Monday, March 30, 2009

Atonement of Atomes

This poem first appeared on Jason Evans' excellent blog, The Clarity of Night, as an entry in the "Midnight Road" short fiction contest.


Photograph courtesty of Jason Evans


ATONEMENT OF ATOMES


on that dark day
of the crucifixion
the sky opened up
and the moon
illuminated our sins

was it sweat or blood
that ran that day
was the altar marble
or pale cold skin

why still the darkness
creates our shroud
that hangs off beaten bones
and stirs us to awaken now
as undivided atomes

we were electrified
by an Ionic Savior
his words in us were charged
did not we feel them
stirring in our wombs and
burning in our hearts

we lost an electron
on the midnight road
but in our souls we keep
electricity to light the way
and tears of blood to weep.

34 comments:

Karen said...

This poem leaves me breathless:

"why still the darkness
creates our shroud
that hangs off beaten bones
and stirs us to awaken now
as undivided atomes"

You have taken the story of the ages and made it immediate. Your question,

"did not we feel them
stirring in our wombs and
burning in our hearts"

is the question of our times and all times.

K, I can't even quote all of this that I love or verbalize my visceral reaction when I read it. It brings tears to my eyes.

"we lost an electron
on the midnight road"

Beautifully written testament.

lilu said...

I too became very emotional while reading this. The powerful words make the image in my mind even more real. A perfect symphony of words.

Lena said...

thats a wonderful example of how powerful the words can be if someone knows how to use them... awesome poetry :)

Aniket said...

This is my first time coming across this masterpiece, as I found Clarity only at the time of Ascension. A flawless piece indeed.

"electricity to light the way
and tears of blood to weep"

The last line leaves a mark on you.
Great one, K.

jason evans said...

Our binding together beneath our consciousness while our consciousness is convinced of our separation. Very powerful. And I love the scientific motif.

Your poems for my contests always made me ache. So many times, they hovered at the top, but since I score on elements more usual in fiction, the hovering remained hovering. But that in no way reflects their towering skill in poetry. They just needed to be more narrative in order to hit storytelling elements. Whether or not you placed, I always admired the impact you made.

Thank you for breathing life into this again.

Sarah Hina said...

The darkest deeds can spark a burning pain of comprehension. But does it endure? Alas, that shroud can be as thick as human hearts.

This poem is incredibly intense, K. It carries a physical current behind its words. A little jolt of light to illuminate the darkness. The agony and ecstasy pulsing through our shared, battered humanity.

Your words are charged here, too. Outstanding work...and so good to see an old contest entry of Jason's re-emerge! :)

trooping with crows said...

"was the altar marble
or pale cold skin"...how do you write these things, Mom!

It made me feel uncomfortable in the way that it should. I can't say much more because I am at a loss for words. It' salmost as if, this poem is a feeling more than can be expressed with insufficient words. Every line is painfully perfect.
(If I had to pick a top 5 favorites of all time, this is in there, Mom.)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Karen - I appeciate, so very much, your beautiful reflections here. I thought, when I posted this, that you might like it. I, also, thought about what you wrote to me a few weeks back - about the commonality of it all and how it makes you feel close to people who are experiencing the same sort of expression of faith. I really liked that. Thanks again. xo
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Lilu - Emily, thanks so much. I just felt it was a good time to post this particular poem. Thanks for your beautiful comment. Talk later...<3 Mom
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Lena - I can't thank you enough for the very flattering compliment. You made me smile. :)
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Hi Aniket, Many, many thanks to you for all your very nice comments. You are such a great blogging friend to me and to everyone - so supportive and your comments are always thoughtful and kind. I am glad you liked this poem. ;)
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Hi Jason, Thank you. Well, I WAS inspired by a great photo!

It is always fun to participate in your contests. I love writing poetry - and being inspired by interesting prompts (read - *fantastic pictures*)always presents a challenge.

I am grateful for your honest assessment and hope that my poetry continues to make an impact wherever it is appears. ;)
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Sarah, In one of the darkest moments for human kind, a light emerged that can never be extinguished.

When I first saw Jason's photo of the electric pole and transformer, it reminded me of Jesus, crucified. So, I combined electricity, the transformer, energy, and Jesus. This poem resulted.

