By Gene Hult
Brother ours, raise your sight to sky
and instead hit the arched rafters,
the rotunda's soft recessed eye,
the saint paintings sighing on high
echoing vaulted hereafters.
The homes of worship correspond
to tautology of belief,
manifesting spires from beyond,
propping mystic plinths in relief,
snaring the full moon in a pond.
Bells ring a bleached carillon chord
as Billy Joel's sapped hit compels
penitents to pray for themselves,
teasing earworms from a cool lord
to gather local where he dwells.
Ascetic swamp shack opens soul,
chic steeple on a Yankee knoll,
freeway megachurch, backyard shrine
gravestone, gay Connie Casserole
with urban cathedral's blessed wine.
This is the body, a gather
of insect incantation burr
in a convocation of stars,
Uranus aligning with Mars
in the bruised horizon's offer.
The sound walls are superfluous
and yet the essence around us,
and what is discretely other
in a molecular chorus
ends our a priori cover.
Building matters; equal intent
functions follow comprised culture.
Repurposed secular structure
influences thrust of content,
affects dogma manufacture.
A foretold savior isn't a shark,
a king cannot be a nation,
even if he dove in the dark
to sink for a generation
to rise with an ivory conch.
Come into our house, men apart
from the beasts feeding suffering,
laugh at fearing failure to start,
sit beside us with tribal heart,
and return yielding comforting.
Gene Hult is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Navajo Technical University in Chinle, AZ. He has written more than 125 books published for young readers, mostly under his children’s pseudonym J. E. Bright (jebright.com). His books of poetry from Brighten Press include Render, Catfish and After, and the forthcoming Ades Fidelis. Please visit genehult.com, or follow Gene on Twitter and Instagram.