top of page


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 ( His books of poetry from Brighten Press include Render, Catfish and After, and the forthcoming Ades Fidelis. Please visit, or follow Gene on Twitter and Instagram.


bottom of page