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Sundays with Anaximander

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  • Sundays with Anaximander

    This zero hour, drawn up in arms, began
    Before today’s alarms. It was perhaps
    When for the pines, you primed a caravan.
    They sang of Beulah land; they fought collapse.
    That was my church, was baptized there. It burned,
    Returning to the limitless. Thus time
    Its levy makes. But music stayed, and spurned
    Night: “we’ll understand it all, by and by.”
    Aunt Mildred had prepared pot roast. The sweet,
    Sweet tea, in plastic pitchers went around.
    The eighth day dawned, it dawns, and with it fleets
    All days since chaos was by Spirit drowned.
    The throne awaits, the river and the trees,
    For us to fall, to rise, and be received.

    [A few notes as an aid in reading. I live in the Boston area, but grew up in Arkansas. A series of personal calamities has caused me to turn finally to writing poetry. Though I have lived a long time in Boston, and most of my friends are here, when you lose everything, you start to think of home, where you grew up. In my hours of loneliness, I thought of my church community and all the family members who would gather together at the matriarch's house after church on Sundays, a weekly family reunion. Such communal life is essential to the sacredness of Sunday, the eschatological day in the middle of time, the day of the completion of Creation in Christ's Resurrection, which brings on the coming of the New Jerusalem (“the throne, the river, and the trees” refers to Revelation 22:1-2). That City is the ultimate community, which will gather the whole family of humanity into the embrace of the Trinity, the divine community. This completes the plan sweeping through all times from the beginning, when the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters of chaos (Genesis 1:2), culminating in the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17), during which for the justification of each one of us Jesus is buried in the waters of chaos under the wings of the dove. Alpha and Omega are simply eternal love.

    Pine Grove Baptist Church was our church growing up, a small building in the pines. It burned down a few years ago. The hymn singing in the South provides such spiritual nourishment, with the congregation drawn together into the aching harmony. The quote is from "Farther Along."

    This personal archaeology made me confront the passing of all things, which led me back to the Anaximander fragment, the oldest surviving lines of Western philosophy.

    One underlying theme of the whole thing: no times are lost in the eschatological Day, every single day, every kairos, every trial of character, every going-under, sails from and towards the New Jerusalem.]
    Last edited by newcityrising; 05-18-2016, 08:08 AM.

  • #2
    Can't go past this title! And the poem does not disappoint. The eternal and the homely are woven together in a truly masterly manner, the way a Rembrandt painting might do it. You've got creation, humanity, salvation, and the eschaton all wrapped up in there with Aunt Mildred's pot roast, in just fourteen beautifully paced lines. Outstanding!

    The explanatory essay - while not strictly necessary for the enjoyment of the poem - is full of interest, and your linking of the Anaximander fragment with the 'omega' of your eschatological beliefs is delightful and fascinating to me. I do not share those beliefs, but your expression of them is a credit to them.

    Comment


    • newcityrising
      newcityrising commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, Grant. Your gracious and generous appreciation gives me great encouragement. Your understanding and empathy give you an expert's insight into the Christian proposition. Everything in your comment makes me happy. You even put the cherry on top: the essay, "not strictly necessary," yet "full of interest." You are deft. Again, thank you.

    • grant hayes
      grant hayes commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, newcityrising. It is a seriously wonderful poem!

  • #3
    Congratulations newcityrising ! I just read that you are among the winners! I had not read this poem in April. Somehow it got by me. It is beautiful... a bygone sense of Community; one that I had experienced in my life so many years ago. With your first line I was uncertain where it was going... and I loved the journey.

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    • newcityrising
      newcityrising commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, Suz-zen, for your kind words and thoughtful engagement with my poem.

  • #4
    Congratulations, newcityrising, on a well deserved win. I knew this poem was a work of significant stature, and I am glad the judges recognized it too. Bravo and blessings to you!!

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    • newcityrising
      newcityrising commented
      Editing a comment
      Your magnanimity meant a lot before, and still means a lot to me now. Thank you, Grant. You helped give me confidence to continue the arduous but most blessed office of poetry. I'm just posting on Facebook right now, because I know nothing about the ins and outs of publishing, and my life is unsettled, so I haven't given myself over to engaging with this wonderful RhymeZone community. But the poems of yours I've seen are masterly. Thank you for the encouragement your great and generous soul has provided me.

    • grant hayes
      grant hayes commented
      Editing a comment
      Posting poems on Facebook, unsettled life, not-knowing-about publishing ... I can relate immediately to all of that, ncr. All I can say is, keep going in that 'arduous and blessed office', as you so winsomely name it. It needs you !!

      Thank you for your kind regards about my poems shared here; if you ever do get the time, the Zone would benefit greatly from your input.

  • #5
    Congratulations, newcityrising, on a beautifully resonate poem!

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    • newcityrising
      newcityrising commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for taking the time to say such amiable words, RhymeLovingWriter.

  • #6
    I am agree! It's really beautiful poem! THanks
    192.168.0.1
    Last edited by NachoV; 03-21-2017, 02:51 PM.

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    • #7
      Hello! I'm sorry, that is not the topic! I really like your forum! Thank you, I'm with you)
      mybestwestern.com

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