Friday, February 20, 2009

'I Came Here Seeking'

I've written before about the collection of old poems I've been going through while in the process of anthologizing (I think that's a word) my works. How I found myself disappointed in my abilities as a writer but later found respect for who I was and how I processed the world around me in verse. I was younger, had a lot to say and perhaps wasn't confident yet in my own, plain voice. But recently, I rediscovered a poem that really made me a fan of me again.

It is a poem I wrote in 2000 whose form, depth, execution and flow are all so much more mature compared to most of what I'd been reviewing. The work certainly shows my fondness of Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Raven' in the way it tells the story of a secular man literally searching for Jesus. After reading it, I thought to myself, "If I'd only ever written one poem, I'd want it to have been it."

Allow me to share:

I Came Here Seeking

In hopes of echoed questions ceasing
And feeble efforts to live peaking
Or the visions which I’ve been before seeing
Unveil themselves like a butterfly entwined.
I came here seeking,
but will I find?

In hopes of meeting some miracle man
Who is unlike man I’m to understand
I study the door to see who stands
But enters no being I seek.
I came here for his hand,
but things look bleak.

Then all of a sudden, like a crashing wave
Against the rocks that stood un-swayed,
Behind me sounded a mighty praise
As my face was turned toward the door.
Startled, I turned to discover its meaning,
but heard the sound no more.

Shoulders shrugged, I returned to my seeking.
Retired my eyes to the crowd with a peaking,
Studying the silence of each one un-speaking
For I’ve heard this man was meek.
But no quiet mouth
did to my soul speak.

Short of patience, now I hungered
In my eyes that steady wondered
From one pew onto another
Longing to be done.
Longing sorely to discover
this mighty “Son of Sons.”

To my dismay, the service ending—
Eyes now shutting, arms extending—
Met not my finding while in my sitting
He whom I direly sought.
Be church as good as it certainly may,
I felt it all for naught.

Still, in passing each one greeting
I studied the faces with careful sweeping
Hoping to satisfy my needing
And behold a holy thing.
A miracle man, a sudden change,
or perhaps a feast with kings.

Alas, the day had not the will
That matched my own; to mount the hill
That was my anguish and be fulfilled,
And low did I go from the doors.
Sobbing for I was broken still,
but now unlike before.

Sorrow must have trailed my walking
For with a tap someone was talking—
“Excuse what seems to be my stalking
I believe you left this behind.”
And with his arm extending gesture
I looked down toward his find.

It was a sketch I faintly knew
A sketch of doors—surely two
And a sign that read: For walking through.
May entry be your own.
I knew these doors. I knew these words.
But I knew these things alone.

I asked the man from where it came
And with not pause his answer plain:
“Aside your seat you left it laying
How strange you did not know.
For I watched you cradle that very sheet
and sketch with subtle strokes.”

Now, surely, I’ve seen days forgetting
Where I left some item sitting
But his words were too unfitting
If this were mine I’d know.
For it was sketched with careful penning
and spoke the words of poems.

“Sir”, I said, “your noble deed
Will go with out reward. You see,
That sketch does not belong to me
For it came not by my hand.
Perhaps back to the Church you’ll speed
to find the worthy man.”

“This man is you” I heard him say
As I turned to walk away.
I stopped to hear his voice explain
But the air was dense and still.
No words came from behind my stay
and to turn I had not will.

For somewhere amid the pieces of heart
That laid about my feet apart
I knew the very being I sought
Was standing just behind
With tears in eyes, I knew the time…
“I’ll turn, but will I find?”

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