November 22, 2017

Poetry Week: Midday Four – Chaplain Mike

What if I…?

by Michael Mercer

What if I…
When dark and deep prevailed
Breathed out an order
And light broke through, awakening the world?

And what if I…
When heinous violence ruled
Tapped a lone man’s shoulder
And bid him build a lifeboat to preserve the world?

And what if I…
When self-reliant hubris swelled
Confounded and scattered all nations
And chose one man’s family to bless the world?

And what if I…
When slaves in misery groaned
Had one man raise a stick of wood
To humble their oppressors and make them priests to the world?

And what if I…
When time was full and exile drear
Shrank to womb, and water, and woe
And took my throne between two thieves to redeem the world?

If all this I have done, and more —
A billion stars and teardrops kept
Each particle of dust and life
Through every night while humans slept —

Then why would you ever imagine
That you could stand in my place?
And somehow think the work you do
Could measure up to grace?

Comments

  1. Not bad! Bible cliff notes, in verse, by CM. That last stanza, though, feels heavy. Almost want to see an invitation but seems more like rebuke.

  2. I actually agree. How about this?

    Then why would you not want
    To imagine what might be
    If you rose up and joined the dance
    Of sharing life with me?

    • flatrocker says:

      Keep ’em both. Even Job needed to be reminded.
      We all have a role in this story of hope.

  3. Breathtakingly beautiful… then the lecture in the last stanza lost me. It could’ve ended, appropriately I think, instead of a rebuke or a call to action, with a call to gratitude.

  4. Christiane says:

    “And what if I…
    When time was full and exile drear
    Shrank to womb, and water, and woe
    And took my throne between two thieves to redeem the world?|

    exquisitely written

  5. Now this is a great way to end this series! I don’t know who Wayne is, but he has big cojones to point out what I might have let slip by in disappointment, and Carrie too, and even bigger cojones with our CM to acknowledge and repair for the better without egoistic defense. In that it is still up in the air, my vote is to replace the last stanza, not add to. This is like a workshop, and while not everyone can take that step backward from snowflake sensitivity, this was like being in a room of adults, something that doesn’t happen all that often. Great week, hope it becomes annual.

  6. Susan Dumbrell says:

    This week should have no end.
    Thank you CM

  7. Daniel Jepsen says:

    I love it. As is.