Providing Insight


Praying the Psalms

Words on paper, meaning in black and white
and I wonder how to transform static
image into heartfelt prayer.
[--------------------------------] A pause
a silent moment thickening into
a knot that hardens in the throat. What once
I prayed eagerly, I pray now as dust.
The overfamiliar words stumble out
of my mouth, overflow my lips, and when
they mean, they mean lightly, barely denting
the lips, barely weighing on the tongue, now
falling off, vanishing in weeds that choke
what wheat sprouts.
[----------------]And yet isn't there something
in obedience? Is there no merit
in doing what you've been charged to do? In
saying the words and joining the torrent
that flows through the centuries, baptising
the world anew in each generation? But
beautiful words and bright blossoms don't change
a landscape of ash--the bitter ashes
of obedience, humility, and
{----} The good that is done is buried
with us, words not ours have refreshed the world
and borne us to the grave with no sign of
any difference. We're told that our words do
untold good, sanctifying the hours and
redeeming the unredeemed day. Weary
and tired of prayer's trying toil, I try
to remember how much worse all might be
if I did not pray, and for a brief time
I'm on fire again. This moment dies in
an ashy sirocco, a dust-devil
through the solitary inner desert
landscape of prayer when the wadi's dry.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 28, 2007 7:13 AM.

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