Sunday, 16 September 2007

Psalm of Distraction (A Hymn of Confusion)

O Lord
I try to keep You before my eyes.
I open my throat with song and mouth Your praises.
I try to remember Your name
and think the words that rise from my lips.

But Lord
my mind wanders.
It moves on its own; it creeps from the hymns
and visits the slopes of her hips in the pew in front,
the radiant locks of the girl under the many-hued glass,
the silken hands on ivory keys.

O Lord
I try
to catch the sermon’s words
and stop my thoughts on Your gospel
to reflect and to plan to bring it into my life

Yet Lord
my thoughts
catch on a certain word
and spin a rambling chain of disconnected chords.
Myths and explanations of my vice and lust
revolve about my mind, apologizing.
I dwell on my transgressions, on my thoughts that focus
on the rise and fall of her breath beside me,
sitting on the laminated pew.
Ineffable aroma arises from her skin
and her hands twine neatly in her lap.

O Lord
I hold Your flesh in my mouth
and want to taste Your suffering.
Like wine I savour Your blood
and try to know Your sacrifice.

And Lord
Your blood reminds me
of the scent of midnights.
My lips cry that another’s flesh would touch them.
I want to turn the million thoughts that keep my brain alive
into memories.

O God
I want to keep my mind upon You,
to shepherd it home.
But God
it is sometimes so hard.

O God

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