How do we praise God
From Whom all blessings flow
When the flow has slowed to a trickle?

How can the praise of the Lord be always on my lips
If–though my cup overflows–
My lips remain dry and chapped?

Praise Him all ye creatures here
Far, far below in stature and in understanding
Who have no standing to judge the Sovereign will.

And in all things, give thanks–
Even now when thankfulness is far from my mind
And I’m less worried about giving than receiving.

But ye also praise Him above, oh heavenly hosts.
Is it easier for you than it is for me?
Are you privy to His will or does it affect you less?

Should I still make a joyful noise to the Lord
If I don’t have joy in my heart–
If I find it difficult to believe my own words?

Praise the Father, praise the Son, praise the Holy Ghost
Who in perfect, harmonious relationship
Govern all blessings and curses on creation.

Am I not also called to weep with those who weep?
Lord, lead me as I attempt to understand
How it is possible to marry grief with praise.



Innocence Lost

You wear your scarlet letter proudly, do you, little Evita?
Truthfully, I think that deathful sin becomes me more.
Not same, but similar we are in other respects and choices:
Tragic figures who have chosen “better to reign” in our own worlds.

But for your transgression, I consider how Milton must have felt
While writing the story of the first Son and Daughter losing for all
The Paradisal innocence–weeping as he penned it–the prideful pair
Surrendering complexly, tragically what you give up simply, comically.

Innocence lost, a scarlet badge of courage sewn cheaply with words
That fit the millennium’s tide and the evening’s reveling mood;
You give to me coy eyes and expect me to answer with the usual response
To those looks–pointed barbs–with your lilting dance of speech and expression.

I weep with Milton, though, and lay a greater claim to sorrow than he,
For I add my own weakness and sins, so evident to me, and I suppose to all–
But perhaps he did the same; can you not see the grief behind his narration?–
And though I hide my shame and you display yours, we two are equal in our fall.