Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Sam Beam

Innocent Bones

By Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine)

Cain got a milk-eyed mule from the auction
Abel got a telephone
And even the last of their blue-eyed babies know
That the burning man
Is the color of the end of day
And how every tongue that gets bit
Always has another word to say

Cain bought a blade from some witch at the window
Abel bought a bag of weed
And even the last of their brown-eyed babies see
That the cartoon king
Has a tattoo of a bleeding heart
There ain't a penthouse Christian wants the pain of the scab
But they all want the scar
How every mouth sings of what it's without
So we all sing of love
And how it ain't one dog who's good at f***ing
And denying who he's thinking of

Cain heard a cat tumble limp off the rooftop
Abel heard his papa pray
That even the last of their black-eyed babies say
That every saint has a chair
You can borrow and a church to sell
That the wind blows cold across the back
Of the master and the kitchen help
There’s a big pile of innocent bones
Still holding up the garden wall
And it was always the broken hand
We learn to lean on after all

How God knows if Christ came back,
He would find us in a poker game
After finding out the drinks were all free
But they won't let you out the door again

- - - - - - -

Holy Eucharist

The whole of life, the unending
turn, the forever spinning still
in place, the essence which is missed
in grand poetry, song and dance,
the fullness of the reign of God
on earth is casseroles. To sit

in candlelit gloom, as ghostly
stillness, aborted futures, glide
and ricochet in terrible
swaths, wafting slowly to the view
of none but one – this is all the
drift of fallenness full. But grace

is women sitting, knitting, still
like the departed; cooking still
for sustenance to breathe, endure
the anti-revelry of grief
that is the silent elegy
of death distilled. The offerings

of women good, unthinking act,
tradition kept, divine wisdom,
are Christ in action. Full and near,
alive as death but present still,
remembering is worship when
a casserole is Eucharist.

1 comment:

  1. Wait a second, Iron & Wine is not the name of a rock band? I'm just curious, because a couple of days ago I read a review of their new album...