Ian Van Heusen
at the destruction of the body at the deconstruction of the temple at the decoration of futility & the stripping bare of Zion let me embrace a lament let me make the acquaintance of sorrow my hands had been set to the weaving of bridges amongst brothers a binding of common interests in other words, my hands were set to molding peace from the clay of confusion & disorder but you broke my fingers & you severed the threads of my tapestry now, my intentions lie before me, naked & my tongue had been trained to the sounds of crickets in my throat, Robins & a nest for families to build songs but you crushed my voice & flooded my mouth with tears gave me stones to eat & thus crushed my teeth now, the only sound I can make is prayer & my feet were content learning the trade of distance the work of carrying the craft of moving & in their motion a faith in bringing the word peace to a world more prone to exchange blows than language so why has your will become shards of glass to the soft soles of my intentions? Uninspired, I stand but one body amongst many & that many stands the same without prophet to part the waters we seem to be drowning in the imagination of pleasure in other words, corruption prospers in its own design while your faithful languish in a desert of waiting all of my plans have turned into smoke & where there is smoke there is the reality that something has been exchanged with absence & that something has been deposited within the vaults of nothing but in your memory in your remembering is a Shepherd’s staff thus we are gathered brought to bread, our daily pasture & in your presence are fields to our hunger Oh Lord remember water & sunshine and how with these you had brewed life for us like wine How in those days, we walk inebriated with joy! Let me see green! for the only thing before my eyes is charcoal, gray ashes breeding ashes deadness multiplying like gnats on the rotten flesh of my comfort & in my ears a symphony of injustice has broken the harp of worship like a child cut short by an indifference to need so have you aborted your people’s joy, now, our one companion is darkness. & Glory to the Father who reigns even amongst the opaque depravation of my intentions’ Sheol & to the Son who wears my shadows as a crown & to the Holy Spirit, kissing the abyss of my lament with fire, transforming my tears into a sweet incense. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Ian Van Heusen currently resides in Fayetteville, North Carolina where he teaches Math, English, and Religion at St. Patrick’s School. He attended University at Albany, NY and Fayetteville State University graduating from the former with an English degree. His first chapbook, “Midnight,” was published by Foothills Publishing (www.foothillspublishing.com), and he is currently working on his second chapbook, “Sanctus.” He plans on independently releasing it in Summer 2008.