i read job to be reminded

it is not God i should accuse
but us

we were not there
when You laid the foundation

when You set the cornerstone

we are flawed
with our cracked clay feet
unfit for keeping.


i read Job to understand awe

we had no voices, yet
or throats
when the stars sang

and the angels cried out

to learn God answers
with more questions

worship is how we kneel
& admit it was not us
that laid the foundations

that it is angels that shout
not us. our brass tongues clang discord
instead of sounding joy

we have never ordered the morning
or shown the sunrise its place

that smith of mountains
& mammoths
has more patience for us
than we for Him

how we lose that path
over & over
in that hunt for things
we think we need

we have not traveled
to the springs of the sea

how we tear each other
to feed a need more heated
than blood, hungrier than lions

we have not entered
the storehouses of the snow

we are not gods
but we coin them, newly minted
from gold flecks
sifted from lead & hoarded
to pour into familiar molds

gods that cannot ask us
where we were
because they are made
& ask only
for what we can give easily

we do not know the paths to lightning

i read Job to remember
we can be more

but stretch out our hands instead
to grasp this less

***at Dverse, we are exploring allusion.  Yesterday, after several hours of confronting how evil man can be to man, I decided the only allusions I wanted to make were to the book of Job.  All my italicized here are responses to questions in that book, chapters 38-39.

Related Poetry/prose:
George Ellington
Consider the tea cosy
Eboni Sade

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse, Religion and Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to i read job to be reminded

  1. Mary says:

    “worship is how we kneel
    & admit it was not us
    that laid the foundations ”

    So very true. Job is definitely a worthy teacher indeed.

  2. I guess there is never an end to learning what we can be, thank goodness.

  3. annotating60 says:

    Very powerful Susan and well written. Though, personally I think what God did to Job was lousy thing to do to prove a point to the devil. In the back of my mind there floats a supposition that whispers to me that god wishes he had made us all dogs.>KB

    • Thanks, KB, and I agree–it was a LOUSY thing to do. If they have to have contests, why not create a chessboard and settle things that way? Oh, wait… We are the chessboard, and the rules of their game stink.

  4. brian miller says:

    the book of job is a great place to turn…i find myself there often to re-learn the things that i need…worship is our kneeling and admitting is was not us….we dont have the power, but in coming low we often find strength…

  5. Miriam E. says:

    what a powerful piece, susan. wow.

  6. George Ellington says:

    So much better, this. Thank you, Susan. For reminding me.

  7. BroadBlogs says:

    “God answers
    with more questions”

    Apparently God wants us to think, puzzle things out for ourselves, and not blindly obey. More growth in that.

    Here are a couple blog posts I’ve written on the topic:

    God-Wrestling Nuns

    Apple® and Eve’s Choice

  8. nico says:

    i read job to remember
    we can be more

    but stretch out our hands instead
    to grasp this less

    Well said. Job is a timeless book, one of my favorites. You really captured the questioning spirit of Job here.

  9. I just wonder if you meant to leave an ambiguity between job and Job. At first I read job as a task to be accomplished. Only with your comment did I finally get the book of Job. Made all the difference in understanding.

  10. nelle says:

    >>admit it was not us
    that laid the foundations<<

    Particularly loved the above…

  11. jmgoyder says:

    Your poetry astounds me – you should be famous!

  12. janehewey says:

    your writing is prolific, Susan. your images are beautiful and daunting. I have not read Job, but absolutely adore your last two lines in this piece.

  13. David King says:

    I’m not sure about the relevance of Job, but leaving that aside, this is a splendid response to the challenge. It works beautifully. Well done.

  14. Sabio Lantz says:

    “we are not gods
    but we coin them, newly minted”

    Indeed, we mint them. We make them to serve our desire — with war being high on the list.
    Will we ever stop minting and learn to talk to each other instead of just to our gods?
    Nicely done !
    Job is an interesting text — a Koan for many a Jew and Christian.

  15. we are not gods
    but we coin them, newly minted
    from gold flecks
    sifted from lead & hoarded
    to pour into familiar molds – I found that completely mesmerising…. thanks

  16. Wonderful recreation of the message of Job…a good reminded for us in troubled times such as these. My favorite stanza…”that smith of mountains…” Loved it, Susan.

  17. claudia says:

    oh susan…thanks for this…i LOVE job…it’s one of my fav books in the bible and i often read it as well to remember.. so cool

  18. This is splendid, Susan. You are really an amazing poetress, the best I have come across so far in my blogging history. And I mean that. You do it so effortlessly and I am always astounded when I come over to your blog. Now this, well.

    i read Job to remember
    we can be more
    but stretch out our hands instead
    to grasp this less

    A very poignantt message on patience. Glad you read Job. 🙂

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