Wombs

The time that I was in my mother’s womb
has long since washed away from memory,
but I was woven there as on a loom
till when it had become too small for me.
Now I am living in a larger room,
as by divine design I’m meant to be,
and I have had the chance to grow and bloom,
and love my mother though we disagree.
A church has also been a kind of mother,
in forming not my flesh but soul in it,
yet wombs in this one way are like each other:
there comes a time when I no longer fit.
Pulled from the wombs, at first I felt forlorn,
but only in this way could I be born.

Wombs

Mario A. Pita

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Soul Volumes

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Treasured Crowd

A thousand people fit in my small room,
and possibly a couple thousand more,
though no one looking at it would presume
such numbers wouldn’t spill from out the door.
And yet they fit and share with me their views
and speak of all their lives and those of others
and tell of all their old or recent news
as if they were my sisters and my my brothers.
But they are friends on whom I have relied
for inspiration, wisdom, love, and laughter,
yet many of them long ago have died,
but still can speak to us forever after.
I’m thankful for the multitude of selves
that live in volumes on my tall book shelves.

Intermediaries

I’ve met a million people, lots of ages,
yet I don’t know how any of them look;
the ones I met from what they wrote on pages,
the ones without a picture in their book.
I’ve loved to hear what many had to say
while I sat in the comfort of my seat
yet sometimes wished we’d meet another way,
met in the flesh instead of on a sheet.
But books, admittedly, have often been,
a way of meeting others, as a spy,
who looks through windows, scared of going in,
and feeds on silhouettes, remote and shy.
But books may leave you feeling destitute
when they’re used as a person’s substitute.

Distillations

The hopes and dreams of thousands were distilled
like scents from petals used to make perfume,
and though, by time, many have been killed
their essences are present in my room:
their loves and joys, their sorrows and despairs,
their personalities, their way of seeing,
philosophies of life, their deepest cares,
each concentrated heart, and mind, and being.
They’ve given me great portions of their selves
that fit within a designated space
the rows and towers of my room’s book shelves,
where I can meet them, though not face to face.
Dear readers whom I may not ever know,
I squeeze my soul in words for when I go.

Soul Volumes

Mario A. Pita

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Musical Arrangements

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Notation

As music can be written on a sheet
and later played by all who understand
the musical notation that’s a neat
instruction sheet designed so mouth or hand
can bring to life what otherwise would be
just silent ink that’s stuck upon a page,
that nobody can hear but only see
as music trapped within a paper cage,
so Gospel words, it seems to me, were meant,
not just for reading as we often think
but brought to life, we each an instrument,
so they won’t stay imprisoned in an ink.
We bring to life the words from Love’s apostles
or else they’re wholly lifeless, ancient fossils.

Variations

Composers will not call it heresy
when music they have written is performed
in different ways, for it was meant to be,
interpreted, which doesn’t mean deformed.
Fidelity is vital, so it seems,
yet players and composers often marry
and build upon existing music themes
that sometimes sound the same but often vary.
But scriptures centuries ago composed
aren’t treated as a music you can play
and most interpretations are opposed
by people who will reprimand or slay.
Songs didn’t end with ancient testaments:
we’re played in new ways as Love’s instruments.

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Mario A. Pita

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Pinning

Some try to pin You down with doctrine pins,
disputing which are fact and which are fiction,
not knowing that they are committing sins—
subjecting You to one more crucifixion.
They argue over how to classify
Your being in their religion’s category,
with nails of intellect that make You die,
although the death is bloodless, not gory.
But You are life itself and can’t be pinned
like specimens that specialists dissect:
You’re meant to flutter freely in the wind,
not be restrained and caught in any sect.
A doctrine may be truth or may be lie,
but it’s not You—the living butterfly.

Pinning

Mario A. Pita

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Salvation Angst

We’re told You love us, yet the ones who tell
will often tell us that there is a catch
which is we could condemn ourselves to hell,
a fire we ignite with our own match,
if we don’t think or act the way we should,
or if our faithfulness is not enough,
if we’re inadequate in being good,
as if our home could topple with a puff.
Since I believed them, I have wasted time
on worrying about the life to come,
but I have come to see this is a crime,
or, at the very least, it’s awfully dumb:
Released from fear that I’ll forever burn,
I serve You, Love, free of infernal concern.

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Mario A. Pita

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Field Self

When ego trips take me away from You,
I see myself as blade in field of grass,
so blinding self-importance fades from view,
along with arrogance and pride that’s crass.
For, as a blade, I’m part of something larger
than ego which inflates – hot air balloon –
and pops dramatically a little later,
so that I feel I’ve been a fool – buffoon.
As blade, I sway with others in a field,
in wind that bends my stretching, supple stem,
designed to bend instead of break, to yield,
as I reach to the sun like all of them.
I feel relieved by fields that I walk by,
imagining I’m grass that’s growing high.

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Mario A. Pita

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Embodiment

In buildings made of stone, they speak of You,
of when You came two thousand years ago,
and though I take the story to be true,
I seek a softer, warmer place to go.
Among the stained glass panes and vaulted ceilings,
the votive candles with a haunting glow,
they speak with thunderous impassioned feelings
of heaven overhead or realms below.
But talk of times gone by or times to come,
however great they were or they will be,
sometimes is of little help to some
in facing all the present’s misery.
Stones and sermons fail to keep us warm.
Help us embody Love in human form.

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Mario A. Pita

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