Monday, August 31, 2009

le faux prêtre (32)

le faux prêtre

as i walk through
routine rites of self-abasement
I wear my ornate
vestments of sanctimony.
these fit me strangely, for once,
heavy & restrictive -- i chafe;
feeling humiliated, not humble.
this poem,
my metered cap,
my unliturgical headpiece,
mismatches the other
ceremonial attire --
platitudinous alb, cincture
& stole; self-serving chasuble--
this poem, my unadorned and simple truth.
bloated by the
euphoria of false gain,
drunk on nine cups of wishes,
i mistook fancied future for certain present.
but those wishes proved fickle & fey
& in this truthful moment I hear the sound
of the divine messenger, eşu, laughing.
fool I am,
to have listened
to the praise singers. estranged
from my own inner voice, i
pressed impetuously ahead. my authentic
gifts tendered for obsequious post.
while no innocent, i am exposed
a creature of paradox.
I will clairvoyantly look
on today's recriminations.
i will surely find perverse humor
in my grieving for the loss of something
I didn't want. i will shudder at the vision
of malady, mortification & sadness
firmly attached to my voided wishes.
i will get on with my life;
not my will but olodumare's ... and all that!
today, though not a priest, I beseech:
let me indulge myself, pontificate,
bemoan my fallibility! self-absorption
so easily assumes ecclesiastic ruse.
tomorrow, I will pray for humility.

© Joseph McNair;2009

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