,
built our empire, spread our cancer, words

[...] Read more

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