sesquipedalian contradictions

You have grown weary,
Of my sesquipedalian contradictions,
So I return to the kitchen,
Half eaten,
Holy hungry,
To willingly reply,
“Barba tenus sapientes.
the milk has died.”

–Richard Bryant

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Keeping Religion Out of Politics

It is important to speak,
Because in my Biblical bag of topics,
There are stories about Sarah and Abraham,
Not James Dobson and Franklin Graham.

When Joseph saved Egypt from famine,
Religion became Political,
When God sent Moses to Pharaoh,
Religion became Political,
When God told Moses to receive these laws,
Religion became Political,
When Job asked God why,
Religion became Political,
When Elijah picked a fight with Jezebel,
Religion became Political,
When Isaiah said “Here I Am”,
Religion became Political,
When King David murdered Uriah,
Religion became Political,
When Mary sang the Magnificat,
Religion became Political,
When Herod killed innocent children,
Religion became Political,
When Jesus said it would be hard for the wealthy to enter the Kingdom,
Religion became Political.
When Pilate interrogated Jesus,
Religion became Political.
When Jesus questioned God’s intentions in the Garden of Gethsemane,
Religion became Political.
When Constantine made the Church a part of the Government,
Religion became Political.
When Henry decided he wanted divorce after divorce,
Religion became Political.
When the Methodists became Methodism,
Religion became Political.

–Richard Bryant

No Reason To Doubt (A Poem)

We judge each other’s politics.
God judges our religiosity.
That’s what the prophets say,
If that be the case,
And I’ve no reason to doubt,
How sincerely they prayed,
Micah, Amos, and Hosea
Are talking about us,
This very same day,
And we’re in trouble,
Too privileged to see it,
Too angry to hear it,
Because we can’t believe,
Lord, God Almighty,
Nothing like this should happen,
To someone who looks like we,
It seems we are lacking,
unable to be what we claim to believe,
a collection of I’s and you’s,
a malformed community,
searching for they’s and them’s,
anyone not like us,
so they may be judged,
on the altar of American greatness.

–Richard Bryant

Job’s Friends

Job’s friends,
numbered three,
good ideas,
they thought to bring,
“Give up,
you stink,
we know you lie,
you screwed up,
end this now,
ask God to die,”
With friends like these,
ready to comment,
eager to please,
who needs the devil,
betting God,
to put on the squeeze?
Silence, block, ignore
three eager dummies,
with whom Job chose
To chat no more.

–Richard Bryant

When You Mock Victims, You Mock Jesus

When you mock a victim of abuse, you mock Jesus.
When you laugh at the victim of oppression, you laugh at Jesus.
When you whip up a crowd to howl at a victim, you recreate the pain of Good Friday.
When you intentionally hurt someone who is already harmed, you hurt Jesus.
Harnassed evil is ugly and mean,
Jesus weeps.

And I bet all of them standing there,
every last one,
goes to a church,
maybe three times a week,
they call themselves Christian,
and while they laughed,
hoot’d and holler’d
Jesus still weeps.

–Richard Bryant

Mid-Life Posers on the Monday Morning Highway of Life (Summer Songs Volume IV)

 

Middle aged man with the skateboard,
It’s time to buy two things
A Car and a pair shoes,
Looking cool are you, no
Holding up traffic, yes you do.
The angry man in the Volkswagen,
The bald guy in the driver’s seat,
That’s me and I’m late for my
Mahatma Gandhi study group to meet.

–Richard Bryant