Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Black Christ


image borrowed from bing

Black Christ

My prince, all the flags of the world,
flew at half mast to honor the death
of your King,

some white weakling
with a high-powered rifle
shot him in the head,

and it seems that the righteous
anger of centuries is now constructing
fire bombs row upon row;

but you need to remember that
together we saluted the fat ones, standing
shoulder to shoulder in stone stadiums,
naked, clutching our gladus and trident,

combating Thracians and Gauls,
and savage beasts,
our sword arms a lethal blur,
our blood the same color;

together
we waded through
marshes of silt, shackled
with a cold steel chain
at our bleeding ankles,
hearing the devil hounds baying,
fleeing the whip and the rope;

it was in your strong brown arms
that I was held shaking with malaria,
brothers in bondage;

together
we snaked through the hot ferns
and elephant grass in jungle darkness,
beneath that impenetrable canopy
of the fucking ‘Nam, flashing
silent bayonets, carrying wounded
buddies on our burly shoulders
to the thrumping choppers churning
before their dust off, shared women
in Da Nang, plucked dog tags
from the fists of death;

now that we are home,
do not turn on me, or let me resort
to the dictates of the vicious
and ignorant between us,
goddamn it, we are better than that,
more than that, we are not enemies--

on this upcoming day of resurrection,
let it be our love that is risen,
let us sip from each other’s heart,
let us color Christ black,

for the Centurions are still among us,
building crosses, carrying spikes,
painting our names on splintered signs,

so in the spirit of all we are
I reach out to you, brother,
take my hand,

together
we can still defeat
the fat ones.


Glenn Buttkus

March 2012

Listed as #101 over at dVerse Poets OLN37

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?

5 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i can only hope we bring dfeat tot he fat ones...really like the turn in this one g...when you talk about the coming easter...let it be our love risen...fromt here on your voice to me is the strongest...i like...

Anonymous said...

Love these:

"together we saluted the fat ones, standing
shoulder to shoulder in stone stadiums,
naked, clutching our gladus and trident"

"do not turn on me, or let me resort
to the dictates of the vicious
and ignorant between us"

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Mary Mansfield said...

This is such a timely piece with all the tensions being reported in the news lately. A powerful statement. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Interesting

Is that a Trayvon/Zimmerman reference at the beginning?

This is a particularly effective sentiment:

now that we are home,
do not turn on me, or let me resort
to the dictates of the vicious
and ignorant between us,
g/ddamn it, we are better than that,
more than that, we are not enemies--

on this upcoming day of resurrection,
let it be our love that is risen,
let us sip from each other's heart

James Rainsford said...

Topical, yet also with a sweeping sense of history. I enjoyed the references to antiquity and the universal relevance of this. Great job!