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Thomas David Mar 2020
Fickle? Feelings formed by frenzied faults may be
Rickets, Rigid; read’ly rended, wanting wrake,
Kicked to curb by conscious care and called mistake,
Born by blunted brooding: base-turned briony.
Love is light-laid, legible, and lawfully
Lacking lies: all-lit with lofty, lettered hymn.
Swift selection, like stones skid by spark-scuffed whim
Smells of sleight; but lasting Love leans landward loyally.
Love’s selection lingers: lags to lacquer laureled lee;
Looks for latent linings; lasts when Lamb-like be.
1 Cor 13:4a
Thomas David Dec 2019
The ice groans for the gild of the rays of the sun:
When its cracks are all peaked with a pink, glittered glaze.
The sun, setting, reminds of when all had begun,
Back when all things were dancing 'round lost lover's gaze.
If you sit in the night on that crusted, dark glass
Under clouded, black skies, amid puddles of white,
Feel it press! How it longs for the darkness to pass
That its poor face, disfigured, might glow in the light.
But what of its cracks? No new layer can hide
What each skater will feel as blades rumble below.
It must moan in the sun, it must patiently bide,
Lest it, crowned without thorns, be left only with snow.
I find that I get sentimental when alone on a dark, icy lake.
Thomas David Dec 2019
I turn to red at beauty’s peak
With warmth, my leaves wear wanton streak
Of golden, gloried, armor ‘splayed
Adorned by flame’s immortal blade.
But fire is weak to water’s burn
So though I glow ‘gainst grass and fern
Reflecting rays of Thursday light
On loftened winds, a raisėd kite
A single splash of freshened sigh
Will swiftly cast my leaves awry.

O gloried, many-colored coat!
That Father through incarnate note
Composes of the deadened leaves
That up a hill my Saviour heaves;
You hid my shame at garden’s end!
Why can’t you mend this twisted bend?
Why can you not, accessory,
Re-tailor tailor’s imagery?
Or pound these hands so deeply pricked
Before the wrongful fruits be picked?

Remember Friday’s curtain ripped
The gambled robe the soldiers stripped;
No cov’ring, cloak, imputed cloud
Can blur or bow a beast unbowed.
A garment’s graze may sickness stave,
But it was left inside the grave!
Instead I see His ruptured side
Ascend with Him to be His Bride.
If crowned into that image lanced
One climbs to where no cloak advanced.

The tree’s no trick: not cheaply tried
It is man’s fate indemnified.
T’was Adam’s fate to **** his God—
Beyond which nought can e’er be awed—
His choice fulfilled in depths of hell
Where tortured, godless Adams dwell.
But choice fulfilled in parallel
By tortured, godless, Christ as well.
My soul will with the former fade
Or will be nailed to latter’s clade.

So shed my reddened leaves, O Lord!
And make me face the snows unmoored
From comforts, calm, conveying no
Dependence on the ground below.
My feet no longer need be shod:
They’ll hang with His, pierced with their God
Below the tortured martyr’s cry
Where Perfect Blood will sanctify.
I praise, I’ll praise you for the night:
Though I sin more, my sin I fight.
We are justified by Christ's suffering through our own.
Thomas David Dec 2019
O flitting fleeting facile flea,
Why fear the foggy freedom fraught
With silent solace—soul un-sought—
The Spirit-seeking, saffron'd sea?
Your promise pilfered! Purple paint's
Supposed to pale with patient peace
But soured by sifting center. Cease!
And seal your sacred sentence
A friend broke a promise to another friend. And today I wait in dread for its discovery.
Thomas David Jun 2019
The screams of a person are the screams of a soul:
One is never mere flesh in Phalaris’s bull.
But the pain is from burning of skin and not heart,
Of destroying the doors and the gates and the art
That connect in a manner essential to “me:”
For without which the “I” is a mere quiddity—
An intangible unknown, an unperceived core,
Transparent when stripped of all its decor.

A heart develops not without vein and a lung,
And a thought isn’t seen without pen or a tongue.
But a spiritless body is dead on its feet
As it can’t be revived and no mem’ries accrete
It, as tree in a wood in a book that’s unread
Never falls to the ground or will let its leaves spread;
Disembodied, unloved, unperceived, and alone
It’s a shell of a self--it’s completely unknown.

The worship of word is then a worship of prop:
A mould without fill and a field without crop.
But worship of flesh is a worship of bud
Decaying in flames of Dionysian blood.
Yes, the Word is our God! But the Word was made Flesh
And together the void and the formless enmesh
Into substance and man and a rational “could,”
That is only an “is” when it’s clothed with the good.
Gen 2:7
Thomas David May 2019
Parisian peasants showed a proclivity
A penchant for projects of perpetuity
That convert the finite, temporal shades to gold
From delegated motion to eternal fold
And looking to the superlative Ark, the Maid,
They wielded their hammers and foundations were laid.
And with lifetime effort they added a crumb
To what in two hundred years became Notre Dame.

