Friday, January 4, 2008

What I believe.....

A friend of mine (via my other blog) just had one of his poems read on the Writers Almanac.
I had been entertaining the notion that I should buy his book, and now it is no longer a notion, but rather a mission. Just read it and visit hius blog
Lightning and Ashes, you need nothing else from me, save to say you wont be sorry....

What My Father Believed

He didn't know about the Rock of Ages
or bringing in the sheaves or Jacob's ladder
or gathering at the beautiful river
that flows beneath the throne of God.
He'd never heard of the Baltimore Catechism
either, and didn't know the purpose of life
was to love and honor and serve God.

He'd been to the village church as a boy
in Poland, and knew he was Catholic
because his mother and father were buried
in a cemetery under wooden crosses.
His sister Catherine was buried there too.

The day their mother died Catherine took
to the kitchen corner where the stove sat,
and cried. She wouldn't eat or drink, just cried
until she died there, died of a broken heart.
She was three or four years old, he was five.

What he knew about the nature of God
and religion came from the sermons
the priests told at mass, and this got mixed up
with his own life. He knew living was hard,
and that even children are meant to suffer.
Sometimes, when he was drinking he'd ask,
"Didn't God send his own son here to suffer?"

My father believed we are here to lift logs
that can't be lifted, to hammer steel nails
so bent they crack when we hit them.
In the slave labor camps in Germany,
He'd seen men try the impossible and fail.

He believed life is hard, and we should
help each other. If you see someone
on a cross, his weight pulling him down
and breaking his muscles, you should try
to lift him, even if only for a minute,
even though you know lifting won't save him.

By John Guzlowski
from his book
Lightning and Ashes


John Guzlowski said...

Hi, Steve, I was visiting your site and found my poem.

Thanks for sharing it with other people.

My father wasn't perfect by any means. He was a man with a lot of emotional and psychological problems that came from being in the concentration camps, but his faith was always important to him, and helped him through a hard life, and brought him joy and comfort at the end.

Little Scribe said...

Thanks for sharing this poem. It really touched my heart.