“The Immanent God” by Cale Young Rice

by on 06/12/12 at 9:10 am

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See your God in the jelly-fish,
Sucking salty food.
See Him drift in the gulf-weed,
In shark-bellies brood.
See Him feed with the gull there,
In a grey ship’s wake.
Feel Him afresh
In your own hot flesh
When into lust you break.

Hear His wrath in the hurricane,
Hushing a hundred lives.
Hist His heave in the earthquake,
In volcano hives.
Hark His stride in the plague-wind,
Over a sterile shore:
Down in a mine
Behold what wine
Of coal-damp He will pour.

Aye, and there in the ribaldry
Of a night-wench’s song
Hear Him—or on a child’s lips
Cursing a slum-mate’s wrong.
Stark He starves in the street there,
Or, full-fed, will go:
He, your God,
In every clod
Or clot of human woe.

And—in every infamy
Loathed by you with shame.
Clear of the saddest soul-stench
None can keep His name.
Man’s, you may say, all crime is,
But Who gave man birth?
Spawn of the years
Is he—with tears
And strife to give him worth.

Spawn of the Universes,
God’s great flesh and bone.
Stars are the cells that float there,
Through lymph-ether strown.
Dying, living, and dead there,
Coming again to birth
Out of a Womb
That was their Tomb
Are they—and is our earth.

Such is your Immanent God—yea,
Evil as well as good,
Vileness even as beauty
Holds His strange Godhood.
Great He seems in the sea’s surge,
Fair in a woman’s face,
Yet with the worm
He feeds a term
On every goodly grace.

Spirit, then, you may hold Him,
High of plan and hope.
But world-flesh does He strive with,
Yearn like us—and grope;
So must ever and oft seem
Avid to escape
From the hid yeast
That moulds the least
Of all things to His shape.

Spirit, may be—or haply
We had known no growth,
But in a slime primeval
Still would dwell in sloth.
Yet if such is His Being,
Finite is His need.
To the same ends
As earth He wends
And journeying must bleed.


Ernest Hilbert

Ernest Hilbert is founder of E-Verse Radio.

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