Too Many Singers in the Synagogue

— for Leonard C.

There were too many people who sang
Hallelujah — you were right. They couldn’t
Improve on perfection.

And I know it was perfect because you
were our Prophet. I could tell you
cCooned the utterings of the Almighty —

The writs were not clear like bells, or
bright as day; they strained through coarse
Sands of a life, rising through your breath, a voice

Hoarse from calling up to God for his Word.
They came in the dark when we slept,
Truth revealed in our tumbled dreams.

I learned that holy light is found in cracks
and chains and between the legs of a woman;
I learned how to touch a man and

Make it rain. You taught us that breaking
was the only way to our humanity; that
Poets and Seers are the same.

You spoke of Janice, and we blessed her,
because you did. You wept a lullaby for Jane
Who is clear — as are we, because of you.

Your Marianne has been waiting for you;
I imagine you both entangled in nebulae colors — 
Have you been debriefed yet by the Lord?

Has He told you that the other Poets
He’s sent got lost? That the holy Madmen and
Sacred Lunatic-mothers

Are force-fed cartoon sunlight
and candy-coated gospels?
He must have told you

His children still need you so.
I can only imagine, my Poet, my dreamer, my lover,
Who heard and sang the Almighty’s songs,

That God now feels as lost as we. I am not
convinced that your heart only heard
His murmurings; I am certain His holy ear heard the

Words of your sacred heart, as he
dreamed his tumbling God-dreams.
I don’t know what He and His children will do

Without your word-ly wisdom — 
I suppose we will do what
Has always been done: enshrine the

Strains of your gospels, and
sing them to our children.
They will pass them down, down, through the

Generations. We must hope that the
message will not be garbled in the din and
Crackle of a still-spinning Earth, a

World now slightly askew,
because we are absent God’s bard,
Who’ll forevermore be you.

— J.A. Carter-Winward

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