Happy Thanksgiving, Rabbit Roomers. In honor of this fine holiday I give you my newest poem, which started out like John Berryman and became a total rip-off of Billy Collins. So don’t sue me. I wrote it while Pete, Jamie and I drove from Tennessee to Shiloh, my folks’ place in North Florida, where I write these words. I looked and looked for the perfect image to complement the poem, and this was the best I could come up with. Again, don’t sue me. Have a grand feast, and don’t do that thing where everybody has to say something they’re thankful for before you eat. I’ve found that everybody’s happier if you wait to do that after the trypto-whatever kicks in.
(A CONFESSION AND A PLEA TO THE ALMIGHTY)
O God, Magnificent Confounder,
Boundless in mercy and power,
Be near me in my apathy.
Be near me, Savage Dreamer,
Bright Igniter of Exploding Suns,
But not too near. I’d like to live,
By your grace, just long enough
To taste another perfect steak.
And to see my children marry,
And, perhaps, to pen a memoir.
Great redeemer of my lechery,
Bright Dawn of Blessed Hope,
Lay waste to every prideful thing,
Each black infraction of your law.
O Swirling Storm of Holy Anger,
Be patient with me. I’m certain
I will make a second gluttonous
Trip to the festal spread of food.
And I might as well admit, O King
Omniscient, I plan to make a third.
And that will lead to sloth, I know,
If only for the afternoon. Awake,
O sleeper! But not yet, not yet.
I want to dream a dream of light
In Heaven’s towering splendor.
I long, my Lord, to walk its streets
Or better yet, to drive them.
I’ve always wanted a motorcycle,
A cool one that blats and rumbles
Like a herd of flaming zebras.
I could totally impress the ladies
With my holy rolling zebra steed,
But only by your perfect pleasure,
Ruler of the angel armies, blaster
Of the horn of strength, would I ride
The golden highways awesomely.
O Wisdom of the Ages, speak!
Sing to me of secret knowledge
Open wide the gates of truth,
And let me learn it, by your grace,
Through the medium of television–
Smartly written situational comedy,
Perhaps, or an epic space opera.
Let me taste the honey of your word,
My beloved savior. Seriously. Save me
From my wit, my words, my songs,
My sin, my bad poems, my vanity,
My every single human impulse,
Except the ones I like and am able
To justify using my corruptible
Reason, my imperfect understanding,
And my belief in your inexhaustible
Forgiveness. When I awake, saintly,
I will consume a dish of pumpkin pie.
And, as I politely swallow a belch,
I will lean my heart on yours, Almighty,
To whom, alone, is due thanksgiving.
Andrew Peterson is a singer-songwriter and author. Andrew has released more than ten records over the past twenty years, earning him a reputation for songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. As an author, Andrew’s books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga, released in collectible hardcover editions through Random House in 2020, and his creative memoir, Adorning the Dark, released in 2019 through B&H Publishing.