Martin Jack

this town is wrong

in its slant way

streets speak bent

out of shape

a shorthand for crimes

and misdemeanors that only

discerners read, sensitive

to hotspots where the past

seeps through volcanic

written into the landscape

of names where evil grins

its face paint briefly

before melting in the light

Out of your Hand

mine is empty

cracked fingers stretch

out for promises

that overflow your wells,

named for posterity

when you chose deserts

in covenant, for dryness

to become laughter

and strongholds that grind

to become dust

you trample in victory

until I see and rejoice

over your welcoming shadow

all I need to drink

Martin Jack © 2009

A Front

garlands consecrated in terror

fashioned its godhead out of virtue

Robespierre's coronation at the Festival

of the Supreme Being

repeats itself with every new

salute from the tennis court

towards some fresh revolutionary flag,

its rouge bordering on misanthropy

as its stripes made themselves

a front felt on the back of history

engineering their lordship cult

through the ballot box

of mass graves, to the tune

of thunderous applause

The Lighthouse

set on a rock

Christ sweeps the bay

for lost ships draped in mist

our tears stained their deck

but his light called us homeward

warm arms flocking

around our wincing hulls

dry and brittle to the touch

airbrushed where the surgical cut was made

he broke the mist

clothed us in ribbon

the crimson of his righteousness

swinging from a lighthouse

at the right side of Father's

storehouse of grace

pulling us from the hull-crushing

rocks which drown men

in static

our fragile stations

gifted an economy ticket

to glory, which cost us less

than a dime but cost

him an empty patch of flesh

the nails anchored for our rescue

Martin Jack © 2009