My childhood God was heavy
like men’s hands pushing me underwater
holding my life in the baptism
giving it back conditionally.
I built a fortress around me
to hold off the terror of this god
I must keep the heavy hands off.
I rejected that Mormon cast ,
I became outcast
I secretly cried, and now cry
when I’m made to feel outsideness,
by the sound of plainsong..
Denied morality because of unbelief
seen as outcast — unclean,
I must build a fortress around me
To survive the damning righteous air..
Refused then, feeling refused now in places that proclaim love
De-baptized by me, by them I couldn’t go into churches.
unless there was incense, elaborate ritual, great paintings
wondrous gilded madonnas. murmurs, chant and ancient smell..
‘It’s old stuff, alienation, angst, god is dead stuff’ she sd
This old stuff does not go away like the drift of Reagan’s mind
into warm Christian theology, meditations on hanging laundry
old thoughts don’t go away. God is always in question.
God is an answer without question in cathedrals
But, here, I listen to Bach’s entwining sound
And hold my fortress around me,
because I don’t believe in God.
I am only a needful being,
Like everyone else, a sweeper,
a Janus, bearing souls I love,
an atheist seeking blessing.