The Passion Stated As Jazz

Poems Vernon L. Harper


(A poem some people will just have to understand.)
“It is a terrible thing to be happy!
How pleased we are with it!
How sufficient we think it!
being in possession of the false aim of life,
we forget the true aim,
                                                      Victor Hugo, Le Miserables
The act of pain is received and self
Gifted through the anguished response to love
To and through the father.
This love bleeds through the descending veil of
Administered forty nine stripes. Our only hope
Our only chance for salvation is gifted us and
We perhaps mistake it for a ticket to happy town. He died
To make us happy is the catch phrase
We dare not speak or even consciously
Acknowledge less we find ourselves seeing ourselves our
True selves in the mirror of the
Word. Christian means “Little Christ” but where
Is our Gethsemane our Calvary our ugly place of the
Skull where we forsake this merry go
Round laughter and grinning containing joyless
Happiness and money. Yes, we cannot forget the
Money. We think prosperity equals Holiness and this
Holiness is displayed in how we manicure our
Front lawns to protect the property values and
Important little sensibilities of the neighbors and
Appear the good little Christian to the world.
This Jazz is a Cinderella song,
If the shoe fits put it on…
The act of pain through the anguished response to
Love bleeding through the descending veil of
Forty nine stripes.
This is the joy!
This is the duty!
This is the song!
This is and always has been our only freedom.  


From Book: "Christian Poems and Other Radical Explorations"

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