(x = space)

x

x

Book War

(preventive)

x

It happens

When a group

Has a code

That is set down

For day-to-day

And legacy

x

It took place with

The Quran

The evening of

The morning

When there was

Certitude that

There would be

A new

Generation

x

The Christian Bible

Set off conflict

With each change,

Each schism

Set to fighting

Over what to do

For faith

And what the book

Of faith should say

x

Not to mention

All the agnostica

Falling ‘round

The faithful

x

How many books

In the book?

Sixty-six or seventy-two with

All that should be in

Sixty-six or seventy-two

x

My version’s better

My translation

My paraphrase

No, mine

No, mine

No, OURS

Said with authority

No one outside commends

So we will need an army

Defending ink,

Scriptoria,

And brittle generations

x

A Bible war

Could be fun for trivia

On pub night

But not to justify

The raping of

Constantinople,

Christians thieving Christians

Or the books

That fuel internal fires

Burning up Jerusalem

For faith

x

Now, it seems

The Jewish book

For faith

Kept growing

x

While some groups

For their faith

Don’t keep a book at all

x

To say the least,

There’s fondness for a text

But to justify—well,

We’ve heard good things about

A declaration

And a constitution

And a touchstone

x

We should not fight about it

But leave room

As at the table

After dinner

x

Or the second half

Of sermons,

Engagement that most folk

Forget or remember

In leaving off

x

coda

x

If we write

And publish,

Pass around,

We should talk about it

x

Since pages are not

Altars

(altars are not altars)

And there’s always trouble

With our idols when

In idolatry

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Drew Murphy on Unsplash

Johannesburg, South Africa

I was on a work shoot in a suburban church in Johannesburg. I took a walk around and noticed this soft light spilling onto the pews. Immediately I knew I should get a Bible and place it there. To me this image speaks of the gentle peace that can be found in the midst of a crazy world.

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