Spending Souls

I’m no prophet.  No oracle who pokes around in something’s innards and boldly predicts the weather, the future, or the rise and fall of the stock market.

And I never could have foreseen the outward rippling effect of a poem I wrote in 1987.  It has been used as a reading in churches all over the world. Last year, a brilliant young composer named Eric Lemmon set it to music.

At this moment, as I observe the clown car of presidential candidates, pouring out in their big, flappy shoes spouting hate, creationism, guns for everybody and other wacky-doo grade school notions, I think it might be time for the reappearance of this poem:

All this talk of saving souls,

Souls weren’t meant to save,

Like Sunday clothes that give out at the seams.

They’re made for wear; they come with lifetime guarantees.

Souls were made for hearing breaking hearts,

For puzzling dreams, remembering August flowers, forgetting hurts.

These men who talk of saving souls:  They have the look of bullies

Who blow out candles before you sing Happy Birthday

And want the world to be in alphabetical order.

I will spend my soul, playing it out like sticky string into the world,

So I can catch every last thing I touch.

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