Thanks so much for your insights on this piece. I am always intrigued by your thoughts. ;)
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Hi Merissa, This poem was one of those that came spilling out all at once. I know what you mean about the feeling it elicits. Thanks for your great comment. Wow! Top 5. T'ain't bad! <3

Margaret said...

What powerful use of words K.
It's electrifying!
Leaving me stunned and speechless! But wanting to read again & again.

joaquin carvel said...

all of the above. jarring in its imagery and sharpness - a lightning strike - and i also love how this carries the metaphor of being "electrified / by an Ionic Savior" into "in our souls we keep / electricity to light the way" - and in a very literal way, what keeps us breathing, hearts beating - alive.

i love what you saw in/drew out of the photo, and the way it is phrased and layered is stunning. this is one of those poems that one could peel apart and discuss for hours.

Catvibe said...

K, I read this yesterday but something was whacko with the comment section. I love the way you married 'the savior' to electricity. Your words remind me of an inner landscape where I am always gauging the life around me by its presence. Wow K. Amazing poem.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Catvibe - Pretty cool thought - gauging life around you by an inner landscape... Thank you so much for the visit. I always look forward to seeing you here. :)

Vesper said...

Kaye, your words reach the very atoms of my soul and stay there with almost unbearable power... Exceptional!

Julie said...

I agree with what everyone has said about this beautiful poem. Karen describes my reaction perfectly. I can't even quote all that I love!

I am fascinated by the phrase "Ionic Savior," and the comparison of electricity. I also love that you use the word "wombs," because I picture the women at the cross and see it from their eyes. They were such an important part of Jesus' life.

This poem is magnificent and powerful. Beautiful work! I love the picture, too.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Vesper, that is such a wonderful compliment. Thank you.
***********************************

Hi Julie, Yes, the women were so important to his mission. Jesus valued women and taught them to value themselves. He challenged the rules that bound them, and broke down the barriers of prejudice that held them back.

I always appreciate your comments and think about them long after the computer is turned off.

Selchie said...

Very powerful.) Especially the last verse. Just amazing imagery. I love the intermingling of old and new, brings us up to the present somehow.

Thank you for visiting and your insightful comments.))))

Happy day.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Selchie...Sarah - Many thanks for your thoughts on this poem. Glad you stopped in. BTW, Your poem about bridging the night is excellent! ;)

findingmywingsinlife said...

You are a wonderful writer yourself! And thank you for following along on M.IV, who knows, maybe one day I'll sing for you!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

findingmywings - I appreciate your compliment. I am looking forward to hearing more of your story AND to hearing you sing, one day. Thanks for stopping by.

laughingwolf said...

love it still, klg...

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

LW - thanks, my friend, for always giving me your support and encouragement.

Bob said...

Kaye, sorry I did not catch this new one yet, I've been letting other things distract me lately from both reading and writing... so good to read your work again and I'll try to not be late for the party next time!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Bob - The very same thing has been happening to me lately. I have been slow to get around everywhere I travel in Blogland. But, my goodness, never fear. You are welcome to the party at any hour of your choosing. I will be here and am always happy to see you arrive - whenever it is. :) ...and thanks!!

laughingwolf said...

come, and bring your pals, for awards... on my page

click on: from mona, and from absolute vanilla, in my side bar... and see from freddie, too :)

laughingwolf said...

i just made a post, i think? :(

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Laughing Wolf - you are too funny. ;DD Congratulations on receiving the awards. You certainly do deserve them. Thanks ever so much for sharing the wealth and passing them on to me and others. I'll be over to collect one of them in a bit. Thanks!! ;))

Margaret said...

Hi K.

I'd love you to drop over to my blog to pick up an award nominated to you. :)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Margaret, how very sweet and thoughtful. I will be over this evening. Thank you very much! ;D

Sofia- Classified Weekly said...

I love poem and the image it's something different I like the effects:-)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Sofia - Welcome to Old Mossy Moon and thank you for a very nice comment. Please visit here with me again. ;D

Sofia-Classifieds weekly said...

I would definitely go back here again:-)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Sofia - ;)

nollyposh said...

so ~powerful~
<3