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The Kingdom of God

My first published poem, this one appeared in Generate. This was also, for a long time, the best thing I had ever written, which was discouraging until I finally wrote something better, which helped me feel like this one wasn't entirely an accident.

One day I heard someone read some poetry written after making pilgramge to some amazing places out there in the big world. It got me thinking ...

They say we are a Christian Nation, can you hear the Capital Letters, denoting our Spiritual Heritage. Do you know the Sacred River? Blessings of rain, embraced, gathered and infused by Earth. Running liquid redemption, muddy water becomes sacramental wine ... We don't have one of those, and if we did it would run straight into the bottling plant, so that pilgrims could have it delivered to their homes in convenient recyclable six packs. Have you see the image of the Holy Mountain? Rooted and rising, crowned in majesty inspiring awe, yet humble stairway, lifting us up. We don't have one of those, and if we did we'd pay fifty dollars to ride to the top belted into a tiny train watching animatronic apostles sing us songs as we glided past scale models of shiny cities where no one has ever bled. Have you ever heard of the Great Man? Statesman, poet, healer. Quotations from his breakfast conversations have inspired entire generations to service and sacrifice. Don't have one of those either. And if we did she would be a woman, and the newspapers and talking heads would be overflowing with our need to know are her breasts real, and who is she sleeping with? If our nation had a Soul we'd trade it for some cotton candy and a broken cats-eye marble, and then we'd lose the marble. But in all this, I find comfort in the wisdom of the Creator. For the Kingdom of God is a hidden country. Vistas of sunrise over sacred geography, only revealed by acts of love.