(Unpublished) #Poem: “The Clamor”

This poem is one in a series of seven religious poems that I wrote in late 2011 and early 2012. Among the series, it had no title; none of these poems did. I was writing them around the time when I was baptized and joined the Catholic Church in my late thirties, and also shortly after the sudden death of my father. Looking back on the poems, I find them hopeful and searching, but also with an aggravation, typical of me, toward the common propensity to muck up the silence needed to consider important ideas. 

The Clamor

Small hints of paradise clamor together
begging for attention, but we are too busy
wondering what any of it has to do with us.
Rearranging angels’ songs into ditties
we will hum while we work, into confections
we will consume for dinner, into wine
we will use to get to sleep, into puff pastries
we will transform and sell as dry goods.

Instead, I request sweet honey to help
digest vegetable, meat, and mineral; for you,
my brothers and sisters, are clamoring
so carelessly, so wildly, that I cannot hear
my God, whose voice is in the whipping winds
unwinding the twisted truths that blast Man’s
made mountains down to simple sand.


More than ten years ago, I all but quit submitting poems to literary magazines and began sharing a few here. To read previous (Unpublished) #Poem posts, each with its own mini-introduction, click on the title below:

“Just Wait”  •  “I should’ve been George Willard”  •  a haiku series

“Don’t Nobody Even Like You”  •  “Point to Something Red”  •  “Yes, I Know”

“They Come, Growling”  •  “Lost Things”  •  “Taking Root”  •  “Sabbatical”

“Southern Soil”  •  “I Know”  •  “Common”  •  “Zero”  •  [Untitled]

“Reading Kenko”  •  “Curb Market, Saturday Morning”  •  “Greatest Unknown”

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