Death Wish Normal

Death wish back to normal
bustles through empty streets
in every isolated mind
longing for the old, obstructive crowds
to slow it down.

Back to normal
and to the flesh pots of Egypt
plus all the ecocidal fixings
that made for sumptuous meals
under the bullwhip shadows
of oppression.

Who besides rocks and rattlesnakes
really likes deserts?
Even cowboys just use them
as backdrops for violence.
But once a people walked one
into freedom.

And every step was heavy
resistance against the death wish
back to normal that tilted
Earth in the direction of Egypt
so that every isolated mind
would simply slide that way
by force of selective memory.

And Papa God put out his hands,
one of which closed around
a yellow daffodil. “Pick one”, he said,
“The living or the dead?”

And the people hemmed and hawed
and scratched their heads,
knowing full well where the flower hid.
Finally the game grew tired;
they chose life and God smiled.
And the rest of the story
goes on in real time being told

Greg Kennedy, SJ is assigned to the spiritual exercises ministry at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Novalis will publish Greg's book - “Reupholstered Psalms” - on March 1, 2020.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 11:24h, 08 September Reply

    Thank you Greg!

  • Bryan Manning
    Posted at 13:27h, 08 September Reply

    I like the contrasting images of desertification and then a choice of rebirth in the daffodil, Greg. And there’s something of the Crash Test Dummies song, God Shuffled His Feet, in the last 2 stanzas, very cool!

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