17 Minutes of Blasphemy

This guest poem is by English teacher and good friend, Terry Cooper. We share life, art, worship, families and fellowship together and it is an honor knowing him. I hope this touches you as it did me.

17 Minutes of Blasphemy                                                                                                 

July 15, 2008


This morning I am the center of the universe.

I sit in a wicker chair

In the center of the front patio

Which is at the 50 yard line of our front yard.

The sun is rising to the right, and if I

Stay, will set on my left.

All the windows of the house behind me are shuttered—Blinds pulled

Closed like heavy eyelids. It’s just me out here.

A sprinkler, some aspen, birch,

A few maples (after all we are not that far from Canada),

An old white mare in a pasture across the lane,

And the sky.

Today it’s a sampler:  there are the cliché white puffs that make paintings and children’s books, wallpaper, and some clever ceilings;  there are the long feathers of some bird I’d rather not see; there are streaks, heavy celestial cobwebs; there are tiny white check marks that become more populous until they become a flock of birds who become some dinosaur spine; for contrast, there are dark gray puffs, some of which tumble in front of the sun—minions to his glory; a new trick to the north—the dark clouds combined with the blue  backdrop have created shadows of the sun’s rays making the inexorable, arrogant razor lines that emanate, dark, as if, in that part of the sky, the identical twins–light and dark–had agreed to switch places; and, now, directly in front of me, a series of streaks emanate as if the sky were a pond and someone dropped a stone up into it, and instead of circular ripples, some feathery-hair-like lines mark the equal and opposite reaction dead center in my line of vision.  I can tell that God is ready to take back His throne.  I wasn’t very good at it anyway.  I didn’t answer any prayers, send any plagues, or rescue anyone from a life of sin,

But for a few minutes, I came close

If only by inches

To feeling complete, justified, centered.

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