A Darker Promise

Once a time upon
the wide ride of
being a young man
I drove east out of
Dallas beside fences
guarding aisles of
black moist earth.
The soundtrack for
my trip was Copland’s
The Tender Land.
By surprise God’s dirt
and Aaron’s opera
tilled old soul knots
smooth and driving I
wept for the wounds
of the boy-me, hurts
never grieved but
sucked up and steeled.
That drive’s sorrow
led first to repentance,
then the promise of living
a darker richer religion.

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  1. wynnegraceappears on November 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    John, there are such beautiful layers of earthy goodness here. I am crazy about the choice of words which speak of you digging deep so deep into the soil of life and growth and faith. I love the way you weave these words, especially:dirt, earth, richer, darker, land, moist, black. Thank you for this gem.

  2. Gwen Acres on November 24, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Few words that speak volumes. Thank you!

  3. Diana Trautwein on November 24, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Every one of us should have such a ride. A darker, richer religion. . . please. . .

  4. Kristina Skepton on November 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Oh that my brothers could/would/did have such a ride.

    Kristina Skepton
    Founder, SeeingGod Ministries

  5. Sallie on November 24, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    When I was in college I would often drive to a hilltop in the countryside outside of Lawrence, KS, put “Appalachian Spring” on my car tape player full blast, open the car door and stand outside to watch God (who I knew but didn’t know I knew) choreograph the sunset to Copeland’s genius. Every time I would weep, but the music was always louder. Something of that music opened aching that needed to be released. Still does for me.

  6. inplainjaneview on November 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    In reading your words, I am always just left with “wow” closely followed by a sigh. Thanks.

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