Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gay Guy in Seminary: Day 081 (For the Children)

Tonight was the 3rd poetry night, and I was the one running it. I was really excited because I got to share my poem, For the Children, a poem that I've probably performed less than half a dozen times. I wrote it when I got laid off from my job as a youth leader at the church I grew up in. I was very hurt by this because a few months prior, the congregation donated enough money to buy a new $100,000.00 pipe organ for the sanctuary. It just shows where the priorities of the congregation were. I decided after that that my values just didn't line up with the congregation's any longer and I needed to find a new church home. This poem was my very angry response to the situation, a satire told from the viewpoint of a church with a slightly fractured personality that has some very skewed priorities.

For the Children

I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Do you, the congregation promise to care for and nurture this child to the best of your abilities?

We do.

Do you, the congregation promise to care for and nurture this child to the best of your abilities?

We do.

We do.

Of course we do.

How can we not?

What will happen to us if we do not care for the children?

We must care for the children.

The children are the future.

We will sing their praises and heap rewards upon them reaching up to the heavens!

We will show that we love them, not only with words, but with the actions that legends are made of!

We will praise them and love them and we will lift them up into the Father’s arms, for He is waiting,

And He is far better able to care for them than we.

And, remember, this will all look good on paper,

And the paper-trail leads back to us, so we need to make it look good!

We will make a show,

A grand production with lights and music!


Smoke and mirrors!

We will make a show to end all shows!

There will be a song and dance!

And as our candied words pour from our lips like honey from golden goblets,

Syrupy and sweet,

They will watch enthralled by the music,

And they just might not notice the hilts of the jeweled daggers embedded in their backs,

Flashing brilliant with amber, sapphire and glass,

And they might not notice the poison in their cups, the sweet wine masking the sweet taste of betrayal.

Their deaths shall be glorious.

A glorious death for glorious children,

And we will congratulate ourselves for we were up to the task,

For it takes a special kind of someone to murder children,

Glorious children who were far more glorious than we,

Blinding with their light,

Who could make out their faces for all the halos?

Flowing white robes and angel wings,

We hardly knew them.

We didn’t know them,

Sticky hands and muddy feet.

We didn’t need them really,

Dirty faces, dirty speech,

Crude manners,

Unsightly dress,

And the smell!

Like pigs rutting in the sweltering summer heat.

Besides, children cost too much,

And the buildings need repair.

Look at how dull the stone shines and how the mortar crumbles,

The temple bell has cracked,

And the organ pipes are rusty,

What will people think of us if we cannot even care for the temple?

The temple that sheltered us,

Where we were nurtured and cared for,

We must care for the temple so that others will care for us.

We shall mend it with the finest woods:

Cedar and rosewood,

Oak, maple and cherry!

And, we shall make it to shine with burnished gold,

Inlaid with diamonds, rubies, emerald and mother-of-pearl!

And, we shall adorn it with a thousand lanterns so that it will shine!

At night, it will seem as if a thousand stars have come down from the heavens to dwell among us!

And, it will be beautiful!

We will raise it up to the heavens so that it will become the stuff that legends are made of!

We will praise it and love it for this a temple for the world to see!

Everyone will see what is important to us!

Everyone will see what we are capable of creating and accomplishing.

Everyone will see what is in our hearts because of it.

And, the people!

Oh, the people!

They will come in droves just to see it!

And they shall bring their children,

Their glorious children!

Blinding, with their light and their halos,

Swirling white robes and angel wings.

Remember, we do this for the children.

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