by Jnana Hodson
As I said at the time, to a poetry journal editor …
My guess is that intentionally or not, most of the pieces you select have a religious – usually, but not always, Christian – word or image. The unresolved struggle between the flesh (often scatological) and the divine (however naively informed) provides the energy fueling the engine that runs this thing with some unity.
I happen to believe that a radical encounter with Christ can harmonize the essential flesh/spirit dilemma, but that’s another sermon. For now, let me say how powerful your image of Christ in a wheelchair is; for me, there is the Jesus who has healed the cripple, and now sits in the chair for a rest, as well as the Jesus who struggles in the chair to know precisely what the handicapped experience. Or, as I teach the junior high and senior high kids in religious education at our meeting for worship, there is an agnostic/atheist strand even in the Bible: “How do I know you are really God and not just some pile of wood or gold?” (See I Kings 18:22-40; some translations are much more graphic and mocking than others.)
Put another way, I believe that authentic religion leads straight into everyday issues, the muddy realities. As I look again at this batch of poems I’ve selected for submission, I am amazed at the number of religious references! Unintentional, I assure you.
Here’s hoping these creations swim boldly in your current.
And remember: Just say Duma Luma!
Happy trails and shiny rails …
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