poMotion poetry

The Whip in the Temple.

with 5 comments

He smiled

At the palms crushed

To stain by the calloused hooves of the stolen donkey

And wonders

“Was anyone

The faces each like a little flame

With their halleluiahs

Getting the joke?”

The faces each like a little flame

With their serious halleluiahs

That knot like rope behind his smile

Growing

Forced

He pats the good neck of the donkey and the sinews of the scrawny neck keep his back straight

And this is where I came in

Caught

Between praise and expectation

Between the users at my back and the used up at my fingertips

The song and the sacrifice

Caught

Between the desire and the consummation

Between the lash and the coins

Piled like fortune on the fragile tables

My hallelujahs to turning the earth into sky

My hollow eyes

And he was sick of parable when he twisted the cord

His hands itched with inaction

His hands calloused by wood and hammer

Itched with inaction

And he scratched them on the cord he twisted into whip

And strode with whip in calloused hand toward the temple’s selling

And sold faces

And the terror at the arc of the whip in his hand

Stood guard at the entrance of his tomb

By Noah West

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Written by lickmypoetry

June 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Posted in poem, poetry

Tagged with , , , , , ,

5 Responses

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  1. “That knot like rope behind his smile”
    Wow, this phrase said so much, as did the whole poem, in its form, rythym and choice of images, textures and tension. Masterly.
    As a (female) survivor of Catholic upbringing, when I dive into these stanzas, I am reminded of my own anger, fear, betrayal and confusion in the images that I trusted and loved, and still do, but can no longer approach without risk of being trapped, tied and hung by the paternal noose of “religion.”
    Great poem.

    brokenpenwriter

    July 1, 2010 at 9:47 am

  2. And the chanting too. I remember that from Catholic upbringing. I heard some of that in the poem too. I love the line, ‘his hands itched with inaction.’ Sue

    lickmypoetry

    July 1, 2010 at 10:11 pm

  3. Wow you once again soar to grasp the true meaning of your subject.

    jeannine

    July 8, 2010 at 4:21 am

  4. WOW. Thanks all for the intelligent and generous comments. It is very hard in this country in this century to find a sound (or any) audience for poetry. I am so glad to be part of such a vibrant and sensitive community. I hope to be around a lot more as I settle into papa-ing two kids.

    Noah

    Noah

    July 16, 2010 at 11:34 am

  5. what an impossibly gifted writer you are –
    The song and the sacrifice
    Caught
    Between the desire and the consummation
    Between the lash and the coins
    Piled like fortune on the fragile tables
    My hallelujahs to turning the earth into sky
    My hollow eyes
    And he was sick of parable when he twisted the cord

    aint that the way that goes-wry grin- i seriously loved this poem thank you for sharing it

    julie

    August 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm


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