8 February

Poem: Dear God, What Have I Learned? I Will Be Free, Or Be Gone

by Jon Katz
What Have I Learned?
What Have I Learned?

Tell me, why should I not sit, each winter morning,

every cold morning,

and look directly into the radiant world,

the shining star that is life.

I wait for him there.

I nod to the gospel of light,

the holy radiance of color,

my God sweeps down from the icy clouds,

he needs no Bible, no robe, no angels,

he comes

to kiss my cheek, embrace me in his loving,

healing grip, to look me in the eye.

His very gaze melts the ice that grip my fingers and

makes my heart glow like a fiery star.

Each day, he finds me on my hillside, sitting

under my apple tree, shivering in the wind, and

each day he asks me:  “what have you learned,

child? Why are you here?” Each day I tremble,

to be humble.

“My Lord, I say, I have learned to be

passionate about beauty and justice,

the sublime and the sacred. I have learned to

live by my own lights, and not the call of others.”

I have taken a vow, to never be a slave

to the greedy and small-minded and hollow people

who  run your world,

I don’t know your mind, I don’t judge it, I

have learned that they exist to test me, so I can

reveal my true self to you every day.

Each cold morning, as the ice crystals sparkle

around my consciousness, I tell you have I kept my

promise, I have scraped together the barest and cold twigs,

and made a fire of the spirit, I have lit the creative spark,

it has warmed my soul and cast a light upon the shadows.

Oh, dear and sweet God, I have learned this:

I will be free or I will be gone.

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