Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lights out Jesus...a poem

Lights out Jesus
by Kevin Cahill

A statue of Jesus has the high ground here
in San Sebastian,
he stands erect on a hilltop overlooking
the port city,
the index finger of his raised right hand
points up
as if to remind himself of something he was
about to say
or perhaps it's to check which way the wind
is blowing

Down below
we walk along the promenade
we turn down narrow streets
occasionally you say to me,
"Look! There's Jesus."
But every time I look up he's
obscured by a lampost or a tree
doubtful I shake my head -
missed him again.

If you don't tire easily you can get
around the other side of Jesus.
From there you can see
what it looks like when Jesus
turns his back on you.

I'm tempted to climb up there,
to look over his shoulder
past the radio antenna on his back
and to try to see
just what he's looking at.
But it's a long way to Jesus
from here and it's getting late.

Instead I stay down by the water
and watch the sun go down
while my own son works faithfully
to make miracles with his camera -
wonders of light on water,
epiphanies of ocean spray in the air,
inspirations of swelling, breathing tides

It is a Saturday night,
we forget about Jesus,
it is time to eat and we go

to make our pilgrimage
to the tapas bars,

from bar to clamoring bar

we go in search of something
we can devoutly sink our teeth into
where food is for the taking
and where nothing is written down
and all accounts are settled
face to face in perfect faith.
everyone is drinking, eating, smoking
and speaking all at once in strange tongues

It is past midnight,early Sunday morning,
when we start the long unsteady walk home,
the lighthouse on the island is dark,
the sea is dark, the sky too,
but Jesus is illuminated,
he floats magically in the void.
If you didn't know he was a statue on a hill
you'd swear he could walk on air.

And then without warning...he disappears,
lights out, gone.
I look at my watch. It's 2:00 am.
"Huh," I say to my son who's staring at nothing,
I thought Jesus was twenty-four seven.



Anonymous cjones said...

So many levels....
So many meanings...

And all fun to consider.

7:21 AM  

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