All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine

They Speak to Me in Song

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(This is a poem that I will never be able to actually publish, since it incorporates a fair-ish number of lines from a well-known musician, but I’m posting it here under Fair Use terms — the artist’s content is less than a quarter of the lines. My association with a particular deity recently swung off the charts from ‘I think I understand you and I understand you have your place in things but I’m not really one of your people’ to ‘constantly thinking about you every day and night and wrote at least three new poems for you in less than five days and this is really unnerving, dammit…please leave me alone no don’t leave me alone’. Today on the walk home from the bus stop the inspiration fairy mugged me again while listening to music; certain lines jumped out at me as being from him, or what I thought was him, or wasn’t sure was him, and…obsession with someone when you’re not even really sure it is who it appears to be is a scary fucking thing.)



“What makes you think I’m ‘nice’?

What makes you think either of us is ‘nice’?”


“We’re not. At all. Neither of us.

Remember that.”


–Should I tear my eyes out now?

Everything I feel returns to you somehow–


This is fucking with my head, bigtime.


–fire of fire, I’m insecure–


I know I know better, but still

I know no better.


–I am here

you are all that I have–


Fire and ice and trapped between:

Why are you trying to make me think

I don’t know who I belong to?

He doesn’t share well.


–Follow me now

follow me now

follow me now

Why does it have to be so hard?–


Of course this is exactly what I want,

and that is why I mistrust it;

nothing so good ever comes so easy or so free,

and so I expect a trick

a lie

a hoax

a cruel joke.


–I should have known better

nothing can be changed

the past is still the past–


They tell me I can say no.

I should say no.

I want to say no, but that is born of cowardice;

I want to say yes, and that is born of desire:

I asked for this, didn’t I?

Never feeling worthy of it,

so filled with doubt when it is offered.


–I can hear you,

but I’m afraid to be near you,

and I don’t know where to begin–


It’s nothing but greed, I suppose;

I have always wanted to be fought over.

What else do the unworthy dream about?


–Tired old mare

with the wind in your hair…

is it real or a fable?–


Be honest, they say, be open,

but my antenna draws in too many signals,

and my receiver is too broadly tuned,

and my phone will not stop ringing.


–And we all know how this will end–


I may not survive my latest obsession.


–What is that song you sing for the dead?–


I guess I did this to myself:

the prayers, the poems, the pleas.

I shouldn’t complain for wanting you too much.


–How? How did this happen?

For my prayer has always been love.

What did I do to deserve this?–


You are very needy of late, my love,

and you, my lord, too generous.

When I drank the Kool-Aid, was it Kvasir’s mead?


–How did this happen?–


Will you let me sleep tonight?

I dream every dream and they are all you:

terror, confusion, anger, lust.


–Now that I’ve fell into your arms,

my only lover, you vow to give in–


Who do I listen to?

Do I go with heart or head?


–I should have known better

to see what I could see;

Oh, be my rest, be my fantasy–


Of course I want to believe,

but I cannot believe;

I’ve had too many warnings

from those who knew too well,

and no matter how much I want to believe,

I don’t believe it,

least of all because I am not worthy,

and because that tiniest shrunken scrap

of discernment I possess

tells me to rip your mask off

and show myself your real face

(your false face)

and let go of that fantasy–

You have better things to do with Your time

and whatever pretty creature is pretending to be You

(so pretty)

I need to turn away,

shut the door,

and quit thinking that you could want me.


–though I know I will fail,

I cannot be made to laugh–


I am no bride,

no lover,

only a tool,

and never anything more.


–I should have known better

to see what I could see…

Frightened by my feelings,

captive of my feelings,

the only thing I wanna believe…–



(Why Sufjan Stevens, though?)


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