Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Poetry Thursday: If God

I wrote this last November and until now, I've kept it buried under something heavy. It’s the only poem I ever wrote that scares me. It’s about a dream I had not long ago. Obviously, it involves my “becoming.” But I feel the dream is asking too much of me – and I’m not ready. And because I know way down deep that I can’t derail what I’ve started, I’m scared. It feels good to say that. I’m scared. I’m scared of discarding my life as I know it and pursuing another reality – one which I’m compelled to follow. I wouldn’t trade my progress for anything and have no desire to return to the way things were before I discovered the “secrets.” I have no anger or hatred around this – no sadness. Just fear. Maybe terror is closer to the truth. And I’m just not ready.

If God

What would you do
If God came to you
And invited you to cry
All of your tears into a cup

And promised you that
The depth of your tears
Would serve as the
Measure of your soul

Would you know
How to start

And what if God
Showed you that
Love and forgiveness
Were the only two
Words you ever needed
That suddenly life
Was easy

Would you know
What to do

And if God came
And lifted you
And showed you
All that was good
And separated real
From illusion

Would you know
How to see

And if God told you
In your dreams
That now was the time
When life’s moment
Was cued for digging
Around in the garden

Would you know
Where to dig
Would you

Would you take up
A spade and press
Sharp steel into the
Firmness that has
Become your life

Pressing until the
Hardness yields to
Something softer
The secret underbelly
You shield at
All cost

What if God asked
You to push your
Entire life over the
Edge of a cliff
Saving nothing of it
But yourself

Would you cry out
Begging for another way
And plead fear
As your defense

Or would you
Simply go mad
Like me, like me
And wish to sleep
Like the dead
And not dream

by dennis tkon Copyright 2007


Brian said...


Terror. This poem is very powerful and close to many people's truths. Including my own.

Trust. It's the trust in self. That the images and fears were real after all, and now what to do? What to do? The path seems clear. It seems safe. I mean it's God, right?

I want to write, I feel, as you say, compelled to spill my story where all can read. But I am scared, very scared. The others? They have returned to hiding, it's safer that way... to sleep like the dead.

Thank you so much for sharing this poem Dennis, I know, I understand how very easy it is to write words like these, and so very, very hard it is to go public. Real men aren't scared, right?

I'm a real man Dennis, and so are you.

Poet with a Day Job said...

It's early, but I couldn't wait to comment on this until tomorrow (after all, it's not like a Christmas present, and having to wait. I don't even wait anymore and by the time Xmas comes I've nothing to open).

I still feel like you and I are living some kind of parallel something - I feel like I am in the same place as this poem (and your intro to it). In therapy yesterday all I talked about was fear. I have to say, my decibles tend to rise when I'm talking about those little monsters, those little editors, those little squelchers...At the very least though, I know if there is fear involved, then something's true and right about the self-discovery, otherwise, there'd be no stakes...

In that vein, I am particularly fond of these lines:

"What if God asked
You to push your
Entire life over the
Edge of a cliff
Saving nothing of it
But yourself

Would you cry out..."

You've said it so well. It reminds me of "jump and the net will appear." Well, that's all fine and good, but there will surely be a lot of screaming on the way down to hopefully, bouncing back up again.

Thanks for writing this and keep on trucking and helps me too.

blackbank said...

Poetry is therapy, and poetry is truth. I thought this was one of the most moving, most honest, and most uplifting (yes, uplifting !!!) poems that I've read in a long while. BB

Clockworkchris said...

Hey Dennis
back again. Man this poem is awesome in so many ways I can't begin to describe what I felt. There isn't a particular line because all of them are good. I would venture to say without yet reading the rest of the poems for this week that your's will be the best offered by long shot, and I usually don't rate poetry against other poetry. You really came close to making me cry. I will be back to read it again and again. Thanks for starting my day off right. It's just so true.

Carol Anne said...

Hi Dennis.

