Poem “Reclaiming the Steeple” by Gray Newlin …

Poem “Reclaiming the Steeple” by Gray Newlin …

“Reclaiming the Steeple” (Gray Newlin):

Half way through her set she

Kneeled down on both knees,

Rested the guitar on her thigh and said,

“This one’s a prayer.”

That night I decided when I grow up I want to be a preacher,

But not my mother’s preacher:

A sweaty basement, speaking in tongues, speaking over each other,

Touching each other, touching god, sermon provider!

I want to bring religion back to theater,

Theaters blown into steeples

From the energy of its people.

Communion is canned, please recycle

Lend a hand, share your alcohol, stingey bastard.

Here we are equal,

Masters of our destiny.

Exchanging energy until we all reach zero,

Ready for tomorrow.

But that’s tomorrow.


These musicians are donating bone marrow

To your head drums.

Bass beats remind you of where you’re from:

Womb cello.

We are still dancing in the dark,

Left our halos on park benches,

We get real. . .

Real dirty.

It doesn’t matter what genre tickles your fancy,

All music is soul music,

So get dancing!

Shake like a sound wave,

Shake like it’s a sin and you don’t want Jesus dying for nothin’,

Don’t just talk to strangers, introduce your limbs.

Remember Alix Olson said, “Anybody. Anybody. Any, body. Any. Body.”

Can what? Bring you closer to god.

So remember this,

And take that Tuesday night off.

Find yourself,

In a room full of people, too close to the keyboard,

Take a deep breath

and pray.


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