As men we are taught to be diamonds
even when we ought to be china.
Our carats are measured in stature and shine
in shoulders and stance.
To be a gem is to be dashed to pieces,
pieces malleable to fit into rings
and other things deemed
more precious than being whole.
And I am not a diamond.
What makes man write odes to curves beneath robes
What makes man wage war for thrones and spill blood for gold
What makes man stab, connive and lie for concubine
What amps our pride even as cubs in our mother’s arms
drapes us with capes though we are still clay
What masks our weakness with rage
and above love or tenderness craves respect
What often leaves us the sole voyager on deck
unwilling to leap into rafts nor float to shores of exposure
What leads us into waters too deep
till we can’t breathe?
After light was separated from darkness,
Sky vaulted from sea,
When land was formed and trees bore fruit,
After stars were flung into orbit and sun shone
On flocks, herds, swarms and shoals,
On the sixth day; God made man;
Man and his enamel teeth
Man and his rubber tongue
Man and his ivory ribs
Man and his wiry fingers
Man and his clayed feet
Man and his Eve,
And God said it was good.
Man made his sling
Man made his bronze spear
Man made his steel sword
Man made his iron chariots
Man made his idols: gold and silver
Man made his laws and his wars
Man made his flags and his borders
Man made his tanks, jets and rockets
Man made men slaves
Man made woman stray
Man made Eve bleed
Man made children weep.
When will man rest with God?
At her father’s feet
Two hundred Philistine foreskins
For his bride to be;
At the Father’s feet
One hundred songs and hymns
For his soul to keep.
His sword is sharp and swift
And his soul flows like desert streams
For he is a man elite