Revisiting Backcatablogs: Say No To Clowns and a response: 40 Minutes.

As this week draws to a close, I am happy to report that my week spent with saynotoclowns was valuable beyond words. Digging around a fellow poet’s back catalog not only feels respectful, it is also a chance to connect to the larger human beings that we all are. In this week’s adventures I discovered a great writer, a deeply spiritual soul, and a musical kindred spirit whose taste in music already has me thinking about which musician I want to tackle after I finish my National series; Nick Cave comes to mind. Fortunately, I have a few more weeks to think about it, but I am pretty sure the Bad Seed is planted (so sorry, couldn’t resist).

My response poem to saynotoclowns tries to encapsulate the humor I found in her writing (…this woman’s first post was of a donkey for crying out loud!…) while also respecting her deep spirituality. Somehow, while on a too-rickety airplane from Singapore to Hong Kong, I began riffing off the title to her blog and ended up on a conversation that Jesus had with the Devil in his final 40 minutes. While this falls far short of the deeply hysterical but very reverent book, Lamb by Christopher Moore, I do hope it shares its spirit of both being respectful of faith while also being respectful of the humanity of Jesus and therefore he had to have had a sense of humor. Oh, and there is a Nick Cave reference in there for good measure.

As always, I encourage my friends to go back to the beginning and see what the writers posted when they were just getting started, there are some gems back there! Finally, as always, there is more to be found at saynotoclowns… please go explore.

My response poem:

40 Minutes

Say no to clowns, rode in on the donkey thinking
The end of this adventure will require humility.
So when we departed one another in the desert
I had no regrets, but second thoughts do come
Every now and then. Couldn’t I reach more souls
If I was the one king to rule them all?

Say no to clowns, harder to do in a crown
Drops of blood and this will take some humility.
What were those offers? Could I choose to fly,
I might catch his son as he fell off the cliff, but for
The sake of art could I just accept the tortured gift
His soul sings to help us say goodbye to our fathers?

Say no to clowns, even as they raise me off the ground
The wound in my side burns more on this skeleton tree.
Why couldn’t we have just turned some dust into tea
And discussed, like distant cousins do, connections
Our stories have to the greater Narrative? We could’ve
Shared a few laughs at His expense. Now, though, it is

Finished. Just say no to these clowns, then invite me
Down when they show up and we can share that tea.

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