Sunday, October 11, 2009

When Your Brain Is Topsy Turvy

For everyone who has ever had a bout with sadness, uncontrollable emotions, or whatever gets you down and out, here is a poem I wrote in the hospital. It's about the loneliness you feel when you're in sorrow or turmoil, when neither God nor loved ones seem able to help. You hit your knees like you're supposed to, and you ask his help but no burning bush arrives. Maybe God is just waiting for you to be quiet, go to sleep, so he can bring you peace.


Where is God when the brainstorm strikes
the gray jelly slammed with a hammer on the anvil
and gray jelly pieces flying everywhere?
Where is God then? Is he smoking a cigar
in the Bahamas, tapping his toe to the gospel choir?

Where is God when the brainstorm batters down
the wood house I live in, hurling me into the maelstrom
of clouds, black as sin, flailing like flotsam
in a tornado, with no safe zone to run to?

Was God on my shoulders as I stood in the sun
on the hospital's smoking deck, puffing,
puffing, puffing at my last cigarette, waiting like a dog
to be let in at the back door of his home?

Was he there or camping at Big Sur in a blue tent
with his angelic hosts, those giants of faith
who walked through seas and tore down cities
with a trumpet? Did they smile at my trifling pain?

Did God come down in human form as my husband
tapping his foot like a man in a therapist's office
and tapping the sports page on his knee
telling me he loves me as he watches the clock?

Maybe he is at home with the kittens and dogs
stretched out on the couch, serene
among my watercolors, the dusty books,
dreaming of Afghanistan, and peace.

Where is God in this place, lonely as two bones
on a sand dune? Is he lurking in the hallways
like a night watchman until I go to sleep at last
and then he will slip in the door and heal me?

Chris Alba (c) 2009


lakeviewer said...

Chris, you are facing your deepest fears, and you are standing up to God, even. Good for you. You are demanding attention and support. Good for you. Now is the time to take charge, go forward, explore all you can be.

p.s. This writing, raw and naked, is strong. Love the image, the contrasts, the bringing God to trial. Power in these words, sheer human anger and demands, yet, faith is still there, in its "trifling pain".

Prayers and best wishes are sent your way. E-mail me anytime.

Madison said...

Chis, sometimes I'm thinking He isn't on eastern standard time. Right here, right now, as I wish, poof! Too bad, that would have made life a lot more fun. You're a beautiful writer and I see God in every word.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

A very powerful piece and one in which we all can relate. We all ask the questions yet you ask in a poetic and eloquent manner.

Monkey Man said...

God is the people who touch you. The clarity in your mind at the end of the storm. God is love.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

This is so incredibly powerful and honest, we often times question our HP and their knowledge of us, but this eloquence you write with is amazing and this care and love you share is truly miraculous...thank you so much for sharing this, I needed to read it today!


Shadow said...

i think many of us have felt that same fear... where is he. i need him now and i don't feel him. but i think you've got it spot on in that maybe all we have to do is still and wait QUIETLY so that we can hear him...

Syd said...

I think that he is right there with me when I have those dark times. Maybe he is waiting until I go to sleep. But as long as I push him away with my fear and self-pity, I won't have room for him. I used to wonder where he was when my mother would have her deep depressions that required hospitalization. I suspect he might have felt as sad as I.

Tall Kay said...

Like the poem 'footprints', I am only able to see Gods incredible power in hindsight. I can so relate to how alone you must have felt. I believe that faith is acting 'as if' HE is there, even when it doesn't feel like it. Your words are so's very beautiful. You're in my prayers.

Karen said...

I think He is the air you are breathing right now, Chris. Rarified and pure.