and when

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from screens and screens,
airport corridors and the adjoining seat,
grocery store lines and rush hour traffic
erupts this
manufactured outrage –
a pointed explosive perfectly aimed
to obscure –
with its hateful,
prickly
hot lava vomit –
any trace of what actually is:
the beguiling,
the seductive,
the slow, unfolding movement of body-bound reality.
because it is,
all around,
all the time:
that glacially paced
reality
of human existence,
drawing out drama for weeks or months or millenia.
babies take decades to die.
love needs years to take hold.
cancer holds out over slow, quiet months.
infuriated, we look for a fault,
a valve to release a little steam,
to allow ourselves to keep boiling,
keep roasting.
life is too slow for us,
too gradual for our instant messages
and too long-winded to fit
in a facebook update.

so what else are we to do?
erupt.
emote all over ourselves.
and in the momentary catharsis
forget how much is yet to come,
how many fellow slowgrowers we’re leaving
buried in
the wake of our lava leaks.

better to simmer a while,
to linger a little longer,
to give the unfolding its due time
than to spit vitriol in an
ill-fated attempt

to wrestle God’s own
chronology
into our stuffy little notions
of what ought to be
and when.

This poem was originally posted on Authenticity. You can catch Dana’s more frequent observations on Twitter.

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  • Scott Holland

    How lovely to read good poetry on the BL&T Blog. Thank you. This poetics is of course in harmony with the best of the Brethren heritage. In June at the Mack conference at Etown there will be papers on the Brethren spiritual movement and poetry exploring many questions including this one: Why did the early Pietist, as well as the Romantics, express their theology and philosophy so often in poetry?