HARD TO SWALLOW

 

I bowed on bended knee
on foreign shores             on silk cushions
where no one knew me
to an invisible deity.

Did you see me?
Did I exist for you?
Did you believe in me?
Did you exist within me truthfully, invisibly?

I bowed on bended knee
into the light that flooded the floor.

They told me once you liked floods,
you liked to send floods,
to send down your floods
I never saw it,             did anyone really see it?

But they told me,
they told me as if to flood me with fear,
a flood to frighten the faithful.

I bowed in that foreign land
as the dragon’s breath drew a veil upon the sky
as if to cover the heavens from curiosity,
from temptation,
funny what rhymes with salvation,
salvation from what,             from whom?

There is faith,
there is belief
and then man names it all religion.

I bowed on bended knee
within that temple             that foreign temple,
it was not my temple,
I don’t build temples,
I have palaces in my head,
private palaces             private places,
filled with my beliefs             private,
flooded with my teared steams             private,
flooded with my fate           private,
my faith is not called any religion.

I bowed on bended knee
where others knelt before me
while others knelt behind me

StrangersWorshipersBelieversFaithful

foolish?

In the invisible             we place our fate
in man             we place our control.

Can you see them?
Can you exist for them?
Can you believe in them?
Do you exist within them honestly, truthfully?

Do you exist             as I exist?

I bent and bowed             I lowered my eyes,
I followed the flock of faithful foreigners
I confess it was just to conform
so as not to confront or be confronted.
I was a sheep following the shepherds
who shuffled around me
who looked at me             unsure,
who wondered to themselves
if they were the sheep and I was the shepherd.
Seriously!

Seriously,
how did I end up there,
bowing on bended knee
feeling too fair and too foreign
in that place             within that facade
behind that face             my own facade

and I asked the light

ContritionConfessionCommunionConfirmation

Is it all a Con?

ConspireContaminateCondemnConfineConform

Connect,
remember,
I remember once…

I wore a white suit
at 8, at communion;
my first communion,
I took the white bread,
they told me it was his body;
white, light and pure.

It stuck to the roof of my mouth.

It was difficult to swallow

            even then.

I bowed on bended knee,
I did what I was told,
I did what they expected of me,

I saw what they told me to see,
this religion they called a community,

            no more.

I bow on bended knee
in my own palace
far from their atrocities.

I bow on bended knee
and the light is so much brighter

the light inside me
the light within.

We can be the light
we can always be the light             alone
with our faith             our fate
without the hate             without the fear
            far from the floods.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken at a temple in China.

 

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3 thoughts on “HARD TO SWALLOW

  1. eddarivera

    It is very true dealing with the difficulties of church the hypocrisies and all the above. I have to deat with it all. I do my own thing worship as fits me I honor God with my life. No matter where you are and where you go you face all theses things without having to face them at the one place your suppose to be at peace but end up finding no peace at all. I go for the message for the imperfectness of my heart and give no cares to the world for I go in search of restoration and peace. When I do go I go for me not the echoing sounds of the peoples inner hate evils and thoughts. God bless.

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