When God Comes Home

When God Comes Home

Author as child

My daddy beat me he did
Drop your pants
bend over the bed here
he’d say in my older years
fore that it was drop your pants
lay on my lap
both were humiliating
disorienting to my soul

Near naked and putting your ass in the air like that
the leather belt swishes as it slides free of his waist
so he can make it sing through the air and go slap
slap slap slap faster and faster and faster
til your shorts stick to your skin
from the blistering he promised
of raw flesh oozing with red tinged fluids
Sunday evening he sits your tenderness down
in a hard wooden church pew
the preacher’s kid up front as example and testimony

Wait till your dad gets home mom says
after you get too big
for her to strike your cheek like an angry rattlesnake
this hurts me more than you he says
and you hold your breath and just disappear somewhere
I thought you had too much pride
he tells you later in life

But now the naked flesh of your butt
is scabbed over and enmeshed with white cotton
the very skivvies you’ll rip free tonight
with the tears your refused to surrender earlier
while he climbs himself
a trinity of steps onto the podium
up above the congregation of believers
up from where God speaks to his people
where from on high he looks you in the eyes
as if pinning you on the cross and daring you to squirm at all
while some 200 faithful stare a burn into the back of your skull
and God preaches about Hellfire and brimstone
raining down on sinners and children
who don’t “obey your parents in the name of the Lord
for this is right”

my daddy beats me
to save my soul he does
for my own good
I learn to hate him
for his righteous judgments and disciplines
learn to hate Jehovah too and at nine years old
lay in the alley behind the preacher’s house
alone in a pile of dried leaves
between the neighbor’s two ole beat-up trash cans
curse God and dad and life
I didn’t ask to be born
plan out how to kill myself I do
gonna use the ladder and rope in the garage
hang myself from one of the rafters I will
but I cry myself to sleep instead

learn to hate myself in those days too I suppose
but that’s another story

I find myself hesitant to share this latest poem, inquiring of my soul why I would do it….? “What do you desire from this sharing, Larry?” It feels so personal, intimate, and vulnerable, this reawakening of somatic and emotional memories… for what purpose?

Most simply I desire that never shall another child be hit or yelled at in the name of god or out of anger. Never again should a child be shamed for a wound carried inside a parent.

But that is not the way this world seems to work. We can work to heal our personal wounds but I also see how we heal in lineages; for the wounds are also carried down through the lines of our ancestry. I’ve become convinced however that the healings can also be sent from the heart of one generation back down through time, as well as into the future, for those who yet live within us but whom we shall never meet in person.

This I suppose is what might be called a ‘shamanic perspective,’ this perceiving of the world through a lens of energetic intentions. And this perception too: that it is from the depths of wounding received in my childhood that the breaths and depths of spirit and soulful richness I now live within… they are not separate.

Nor are they for you, which is another reason for my sharing this. Whatever the depths of your wounding and pain… your spirit and soul still know the way home to innate worth and belonging. You can find your way home…and you are worth the journey.

Finally (perhaps), I share this story/poem because if we are to understand the challenges of today’s world, the forces historically driving the shaping of ‘what it is to be a man’, of my era anyway, the forces behind conservative evangelical supporters of our deeply wounded US President, we must understand the Judaeo-Christian God of Fire and War… who is yet the God driving the suicidal forces of Western Culture.

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