What a poem! It is incredibly honest. I've been thinking about God almost constantly lately, and have been AFRAID to talk about it. Thanks so much for your courage, and also a very beautiful poem. I hope you don't mind if I print it out so that I can look at it once in a while.

Novel Nymph said...

I love your honesty when you write--you are just fearless. When I first "met" you, your poem took my poem away. And you continue to do that...

You inspire me.

Crafty Green Poet said...

There's a wonderful momentum to your writing here which makes the words all the more powerful.

Dennis said...

Thanks for the kind words. I find that I can only write poetry if I speak my truth, regardless of how scary or ugly it is. Anything short of the truth for me is just a lie. I’m glad you found something nourishing in my poem. I’m honored that you’d print it and save it. Thank you. And I know how scary it can be for us to face our issues with God. I was in therapy for a good thirteen years before I’d even allow the topic to be discussed. I’m glad I found the courage to know God.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Dennis. What to say... Your words are beautiful and very powerfully felt. At some point in our journey, I do believe that we are asked to let go of our pasts, our lives as we've known them, because forgiveness offers us freedom to live the moment from a much richer place than our pasts can offer, but we are afraid, terrified to let go. Our wounds, for all the pain they have inflicted, are also comforting, what we've always known. To let them go feels like death. But on the other side is freedom, joy, peace, truly living. Thanks so much for sharing this. I too, want to print it.

Regina Clare Jane said...

I can certainly echo what all the others have said. Your poem is full of power and I think that's what makes it so scary- to even think we would have that kind of power in us- to let go of everything... but God wouldn't ask us to do something like this if he didn't think we were capable of doing it. I really believe that.
Thanks for sharing so much with us, Dennis.

Green-Eyed Lady (Gel) said...

Momentous decisions and changes are scary. The emotion of your piece and struggles come through strongly in your writing. Your piece emphasizes that with its strong questioning tempo. "What ifs? raise many feelings. Best to you.

........deb said...

This is an amazing poem. I don't believe in God (I don't say that to offend or dismiss but to give you an idea of how moving this poem is); I was heartened and warmed by the strength of this poem, by its nakedness. By the honest question of "would you ?"

dogfaceboy said...

I would always question it. For me, it could never be God. And I could never believe that a god would demand any of those things.

My god is a tree. It grows. It gives me oxygen and shade. I give it my respect and my care.

I'm good with that.

I wish you were good with that, too, Dennis.

Beautiful poem.

Odile said...

Dennis, we're all right, it's a beautiful piece of work, so real, so immediate, how does one describe it?

BTW, this is Rethabile of Poéfrika using wifey's account...

kevin said...

ahh, such fine words.

This is the path of the sufi. Do you know the story of Layla and Majnun? Mujnun has been driven crazy with love for her:

"I pass by these walls, the walls of Layla

And I kiss this wall and that wall
It’s not Love of the houses that has taken my heart
But of the One who dwells in those houses"

good luck!

Jon said...

A really marvelously done poem about the difficulty of ascending growth. This is kind of the old motif of the hermit crab having to expose himself to move from one shell to a larger one that better accommodates him, but the risks necessary and the vulnerabilities required for a man to do the same are infinitely greater. I admire your courage for laying bare not only the choices you feel you have before you but also how frightened you are by those choices. Good job.

Alex aka Gypsy Girl said...

What if God asked
You to push your
Entire life over the
Edge of a cliff
Saving nothing of it
But yourself

I love this poem, Dennis. Especially the lines above. It seems like you are on the right path... With life and poetry! ;)

madd said... always so very powerful and such courage to be so very open about fears..the ones we all share. I liked your questions..if shown..would we see, would we do, in other words would we trust, would we believe?? sadly most of us would not, will not and yes, we want to run to the safety of nothingness out of fear of...whatever our fear is. Wouldn't it be something to go back to that point in our life that we didn't fear, that second just before we knew fear as a life long companion, that point in our life when we were really free to be free...I wonder if we would do so if we could..strangly I think many would let fear keep them from doing that as to yoou my friend..thanks for the stop by and yes I didn't gulp my cup..well maybe pitcher of sadness..I sipped and it tasted bitter so I left it behind..:)

Joy said...

