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Chatting with God

It is a pleasant Tuesday.
We sit on a stone wall
and melt away the hours,
drinking in whatever cools us,
chatting about cloud formations
and the way my grandfather
used to hold his pipe.

You know him still, of course
on the other side -
that ether where you gather
one millennium after another,
wrap them with delicate lacework
like so many retired birthdays,
then dangle them from scintillating stars
miles and miles away from
this stone wall where you and I now chat
as we've done for a lifetime,
where you and I speak of truth,
yet reveal very little.

Here beneath my setting sun,
I watch the clouds slowly fuse
as the stones on the wall
turn cold,
gray.
I long for the familiar fragrance
of my grandfather's pipe
as my late hours continue
to wane,
fade
into an uncertain Wednesday.
***

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

This is a lovely poem. I'm also a little envious that you have this familiar spirit you can talk to. I've been an atheist since I was 12 (with a hiatus when I was in Grade 12), so haven't got that. It reminds me of the Poet Sappho, and her Hymn to Aphrodite, not in the conversation you have with God, but in the sense of easy and friendly familiarity you have with this being. Sappho seemed to have a similar feeling for Aphrodite.

I very much appreciate that this reminds you of Sappho and Aphrodite - it is meant to feel familiar. There have been these "chats" throughout my life, and they have become more at ease as I age and face the uncertainty of certain mortality.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
L

author comment

You're welcome! It is a lovely poem and I have enjoyed reading it through again after being away for a while.

There are people who want to know what a free verse poem reads like as opposed to chopped verse. I suggest they read this poem as I think it is excellent

I appreciate your comment - tremendously!
Thank you!
L

author comment

What's chopped verse and how does it differ from free verse?

this is good writing, with fresh imagery. I read it, and then read it aloud in my head, and it sounded even better.

Here's a thought. It may wander from what you want it to mean, but what if you in your conversation you were the only one speaking?

For example, instead of writing "where you and I speak of truth,
yet reveal very little..." you write "where I spoke to you about truth, yet little was revealed."

What I mean is that maybe you just leave it to the reader (or listener) to determine whether this god or godlike interlocutor actually responds in ordinary speech.

It goes to the nature of prayer--and what you describe is like an extended prayer. But who actually hears a response to a prayer, uttered in good English?

Here is a passage from Sid Gold:
"Whether or not my prayers
were heard, I cannot say
but through it all
I never doubted
to whom it was I spoke."

--Alan

I think it depends upon how much the poet personalises her relationship with this being. In Sappho's Hymn to Aphrodite, the goddess answers her (with a question that she then answers). Although I am an avowed atheist (trying to turn myself into an agnostic, because, as a Scientist, I feel that would be more appropriate) I have had a conversation with God in a weird dream that followed on, more than a decade (2014) after the original weird experience (in which I was murdered and went to very special place to find that everyone who had ever lived was there: I summed this up in a poem I wrote about it a few years after the dream (between 2005 and 2008), as a place where "everyone is forgiven and no one is forsaken"). I had this dream of talking with God because I had felt that some people don't deserve to be forgiven, such as Adolf Hitler. I this later dream, God clarified a few things, such as one does not automatically go there: first, one has to make amends to everyone one has ever hurt during their life. It took Hitler a long time to get through this phase of the afterlife. So, whether or not this supernatural being (or others like it) actually exists, it apparently can answer one back! This place was pretty special: I had the first dream shortly after 9/11 and it still makes me shiver and get a little emotional whenever I think about it. I felt aftershocks of this dream for weeks afterwards. I'm feeling emotional now just typing these comments.

In this case, it does feel like a two-way conversation, but I will consider your wonderful suggestion. Sometimes a poem needs to sit for a spell in order to see what rises to the top. I like the reference to Sid Gold's beautiful passage. I'd love to read more, if there's more to it, (?) but I cannot seem to pin it down.
Thank you for reading and spending time here.
L

author comment

call me
I have many questions
born dull you know it
cob webbed mind
spiders crawling
down my spine

Ha Ha Ha! I'll do that!

author comment

do it
wah wha wah

Read more pending poetry god will b happy

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