Tag Archives: religion

The Truth

This is what
nobody tells you
most of the time
because
no one likes to admit
there is wiggle room
when it comes
to certain facts
about themselves—
or that maybe
love is really
the shortest
distance between
point A and point B
and straight lines
are simply the most
economic way
to get there.
Aren’t we taught
that the truth
is absolute
and righteous,
and that flux
and flexibility
are the enemies
of precision
and perfection?
All those religions
promise it’s something
worth betting
your sweet life on—
but I think
there’s only one thing
that can set us all free—
the only truth
that matters
is that there isn’t
only one.

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-21-17

 

“Figure at a Window” Salvador Dali, 1925

Loyalty, Undeserved

Loyalty
is overrated—
implies
a sort of
undeserved
protection
or respect.
Family first
was the original
default position
back when it
could easily
save your life—
it’s now a habit
bad as any
involuntary
compulsion or
mad delusion—
like the one
that insists
your god
is so perfect
there is nothing
you are willing
to do
to challenge
his divine
and eternal
absence.

 

DeMaris
12-5-16

Those Avocados

The new neighbors
who we didn’t know well, but didn’t like,
were going on a mission trip
so they knocked on our red door
and offered us three black avocados
and two ripe tomatoes
because, God bless us,
they didn’t want them to go to waste.

We were newly married then
and I had never tasted an avocado
or been in the same room with one.
My Indiana upbringing was void
of anything exotic or unknown—
and because my father had no appetite
for exploration, my mother,
(whose appetite for adventure was never satisfied)
filled our dinner table
with banal predictable flavors.

Those avocados did not enjoy salvation,
as our neighbors prayed they would.
It would be another ten years
before I’d have my first taste.
Dinner at a friend’s house—
burritos and sliced avocado.
I think about them sometimes—
those three wasted avocados—
how a sprinkling of salt and a spoon
would have changes our lives sooner
and for the better.

Eventually they moved away, our neighbors,
to start a new church up north.
We never liked them,
but had we known they’d given us
a fruit from heaven
we might have forgiven them
for the way everything they did
was in the name of god.

 

DeMaris Gaunt
9-2-16

Lunch with my Parents

We greet with hugs
and kisses and smiles
even though it’s only been a week
since we dined together
at another restaurant
in another part of town.
I dress for the occasion
in something like church clothes
because that’s what you do
when your parents are rich—
and they want to make sure
everyone knows who’s in control.
And you mustn’t forget
how much I love them—
though they’re on another team
who wants to build a wall
between abundance and need.
They struggle to understand
the equality of my love for others
while I remind them of a world
that doesn’t exist on Fox News.
Funny how well we get along
since we agree on nothing
except for the excellence
of the julep, the berry salad
and the turkey club
made divine by the avocados
which entered the country legally
and without the scrutiny
that my father gives the bill
when it arrives on the silver tray.
I’ll offer to pay my fair share
but my mother will refuse
and wrap her right wing tightly
around me as if I were 10 again
and still believed that angels
were keeping track
of all her good deeds—
which are always sincere—
even if they are limited to
a world so small she believes
it can still contain me.

 

DeMaris Gaunt
7-16-16

Glitch

“My god”
was never something I said
when something shocked
or amazed or angered me—
back when I believed
in that thing which was once
at the center of my imagination—
that thing I thought
had the power to crush me
with an intelligence
I was too stupid to understand.

“My god.”
Still, it’s something I’ll never say—
for different reasons now.
The fear of punishment
for taking the lord’s name in vain
is as potent as the fires of hell—
which means there’s no power
in that phrase and no power
in that awful place
that exists only in the imaginary
glitches of our intelligent minds.

 

DeMaris Gaunt
5-17-16

 

Inventions

Gods.
Stories.
Paper.
The printing press.
But long before
machines
there was the wheel
and all those tools
born in fire.
Sharp things first
then bullets and coins—
two devices
with a kind of power
to separate life
from the living
almost as completely
as those pesky
fairy-tales
that insist
they are real
and resist amputation.
And even though
some of our
best inventions—
like razor blades
and scissors
could easily cut out
the offending pages
of history
there’s still no technology
to boost common sense
or to exorcise
that common belief
that we are not
the creators of
every single one
of our capricious
gods.

 

DeMaris Gaunt
2-9-15

Little Boy, Casualty of War – I Won’t Forget You

Oh humans—
what have we done

It was never enough
for us to eat
and love
and admire

We had to take
and own

We had to create gods
that could give us
authority to kill

We even turned
the wheel
into something
nefarious—
spinning forever
out of our complete
control

 

DeMaris Gaunt
12-30-15