Please ask what it would take for the dandy’s child,
Emotivists, solipsists, and the self-exiled
To lay brick, to make, if not rewarded power
To peacefully lust in their comforting tower.
For when their goods are defined in terms of their rights
And we’ve flattened the truth to equality’s heights
Then why leap to the sky as to grasp the great chain
Of being that hoists you to divinity’s plane?

They say that “first I am self, a chooser of spheres,
With patois of my making, apart from my peers.”
But peasantry claims that “I’m by family defined,
For without polis and custom, I’m dumb, I’m blind.”
My contemp’ry peers see in tradition a choice:
An emotive expression of interior voice.
But these peasants contend that “I’m born with a past:
A historical practice by fathers amassed.”

The individual’s death is death of the soul
But the peasant will die and be part of the whole.
When it’s reduced to the self, reality ends
At death; to children and friends it never extends.
The real for the peasant is eternally based
Even though after his death, his soul is displaced
He has faith he’ll return to the foot of the tree,
Of whose fruit he will partake for eternity

Appeal to authority, the peasantry knew,
Though fallacious at times, is usually true;
When ordered by God under scientia’s queen
We can be given a Truth that is known and seen.
And those who seek to challenge that whole unity
Will fail in desp'rate bid to structure a key
To the kingdom that belongs alone to the Truth,
Who delegates office to men sinful, uncouth.

The Intelligible needs a narrative whole
And meaning needs context to be contextual
The meaning of symbols will change by the mind
Unless author’s intent is with reader aligned
Which is why in pursuit of the truth I must tie
Myself to the context of Apostles; and why
Christianity’s true and not merely a wraith:
Because it is based on the Catholic faith.
Thomas David Feb 2019
1. It’s not so much a home for us
As home for our deceit:
Affirming every guiltless heart,
Distracting from defeat.
It’s found in lands of apathy
Where feelings limit thought,
And standards thought impersonal
Rely on what is not.

2. A place where temples will adore
The inner light inside:
Where you directly see the world,
Directly through your pride.
A place of icons that demand
A greater life than yours:
A life of goods and happiness,
Of wanting more and more.

3. A place where God is glorified
The most through our content,
Where suffering lament will be
Portrayed as deviant.
A place where God is glorified
When we have self-esteem;
Where trust in self is trust in him:
A god inside our scheme.

4. A place where God is worshipped most
When we try hard to touch
A presence we’re convinced is Him:
A feeling found in us.
A place where we’re convinced that faith
Is all we need obtain,
But then define faith as good works
And love only our chains.

5. A place where truth defined as less
Directs us downward to
The dimmer lights of narrowness,
A world of residue;
A world where truth has boundaries
Beyond which God can’t go,
For human thought is fallible
And Scripture’s all we know.

6. The prophets in our icons speak
Of truth without a Pope;
Tradition that’s as old as you,
Where meaning is a trope.
Where we connote, we don’t define
But by effects alone.
We’re hoping that the essence will
Eventu’lly be known.

7. Seduced, we tend to run to self,
The selves we wish we were:
With freedom, wealth, and pleasure and
A life fulfilled, secure.
But freedom’s just a neutral tool,
And wealth is merely means,
And pleasure’s mere result of good,
The Good it cannot be.

8. So when the church pursues these things
As visions of the Good,
They choose to play off barons’ lies
Instead of something true.
They build themselves an idol that
Is dressed in Words of God,
But paint His face in colors of
A cultural facade.

9. Where are the prophets of the old,
Who knew that truth is full:
That truth without tradition will
Be incommensur’ble?
That language, genre, meaning will
Be dead without a guide,
That texts alone will never speak
Past cultural divides?

10. Where are the princes of the old
Who though seduced by power,
Would, when condemned, kneel in the snow
And beg in rags for hours?
Where are the laymen, who when wrong,
Won’t split off from the Vine?
Who, blinded by the light of forms,
Won’t run back to their binds?

11. What happened to the saints portrayed
On icons made of gold?
Whose lives were good and true and real,
Not poured in market’s mould?
Why do we sing of present Lamb,
When altar’s absent from
A stage that points to podiums,
That’s filled with pipes and drums?

12. If we deserve what we produce,
Receiving undeserved,
Then pedestals should not be, for
Production’s sake, reserved.
Unless we think God owes us what
Was given on the cross,
Then worship Him, not music, words,
Not feelings, dreams or thoughts.

13. But then what choice remains when we
Reject the miracle,
Of accidents remaining same,
While essence changes full?
And when we strip the altars bare,
And throw away the bread,
We **** our God yet worship him:
A thought inside our head.

14. So those who want to find what’s true
And find a God that’s real,
Must pull the nails from Wittenberg
And cross themselves and kneel.
Five hundred years of modern pride
Have found in Paris home.
Unless we want to live there too,
We must return to Rome.
1-2. Thesis: Modern Christianity is a mask. It reduces God to self.
3-5. Examples of reductionism common to modern religion.
6-8. The problem with reduced theology.
9-11. What's missing.
12. A theology reduced to the individual is a theology of pride. It's why modern Christianity can't help but showboat.
13. Something greater than the individual was always central to premodern worship. Modernity tossed that away.
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