Sunday, December 4, 2011

Frenzy by Anne Sexton & Psalm 91

By Anne Sexton

I am not lazy.
I am on the amphetamine of the soul.
I am, each day,
typing out the God
my typewriter believes in.
Very quick. Very intense,
like a wolf at a live heart.
Not lazy.
When a lazy man, they say,
looks toward heaven,
the angels close the windows.

Oh angels,
keep the windows open
so that I may reach in
and steal each object,
objects that tell me the sea is not dying,
objects that tell me the dirt has a life-wish,
that the Christ who walked for me,
walked on true ground
and that this frenzy,
like bees stinging the heart all morning,
will keep the angels
with their windows open,
wide as an English bathtub.


Dear God,

I have been a razor poised
on my own delicate wrists
and I have pushed until
my brilliant red blood trickled
like crimson tears
down my arm onto the filthy

I have been the bleeding arm
and the tear-stained,
copper-tasting blood.
I have been without hope and
emptier than an atheist’s soul.
I have laid me down to sleep
and prayed for death and not
to wake.

And yet you came.

You came when I cried out,
alone, hopeless & dying
and you gave me hope
and washed me with your
gentle love,
bandaging my broken,
barely beating heart with
your most tender words & then
hiding me under your wings
like a mother bird
until the world felt safe
once again.

How can I not be heartbroken
& so fucking sad when others
who've never known
your salvation---the hardcore,
life-saving kind---
disregard you and spit
in your face?  But then,
I guess you're used to that.

I will always love you
and worship you
as if my life depends on it---
because it does.

Marion 12/4/11


Psalm 91

 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
      will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 2 This I declare about the Lord:
   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
      he is my God, and I trust him.
 3 For he will rescue you from every trap
      and protect you from deadly disease.
 4 He will cover you with his feathers.
      He will shelter you with his wings.
      His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
      nor the arrow that flies in the day.
 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
      nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
 7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
      though ten thousand are dying around you,
      these evils will not touch you.
 8 Just open your eyes,
      and see how the wicked are punished.

 9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
      if you make the Most High your shelter,
 10 no evil will conquer you;
      no plague will come near your home.
 11 For he will order his angels
      to protect you wherever you go.
 12 They will hold you up with their hands
      so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
 13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
      you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

 14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
      I will protect those who trust in my name.
 15 When they call on me, I will answer;
      I will be with them in trouble.
      I will rescue and honor them.
 16 I will reward them with a long life
      and give them my salvation.”


Ben Ditty said...

Utterly brilliant. I always love how you mix your own poems, photographs in with others. You know exactly the right ones to complement your works. I only wonder at the inspiration.

Marion said...

Well, Ben Ditty, thanks for your kind words. You're a true and faithful follower and I appreciate you.

Regarding the inspiration: when I posted the Sexton poem, the "Dear God" poem just fell from the tips of my fingers. (I love it when that happens...which isn't often enough) I have not slit my wrists although I did trip and put my right arm through a plate glass window in 9th grade and accidentally cut my right arm almost off at the wrist. After 4 surgeries, I got the use of all my fingers back although not the feeling. And I've known deep depression personally, as many of us have.

The next thing that inspired me was that I used to post on other people's blogs about my many, very personal spiritual experiences, when I felt it related to their posts. The last time I did that I was viciously attacked and my faith was ridiculed. (It is totally politically incorrect these days to admit even believing in God, much less having the balls to admit it.) I guess it was fuel for this poem. And there you have it. xoxo

Kelly said...

Beautiful, Marion, and so moving!

I was thrilled to see you at my blog again today!! I was jealous of your early and late tomatoes this year. I'm going to follow your lead and plant early next spring.


Marion said...

Thanks, Kelly. I'd missed you at blogger very much!! Hugs back to you. xo

Wine and Words said...

My brave spiritual friend! Don't even stop relating your spiritual experiences. They are so much a part of us, our most important heritage, to be shared, passed on, passed down through the hearts of those we share with. You're poem is so beautiful. I'm glad you bled it out. I watch the crimson as it soothes my own troubled soul.

I love you!

Marion said...

Annie, I love you, too, and appreciate you. Thank you for your kind words. I've decided to keep my spiritual experiences to my own blog. That way cruel, heartless, uncaring people can't attack me and ridicule my faith because I'll just delete them!! I'm too sensitive and have been bullied way too much in my life...(For being dirt poor all my childhood, for wearing ragged hand-me-down clothes, for being fatherless, for being too tall, for being a Christian, too skinny, not having lunch money...for being friends with the black kids, for having crooked teeth....Lordy, I could go on for days...) Then, to have someone tell me I imagined it all was devastating. I can't go through that again. My truth is my truth and although I have a crazy-wild imagination, I know what I know. Love you! xoxo

Ed Pilolla said...

i know god is used to me spitting and complaining. you capture what i feel at times for sure. fortunately, i am forgiven all the time. when i attack god i feel that i am attacking myself, and this continues to lead me to believe we are all together in this vast universal project. it is only a hope, but wonder if hope is stronger than most things in this world, and somehow connected strongly to love. love and hope are life. but i do fail regularly in the presence of god.

powerful prayer.

Serena said...

Those are some strong and powerful words, beautiful and moving. Your inner strength is so inspiring.

Snowbrush said...

Your prayer is beautifully written, Marion.

"I will always love you
and worship you
as if my life depends on it---
because it does."

I sometimes wonder the extent to which sincere worship is possible when a person doesn't believe that she has any other viable choice. In other words, what would worship look like if a person didn't believe there was any personal benefit to be derived from it?

Marion said...

Ed, I totally get what you said. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you! xo

SJ, thank you. You inspire me, too. Love & Blessings!!! xo

Snow, thank you. That really means a lot to me, you saying that. When I first became a Christian, I had no money, no clothes and not much going for me. And yet I worshipped...I'd have to say the love, grace & forgiveness I experienced was a strong incentive. I don't know if that's considered personal benefit, but it is definitely soul benefit. xoxo