Rick and Monique

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Psalm 66: A Poetic Rendition: Black Water and Crimson by richard j.

The Sermon at church today was based on Psalm 66, a Psalm that laments God's refining and purifying fire that will eventually present me Holy and fully Sanctified. I sometimes don't understand trials and I don't even feel like smelted silver. But as the Psalm says, "I cried out to Him with my Tongue and His praise was on my tongue." This poem is my Psalm 66.

Black Water and Crimson

Sin stabbed me
And black water and crimson flow
And Satan Smiles.
I overlook a raging sea
White walls of salty teeth
And black water and crimson flow.

There are no footprints in water
Only depth and breadth and mystery.
I stand, heart clenched
And hands open
Touch these hands please!
Slippery with black water and crimson.

The salt sea stings my feet
Like grit-iron fence
With barbed wire on the underside.

Muscles ripped
Mix of black water and crimson
Eyes sty with muddy mix and grain.

I’ve never known a day
When, though my hands were
Outstretched in triumph
Swaying from tip to way
That they weren’t also
A pendulum swinging like time and death.
Like gut-shot…and black water and crimson flow.

Only the ocean and no feet
To print my way over.
I only know of two paths
On the unfettered seas,
One leavened with holiness
And the other devilish fear

I am neither holy nor timid
And I walk alone in reticent petulance.
My hands drip
With black water
And my clenched heart bleeds
Like a womb that has lost
Her first born.

Black water and crimson
They’re all I know
Even as they seep from me
Satan smiles.

To see, to walk, to swim, to conquer.
Thunder and waves against the Cliffside
Know my doubt.

But my tussle takes sides
The beautiful rebellion shall
Ne’er find my allegiance,
Nor will he see my death.

I face my God and my heart bleeds
Until all its crimson life
Is gone and in its place like an icy mantle
Is simply white...white

He called me good
And I wrestle in black water
Muscles ripped, eyes wide
Like propane and fire.

I know my demons
They find me.
And taste their detestable palate,
charred yet polished bursts of ecstasy and hell.
But mixed with terror and ill
And smelling of snake oil.

I stand undevoured
And fight for I am not thine of little faith.

I am shaken,
My feet wrent from my shoulders
And fastened to the ground
In black water and crimson…
I fight.

Even should I build a ship
That I might avoid the water's terrible lips
The sea sees and laughs
Such a small inconsequent thing
And I, even smaller.

The ship no match for the sea
And no match for thee
But what about me?
Black water and crimson
Black water and crimson.

In propane and fire
Black water and crimson
I wrench and wail and fall
But I will fight, I will tussle.
I will wrestle!

And you will break me
Though your lambs remain unfed and thirsty
Tired and naked and distressed
And bathing in black water and crimson
You will fight me.

Because not even I can snatch me from your hand.

Deeply wounded
My pain shrivels me to weary.
I will know them until I reach the gate
And the end of this side of eternal life.

To which I will lift feeble wisdom
To your Judgment and terrible light.

I will fight!
I will fight!
I will not stop until you bless me!!!

And I step onto the sea.

Black water and crimson
Black water and crimson.


Billy Coffey said...

Utterly...amazing. This poem could have been written for me. I've read it three times, and it just keeps getting better.


B.B. said...

I had to re-read this several times just to take it all in. Amazing!

Jennifer said...


L.L. Barkat said...

I like the combination of "black water and crimson." Striking.

Thanks, btw, for stopping in at Seedlings in Stone.

Chris said...

Very cool!

Laura said...

May I say that you made my day? L.L. will get a charge out of my side-bar title: Poet and Storyteller. I love it. You blessed me today.

That said, this poem haunts me...

I love this part particularly, trying to see why it spoke to me:

There are no footprints in water
Only depth and breadth and mystery.
I stand, heart clenched
And hands open
Touch these hands please!

Depth and breadth and mystery.
That must be it. The stuff life is made of if we let it be, no?

Let me know if you paint that painting. I'm still trying for the first stroke on mine...

Anonymous said...

"He called me good
And I wrestle in black water"

"Because not even I can snatch me from your hand."

wow...thanks for sharing that. and the imagery is beautiful and powerful. love it.

and thanks for your comment on my blog.

L.L. Barkat said...

Thought I recognized this! :)

Marcus Goodyear said...

I like this: "Eyes sty with muddy mix and grain."