The Nazarene

I wonder if we have some say
--I mean, with that other voice, the one we forget--
over how many bulls there'll be by the box car,
or how many bricks in the barrow?

Some do well in salt air,
bones rusting slow like the axles on the double wide.
Others show up at the old job with bent smiles
and die before the year is out.

So, I wonder, when I'm out collecting shells
in my sandals and straw hat,
what if that was the Nazarene in the camp chair there
with the cup untouched beside him on the sand?

for Sunday Muse #92

"What Now My Love?" had the original French title "Et Maintenant?" or "And Now?"


brudberg said…
I think the Nazarene would be jailed for loitering these days...
Sherry Blue Sky said…
I love the reference to that other voice, the one we forget......."bones rusting slow like axles on the double wide." How do you DO that? n amazing wondering in your closing stanza.
Carrie Van Horn said…
I think we were not meant to know how many bulls there'll be by the box car. I know that if I had known what I would face at certain parts of my life, I may have crumbled to the ground at the thought of it. I love all the imagery in this Shay. Bones rusting slow like the axles on the double wide is magnificent. I am always in awe of what you write. Reading your poetry is like opening a true treasure chest of beauty!!
indybev said…

I love your amazing word pictures, the rusting axles in particular. Would that more could follow the Nazarene's example of love.
Susan said…
I had forgotten that song! Thank you for including it with your poem.

The wondering, thank God for it! As long as we have the questions, we are alive, yes? And have the opportunity to remember mystery, mysticism, the other voice. I like that you have no answers here (only the slow rust), because I have such a suspicion of duality. Need it be one or the other? What if everyone was as much god walking as the Nazarene was?
hedgewitch said…
The voice here is musing, not nostalgic but almost neurasthetic,as far as lassitude, yet the existential questions are penetrating.I would like to think that the real Jesus would be exactly that laid back, witbout any of the fussy and shallow pontificating his fan club is so fond of. But mostly I like to think of the narrator walking in her sandals at peace, taking the salt air well.
Sumana Roy said…
The absence of din and bustle, the relaxing gait of the speaker and the presence of Nazarene make the mood of the final stanza a blessed one. Beautiful.
Vivian Zems said…
“... bones rusting slow like the axles on the double wide.”
Now, THAT’S my kind of poetry. There are more questions than answers
in this life.
Fireblossom said…
brudberg--reckon they'd just nail Him up if He came down again (as the song says.)

sherry--thanks so much my friend.

carrie--always avoid the railroad cops if you're hobo-ing. And yeah, if we knew what was coming, we'd have a breakdown before it even got here.

indybev--thanks so much for stopping by.

susan--I'm really pleased that you liked the song. It's a favorite of mine. I always like it when newer singers take on standards like that and sing them with genuine emotion, not that old Vegas lounge junk. And yes, I very purposefully merely asked a question here and didn't take a side.

hedge--yep, the lassitude is what I was going for. What if that "cup" from Matthew 26:39 had indeed passed by? Would Jay be chilling on the beach? And might that not have left his flock more relaxed?

sumana--thanks so much for the kind words.

vivian and zeus--yes indeed there are.

Truedessa said…
This begs the question would we notice the Nazerene? I think his journey was a journey of simplicity and only those with an acute ear could hear his message. I would hope I would sit next to him and soak up the light of the day.
Susie Clevenger said…
I often ponder the where, why and how. I am a recovering Southern Baptist who had to rebuild herself from the rubble of forced interpretations. I would like to think Jesus would sit beside me, tell me to be compassionate, giving, and generous with love..but also take no shit. Humble doesn't mean you become a sidewalk.
Your poetry and mastery of language always amazes me. Love the imagery in this.

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