Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Cougar

A cougar ate a priest
who had been hiking away from God
because God
was too demanding.

As he was being consumed,
the priest said,
"You have teeth like votive candles,
and eyes like chalices.
You are the church I was looking for."

The hungry cougar was kind
and took in this wandering priest.
She tore each muscle from the bone
so that the priest would stay--
despite lack of faith,
and despite good sturdy boots still ready at the trail's edge.

They came for the cougar, of course.
They called her a killer,
and spat tobacco juice as they spoke badly of her
while loading their rifles.

When they found her and took aim,
the spirit of the hiker priest spoke from the cougar's mouth:
"Ecce Agnus Dei."
I'll be damned, said those keepers of good established order,
and then they opened fire.
_______

Ecce Agnus Dei = Behold the Lamb of God

written for Hannah's challenge at Real Toads.
 

23 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh, brutal. And so exactly what would happen. Sigh. Love the teeth like votive candles and eyes like chalices.

Susan said...

They sure will! Good story. The cougar was indeed "the church I was looking for" and also the one that hunters crucify.

blogoratti said...

Beautiful imagination.

Lynn said...

Wow!

Marian said...

"you are the church i've been looking for," an epic tale... nice of you to leave the story open so we can fill in the blanks.

Daryl said...

worship at your own risk?

Kerry O'Connor said...

"You have teeth like votive candles,
and eyes like chalices.
You are the church I was looking for."
These lines have made my day.. maybe my whole week.

I admit that I screwed my eyes up at the end, once the hunters were introduced..didn't want to know how it ended, but I knew you wouldn't shy away from the killing blow. There is so much here that makes me mad and sad, but the hallowed halls of the wilderness remain true to what creation meant.

Laura said...

wow! at least the cougar understood how to listen and be present to the truth of the moment.

Shawna said...

The cougar is a woman (which is fitting because you always say God is female). And in the end, we are all trying to "kill" God so that we can do things our own way. Also, we are ignorant and don't know "the real thing" when we see it. I think it's interesting that in going astray, the priest finds God. And also that the Lamb is a Cougar. This all has fantastic spiritual and relational significance. He worships this dangerous woman who is "ripping him to shreds." And he should probably be a bit more careful when dating mountain girls. ;)

I just about melted when I read the correct spelling of "spat."

Stanzas 2 and 5 are my favorites. I love this: "the spirit of the hiker priest spoke from the cougar's mouth: 'Ecce Agnus Dei.'"

Going in a different direction, this also illustrates our tendency to worship idols and believe in their power so deeply that we allow ourselves to be completely destroyed. Fantastic work, Shay. Very impressive.

hedgewitch said...

As the resident atheist, I have to admit a lot of sympathy for the priest, and a lot of accuracy in the need to be dismembered and devoured down to the hiking boots to find god. Then of course, society sends some ignorant fools out to kill it. Bitter and sharp, Shay.

Listening Daisy said...

"The hungry cougar was kind
and took in this wandering priest.
She tore each muscle from the bone
so that the priest would stay--
despite lack of faith,
and despite good sturdy boots still ready at the trail's edge."

I really love this poem!

Abin Chakraborty said...

awesome stuff.signature creation. roaring success, this one.

Lolamouse said...

Truth came knocking on my door and I said, "Go away; I'm busy looking for the truth!" People are such idiots.

Helen said...

.... consummatum est! For both ...
great poem Ms. Fireblossom.

Shawna said...

I love hedge's comment. Excellent insight.

Barbara said...

Enjoyed this on so many levels,especially the last verse. POW!! WOW!! "and then they opened fire." Amazing!

Susie Clevenger said...

I love this! There is so much truth in it!

kaykuala said...

There are always hunters in people that determine the rights and wrongs according to their fancy! They may not be rational, which create problems. Nicely Shay!

Hank

A Cuban In London said...

It's a very intriguing poem. To me it's to do with a person's search for her or his own self. The cougar devouring the priest is the act of self-realisation that befalls human beings at some point in their lives. The fact that there's a priest is irrelevant. To me the poem has nothing to do with religion and a lot to do with spirituality. Above all, I felt it. Because literature, and good literature like your poem is, is meant to be felt as well as understood.

Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Karen said...

The truth in this gives me great pain. Excellent insight into various aspects of organized (and deconstructed) religion.

Hannah said...

Fantastically rich in image and symbolism, Shay!!! I just love, love what the priest says as he's being consumed. Such a great read...thanks a million for linking with transforming Friday!!

Mama Zen said...

That last line is freaking full on Shay brilliance. I love this.

myheartslovesongs.com said...

killer last line, SP! enjoyed this immensely!