With the dawn of a new church year, we have launched a new feature on our website, a weekly post of poetry that resonates with the lectionary readings for that week (Revised Common Lectionary).
*** Revised Common Lectionary ***
Thou Shalt Not Kill
I had grown weary of him; of his breath
And hands and features I was sick to death.
Each day I heard the same dull voice and tread;
I did not hate him: but I wished him dead.
And he must with his blank face fill my life-
Then my brain blackened; and I snatched a knife.
But ere I struck, my soul’s grey deserts through
A voice cried, ‘Know at least what thing you do.’
‘This is a common man: knowest thou, O soul,
What this thing is? somewhere where seasons roll
There is some living thing for whom this man
Is as seven heavens girt into a span,
For some one soul you take the world away-
Now know you well your deed and purpose. Slay!’
Then I cast down the knife upon the ground
And saw that mean man for one moment crowned.
I turned and laughed: for there was no one by-
The man that I had sought to slay was I.
*** This poem is in the public domain,
and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.
The Ten Commandments
But I could be covetous. I could be a thief.
I could want and work for. I could wire and
Deceive. I thought to fool the moon into
A doubt. I did some doubting. Lord,
Forgive me. How will I speak of Joe Adams
And his wife? In New Orleans that winter,