I have read the Bible
in many different versions; some strange
translations that leave out the sex
and the violence.
Versions that illuminate Jesus’ words in bright red ink.
I have a beautifully illustrated copy
where the black lines that make up the agony
of patriarch’s faces, the lines that showcase
indifference and paternal powers, also show fear
of the creator that tests your will,
your belief, by choosing to murder a child
turning your wife into salt and making
your own daughters rape you.
I have read the brutality,
the stoning of adulterers, the endless laws
and petty hatreds.
The millions apparently wiped out
by a vengeful and forgetful God.
But the beautiful words always bring me back,
the stories sometimes inspire, enlighten.
The poetry of Psalms so intricate that the
heart of an artist shines through:
This writer of the seventeenth century filtering
the bungled copies of copies of ancient texts,
his mind contending with the will of the King of England,
his sources tuned and
retuned to fit the chosen parameters.
Yet all of it so tastefully done:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.”
The most beautiful of poetry, but in all, only poetry.