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Category: Religion

POEM: The still small voice

The still small voice
(for Fr. Edgar Holden)

A lotus tattoo & a statue of the Buddha;
I turn halfway to look down the road behind me.
Flinching from the name of God like a slapped child,
I yearn for the gentle mysticism of Merton,
for a life among flagstones & evensong.
There are burrs on my clothing & scratches on my skin
from running through fields to evade my pursuers.
At night I hear the still small voice:
“How’re you going to make your way in the world
when you weren’t cut out for working?”
Twenty years ago I took a monk to a quiet spot
in the Sonoran Desert, left him there with his brothers
to bathe in the sunset & silence. I drove back to town
wondering whether I should have stayed there with them.

/ / /

Jason Crane
2 April 2020
Tucson, AZ

Note: The two lines in quotation marks are from Warren Zevon’s song “The French Inhaler.”

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POEM: The Lord’s Prayer (Revised)

The Lord’s Prayer (Revised)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
are you there or not?
Thy kingdom has seen better days,
& if this is thy will then you’ve got
some ‘splaining to do, Lucy.
Give us a break, wouldja?
A bunch of old gray suits are trying
to steal our daily bread.
Maybe we can’t live by bread alone,
but without it we’re toast, if you’ll
forgive the pun. Also forgive us
our trespasses & our shoplifting
& our “missed” rent payments.
Lead us not into temptation, for we are
sorely tempted to string up these motherf—
excuse me, Lord, bad guys.
For thine is the kingdom & the power &
the glory & whatnot, but we might need
to take matters into our own hands for a while.
Amen.

/ / /

Jason Crane
27 March 2020
Tucson, AZ

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POEM: Faith

Faith

1

I make another in a long series of bargains
as I lift myself out of the darkness:
For a moment I hear a familiar call
in the scripted homily of a TV nun.

2

As a child I lay on my bedroom floor
moving a tiny ball of light through my body.
I learned it from my aunt —
always ahead of her time.

3

I set my traps to ensnare the divine.
I define God out of existence.
But then what is the light
that shines through everything?

/ / /

Jason Crane
6 February 2020
State College PA

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POEM: Imbolc

Imbolc

I called to God in the night.
I knelt, I rose, I answered, I sang.
Beneath my shirt I hid my vow.
No one can say I didn’t try to keep it.

/ / /

Jason Crane
1 February 2020
State College PA

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Morning epiphany


Had a big epiphany this morning. The religious zeal and calling I feel is directed toward the creation of an intentional community. I also feel a very strong love and gratitude for Buddhism. My Buddhism has been a solitary practice for so long that I’ve tended to dissociate the religious/community calling from Buddhism. With the recent creation of an evening meditation group, and a planned trip to the local Zen center this weekend, I feel a merging of my calling and my Buddhist practice. Maybe I’m finally finding my path.

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POEM: particle & wave

particle & wave

peel back the flesh over the sternum, then slowly separate the ribs
there in the center is the light, both particle & wave
the light will spill into the room, but that’s to be expected
reach your hands into the chest cavity
it’s often best to do this part with your eyes closed
the fingertips are more sensitive than sight
as you press your fingers inward, you should feel
the hard edge of a jewel, concealed there in the light
were your eyes open you’d be unable to see it
your fingers, though, find it easily, willingly, hungrily
withdraw this jewel from the cavity & open your eyes
in the facets of the jewel there are universes reflected
some are worlds like this one, but with subtle changes
others are strange lands unlike any conceived of by the human mind
behind these worlds, at the very center of the jewel
is the home of the light; it sits in a perfectly spherical room
never flickering, never dimming, both particle & wave
knowing this is inside of you, what is beyond your grasp?

/ / /

Jason Crane
6 February 2018
Pittsburgh PA

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