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
and 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
and mammoths
has more patience for us
than we for Him–

how we lose that path
over and  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 empty stomachs.

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
and 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.


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?
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22 Responses to I Read Job to Be Reminded

  1. Eeek … ‘cracked clay feet’ and ‘brass tongues / clang discord’ kinda wraps it up – we need to be more mindful, for sure …

    • Thanks, Polly. Must be rework Thursday, as I was prettying this up to send somewhere for consideration, and decided to make this my NaPoWriMo for the day 😉

  2. WOW. Job is one of my favorite books in that Bible thing, and wow. First of all, you understand the purpose, which I should have known you would, which makes me love you more. And then you add a hundred thoughts I’ve never had, which is the only divine thing about life itself. Thank you for this. I am going to read it over and over.

    • Aw, Shrinks, thanks!I I cut my teeth on the King James (and something tells me you did too), and I can’t seem to get it out from under my skin. Now, there’s another piece I want to write about Job, where I address the wild, unanswerable God in there, but I have yet to find the words. Bet you could do it, though.

      • I’ve always wanted to write a Job poem, there’s no way I could or would want to top this, though. It says more than I could say.

        • Oh, wow…thank you. I bet you could, though, when/if you are ready to.

          I have one on here about sitting in the living room, reading the Bible, and my mother being so proud of me for doing that at 10-11. She never asked me what I was reading. It was Leviticus, and I was reading all the nasty sexual stuff that was worthy of stoning.

  3. Alice Keys says:

    “newly minted from gold flecks sifted from lead & hoarded to pour into familiar molds” Yes. This is how we “coin” our new Gods. Alice

  4. claudia says:

    i love the book of job and i often read it when i need some comfort…and yeah…to be reminded…

  5. You’ve nailed it again, dear friend 🙂 Well done. My fourth haiku today is on similar and yet lesser lines

  6. mobius faith says:

    This is a great weaving of Job with your own poetry. Love this one.

  7. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    This speaks to many things I am personally wrestling with right now in both my life and work.

    But what repeats itself over and over in my mind is the very beginning:

    It is not God I should accuse
    but us:

    We were not there
    when You laid the foundation
    when You set the cornerstone.

    I have a very difficult time with the Bible, which is why I find this first part so striking, so personally problematic and so thoughtful.

    • Jeremy, I have problems with it too, which is when I try very, very hard not to let it be a wall blocking me from God, instead of a bridge to Him, if that makes any sense.

      • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

        That makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t let me troubles keep me from trying to understand -I don’t give up.

        I am sure you will understand me when I say that as with so many other things in this life, I so often have to resist in order to understand.

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