I received this email today from an individual who has been abused. [Note: I was in error – this individual told me today they have not been abused. Nonetheless it is still a great poem. 9/18/2018] It touched my heart, the poem is amazing! I asked to share it in the hopes that other victims of abuse will be able to indentify with it and perhaps receive some balm for their soul. This individual granted me permission and also chose the music to accompany it.
“I wanted to share with you a poem I wrote a few years ago as a sort of letter to the pastors who taught me when I was younger. I was raised in a founding ARBCA church (part of RBMS before that. We were also a “Founders” church).
This poem is hard and offensive and it still makes me uncomfortable, but it’s honest and to this day its the closest I’ve been able to come to expressing the pain inside of me. And I suspect it might at least touch on some of the pain that my other fellow castaways feel. In other words, it’s the pain of a child who was hurt by those he trusted.”
Elegy of a Castaway
A child weeps upon the unforgiving
ground, bleeding from the rape of heart and soul
that tore his self into a crimson lump
of battered hopes and dreams, a glut of spoiled
reveries and rotten, misbegotten vagaries
that reek offensively, a corpse-forged compost mound
surrounded by the holy black of ceaseless night
where devils lurk and whore and angels war and hurt
and hurting, helpless urchins cry to live and fight to die.
Within this child’s mind there storms a lust
of tortured thoughts and contemplations. Frail
emotions wax and wane within impassioned throes
and all of joy’s temporal mists weigh heavy
on his paltry face, an acid burning
through his flesh to scald his shrunken, shriveled heart.
He stumbles, bogged within the muck of sadness’
cold embrace, a helpless slave unto the wounds
that he sustains in moments’ everlasting
spans. He runs the gamut of his feelings’
sordid range without a means to let the
pressure flee; his broken mind is torn
– a patsy’s sorry lot – and he is ripped
by storms inside his aching soul,
a living carcass walking dead.
Clouded days erupt in lonely rages,
thunders rolling deep
within the everlasting night.
The moon has moved beyond her mounts
unto the land of living life
and he is left amidst the way of tears adrift, alone
as vapors wrap their dank and hateful
tendrils round him, leaving him
a blinded, deafened mute
while fogs overwhelm all thought and sense
and leave him blind and deaf. He’s locked within
his screaming head as storms assail his broken soul,
a battered reed that’s beat
upon authority’s abusing fist and left
to limp along it’s rocky ways.
His mind is bloody mangled and
his bloodied body pools
upon the freezing pebbled stones,
harrowed by benign abuse and arrogant neglect,
for you have left him in a ruined wreck –
you heartless fucks – alone within his hell.
A Christian for a score and three, he’s still
an infant weeping scalding tears for some
of mother’s milk: sick from being gorged
on rancid, rotten marrow moldered in
the mob of royal fruits and poisons mixed
within the brew of doctrinal sterility.
You see, you taught him how to love with hate
and hate in love and judge the spirits of
the enemies of God – to cause prolonged
degeneration into godforsaken
tombs where vicious vipers sulk and brood
beneath the perjury of life and rain.
You showed him to obsessively discern
with humble pride and how to hide behind
the skirts and weight of institution: the
Church’s purchased cross-dressing gigolo
boy toy, etched and carved in wood and stone
erected over ages long and hard.
You mocked diversity of thought as just a
deadly step along the path of
blasphemy’s destructive end
then closed the door to all the heresy
that lurked without and locked him up to
face the heresy that raged within.
You lived and preached like all the enemies
of that assembled host dwelt only in the hearts
of they who warmed the lifeless pews,
when in reality the greatest danger
that they all have faced as congregated
sheep has most assuredly been you!
It must be sweet to be untouchable as God’s
anointed men, a place of fair respect and clout,
to know that you have earned and you have won,
with black pastoral arrogance, the true rewards
you sought; and left (at least) this child of
the congregation’s life a bruised and bloodied mess.
And now I turn from systems and doctrines
and damnable love of sacred texts that cloud
my eyes and minds. I turn from legalistic
psychoses that force my God-given unity
through man-made, shit-filled human uniformity.
I turn from damned authorities that fuck
Love’s children through guilt and hateful,
selfish, spiritual abuse. And I turn
from worshiping a deity who watches
in proud solemnity as rebels burn:
if there’s a god who seeks to sling
some holy fucking wrath, he’s dead to me.
So here I cry, a weeping, orphaned corpse
who hopes within his mad dubiety
that there is love within this shattered world;
that God is not a pastor writ-large who’s
bent on beating me shitless with shame and
laws and lies disguised as fundamental truths;
that maybe this world has meaning and that
maybe I’m liked and loved for who I am
and not for who I’m meant to be – that though
I wander, I’m not yet lost (I hope)
beyond the reaches of the reckless,
raging fury that’s been called the love of God