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Poetry Magnum Opus

Once Unending [Mature, maybe]


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Once Unending




Just as I am, without one plea,


but that thy blood was shed for me…




We sang and cried and gave our lives


to Christ, whom we did not know.


We knew the preacher and our families


and all those who would have us go


up the aisle to salvation. I was twelve,


the age of guilt, doomed to hell unless


accepted into the bosom of Jesus.




I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…




For at least five years on the buckle


of the Bible belt, among those who


hated Catholics and Jews and Niggers


because the Bible said so, we were


herded along, sheep with blinders.


Baptism, Sunday School and sermon before


noon, with evening services to follow.




Amazing grace, how sweet thy sound…




My beliefs shattered by reality


of life and death and logic.


How could all of this way of life


not be true? Because they are all


wrong, carrying the “Word and


the life” so forcefully on young


or undeveloped minds.




When the roll is called up yonder…




My teachers read from Psalms,


and I loved the beauty of the songs


of David. I believed,


no matter the reality of the world


hammering at my cerebral cortex,


no matter the conflicts overwhelming.




My cup runeth over…






Still, at odd moments when alone,


the old hymns course through


my mind and I find myself humming


or mouthing the words to myself,


and the beauty of that childhood


of belief and assurance, in closeness


to the family who believed every


word in the Good Book, overwhelm


my hollow, unknowing old brain.




Halleluiah! Thine the glory…




Then I am inundated with the cruelty


of all I have seen and participated


in, just as though these things were


my new religion. Now I have forsaken


both and live in a mental world


of knowing nothing except my own mind.


Do not shed even one tear for me.




Just as I am without one plea…

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

powerful anthem as if ever. i applaud you for telling it like you feel it and mean it. just a powerfl bloody brillant poem franklin.



Larsen M. Callirhoe

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  • 1 month later...

Franklin, the picture you paint is distinctly American, but the story has Old World roots. How negatively "crusaders" have twisted texts of a faith based on brotherly love to try to justify their unconscionable acts and secular ambitions.



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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