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Poetry Magnum Opus

If there had been room at the inn


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If there had been room at the inn a child's first cries would have been muted not amplified. A comet's glide, three kings allied-would they have been drawn to Gods distant fire retained in the newly born?. A rapacious king is forlorn about the whereabouts of the divine tracking and tracing a hidden throne. Is the holy spirit level? as Jesus prepares to take his place in history's inn. Visions are visiting preening prophets in pursuit of outraged oracles they do not see a son still in human camouflage, of what texture and grain is Gods signature?, heavens rain falls in Josephs dream, angels countersign but one of them has double vision, his own design for a kingdom of pain.

A mother holds her baby for the first time and God cradles earthly fire, she gives love to her son feeding latent holy fire and she talks angels walk through worldly flames abandoned by God. Sleepers are alerted to a divine presence by the after-draft of beating wings. At opposite ends father and son trace the outline of mankind's broken wing.

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visions, visiting

preening prophets

outraged oracles


I like those!


cries would have been muted not amplified


Theologically profound. Whatever that family situation TRULY was, this is a nice homage.

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Nice! Put me in mind of Banksy's apparent Christmas card: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/12/banksys-christmas-card-shows-joseph-and-mary-stopped-by-the-wall.html


The last hellfire line :


. At opposite ends father and son trace the outline of mankind's broken wing.


Is genius. Very impressed.



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I can imagine a world without God. Less fanaticism, less wars, but possibly more tractors.


I went to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The alleged birthplace of Christ was down a series of steps to a narrow chamber with no apparent room for horses or donkeys, cows or goats. Well, the truth disappears pretty rapidly. It's amazing how many tall tales, myths and exaggerations we take in according to religious beliefs and the skimming lies of politics. Yeah, well, that's the f***ing feed they throw at us. and it's not too hard to question, deny, and investigate. The danger, of course, is social unpleasantness.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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  • 2 weeks later...
David W. Parsley

Hi Barry, to me human sprituality is a living subject. Certainly I can imagine a world without God, just as I can imagine a world circling a collapsed sun, or one in which my wife never existed, etc. But it does not reflect my reality, any more than those other scenarios do. Your ability to poetically address the experience of deity, largely in a Christian context, connects with my own meditations very well. This piece is no exception and could become one of my favorites among your works.


I like the form, even though prose poems and I do not always find fertile common ground. Perhaps more traditional stanza treatment would serve just as well, but it seems that the form helps to curb what I will call the risk of excessive poetization. No vain repetitions (less and less a problem in any case these days!). No awkward uses of 'a' and 'the'. Rhymes are subtle and natural, organic to the diction, almost like classic blank verse (possible exception: amplified-glide-allied sounds a bit artificial). This form may provide a good arena in which to develop your gifts further.


Like some others of your recent work, this one retains a strong Symbolist strain while playing out on an unseen but concrete canvass or stage. Somehow the sense comes through that even the most metaphysical (dare I say, even theological) speculations and meditations, speak from an individual experience base and need. Gratifying progress.


The opening speculation is intellectually stimulating, quite the hook. Subsequent development does not disappoint, yielding startling images and refreshing the wonder attending the Incarnation. Respectful without succumbing to saccharine reverence, the poem yearns for nonplus to distill into meaning and order; for acknowledgment of damaged creation to ferment concrete diagnosis and hopeful prognosis: betrays a heart prepared for transfiguration and gospel, yet tempered with the ancient anguish, "Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief."



- Dave

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This is quite nice, Barry. It seems to tell the Christmas story with a sense of having happened the way it had to happen -- as it was written. Thank you for this. I enjoyed it immensely.



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

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