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

or worse;

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.