Found your blog through Poetry Thursday

This poem is simply AMAZING!

I'm so glad I found it, I literally held my breath during this one

Thanks for sharing :)

liz elayne said...

as i read your words prior to the poem and then the poem, this phrase kept running through me head, "yes, yes. don't stop sharing your truth."

just keep doing it. keep writing. keep sharing.

L. Monique said...

Oh, Dennis...

Would you?? That is the question. I can totally relate to this poem even though I am not religious at all.

Being able to accept change is difficult no matter what race, religion or creed. I've decided also to try to change for the better, and this week especially I have been falling all over my face, fighting, wondering, etc. I can definitely relate to this poem, like you wrote it for me.

I am probably the most sensitive person alive, but I think it's beautiful when someone, especially a male - simply because it's so unacceptable in this society - is able to display themselves so profoundly, so deeply, so openly. I applaud your ability to bear your soul, I applaud your willingness to share it with us.

Thank you for reaching out, and expressing what so many of us I'm sure are going through. Until you are ready...

Dennis said...

Thanks again to all of you who were kind enough to stop by and to those who shared their thoughts. For that I am grateful. I just wanted to share a little bit more about myself as it might help you to understand me. I am certainly one of the least religious people I know. I belong to no organized religion and declare no specific recognized faith. For a very long time I hated God and used to believe that one day I would write “THE” book that would once and for all debunk all religions, and that my mission in life was to write that book. That was a long time ago – before rehab, before EMDR, before finding my current therapist, before love and before forgiveness.

I still am not religious and will never be (as that term is understood). But a real spirituality has taken hold of me and I have rediscovered God (who I call “Source”) in a way that I haven’t yet found the words to describe. And there is no question in my mind that what I am experiencing is both real and the way it should be. And I look forward to continuing writing about this fantastic journey.

twilightspider said...

Wow. This is so effective in so many ways - thank you so much for sharing it. I think any reader can take it and learn and feel it, whether or not you think of your questions in terms of actual religion.

The last staza is so powerful, it left me breathless.

SquareTraveler said...

Dennis, this is definitely the best example I've seen of your work. It's very dramatic without being melodramatic. That's a fine line.

jillypoet said...

Wow! I am so very glad you unearthed this poem from wherever it was hidden. So honest, so well-written. Each word belongs, and not one extra.

All of your tears into a cup

And promised you that
The depth of your tears
Would serve as the
Measure of your soul...

When life’s moment
Was cued for digging
Around in the garden

Would you know
Where to dig
Would you

Would you take up
A spade and press
Sharp steel into the
Firmness that has
Become your life...

My favorite lines. All of these questions and directives from God are the things that stop me when the pastor tells us every Sunday we have to give our lives over to God. So scary to think soomeone (Someone) else could (should) have control over your life and you have but to live it. At least, that's what I took away from your poem.

Pretty inspiring, eh, that your poem inspired so many lengthy thought-provoking comments? Great work! I, too, want to print it and re-read it, and think about it.

Dennis said...

Thanks Jillypoet! Can I offer something in response to your post (which was lovely by the way) – In my opinion, I don’t believe that by giving your life over to God, you’re giving God control of your life. I absolutely believe that control is nothing but an illusion and nobody or nothing has control of your life. So start with that. When we give our lives over to God, I think what we’re doing is surrendering to faith and the immense possibilities which flow from love and forgiveness – surrendering to the source of all things and plugging in. When we do, everything in the universe becomes available to us because we’re plugged into source. It’s like living your entire life as a raindrop, and staying separate from the ocean. Then, when we surrender, it’s like the raindrop returning to the sea. It doesn’t entirely lose itself, but it becomes inextricably intertwined with something greater – and that is source. Thanks for your wonderful post!!!