On Sunday
I walked away from God
And opened an old wound
Peeled back the scab
Tugged at the ragged edges
Smeared the gore across my skin
And, good Lord–
Thrust in a dagger
Relished the pain.
Ah, woe is mine!
At the end of the day
I retired
Licking languidly
My safe and bloody harbor
Of resentment.

On Monday
I found a few neighbors
To talk with
And about.
We prodded and pried
Jimmied and jiggered
Meddled and muddled
Needled and nattered
Diddled and dirtied
Coddled and curried
Bantered and bandied
Sullied and soiled.
Oh! what fun we had.
Words flying furiously
Carefully carelessly
Delightfully damaging.
It feels so good to create.

On Tuesday
I slept late.
Okay, very late.

On Wednesday…
Now, what did happen
On Wednesday?
I manufactured an earthquake.
Here is the recipe.
3 c imagination
1-1/2 c vanity
1-1/2 c theatricality
A dash of ill humor
1 clove spite, crushed dry
1 tsp leaven of Pharisee
1/2 tsp cream of Tartarus
2 c rancid bile
1 warped mirror
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly
After sifting imagination well.
Add rancid bile and stir.
Let sit a while to rise
Until almost set.
Flatten mixture with a wooden mallet
And bake in the hot sun
Until it cracks
Like mud flats in the Negev.
Examine through warped mirror.
You, too, can master the craft
Of finding faults
In just about anyone…
Including yourself!

On Thursday
Oh, on Thursday
I really enjoyed myself.
I believe I discredited
My entire family.
My cousin and I
Did scandalous things
In the wood behind the house.
You can just imagine.
Later, I tried to persuade
The neighbor girl
To flash me her privates
By telling her
“If you loved me, you’d show me.”
She didn’t bite.
Good for her!
In the afternoon
I tickled one of my best friends
So long and hard
She almost peed
My hands running
Not so furtively
Up and down
Over the satin smoothness
Of her tautly-bound breasts.
I think she enjoyed herself, too.
At least, I like thinking so.
Did I mention yet
What else I did
On Tuesday?
I really, really wish
I could remember
And I bet you do, too.

On Friday
Knowing the day of charades
Would begin at dusk
I indulged my appetite
For appetites.
May I say I gorged?
Thankfully I live
In a land of plenty
A veritable cornucopia
Of milk and honey.
In fact
I ate honeycomb with my honey.
We drank wine with our milk
And drank deeply
Wine from a round goblet
That overflowed.
I feasted on a heap of wheat
Set about with lilies.
I drank spiced wine
And the juice of pomegranates
Running like hot grease
Over my chin
The fruit of my labors.
And it was good.
It was all good
Very, very good.
I was not sated
But I was satisfied
No! persuaded
That my lusts
Were scriptural.
I am my beloved
And I am mine.

On Saturday
I rested from all my wickedness.
I kept the Sabbath holy
Toeing the line neatly
Remembering that God
Also rested from his creativity
Recalling that I used to be a slave
Of some other dastardly master
Until God delivered me
Unto my bastard self.
And I rightly and crisply
Brought to mind
The Lord’s command
To observe the Sabbath
And I kept it
Brutally kept it
A culmination of calumny.
I made no new wineskin
I mended no garment
I let the lost sheep die
I healed no one
Certainly not myself
I lighted no lamp in the darkness
I milled no wheat in my palm.
Yes, I kept the Sabbath
I bludgeoningly and ruthlessly kept it
Shackled and tied it
Thrashed it soundly
Threw it in a pit
And sent it into bondage
All for the price
Of the bowl of red meat
I call another week
Another six-day indulgence
One more creative vacation from God
Followed by a septic
Sabbath from myself

And holy.

Nay, it never be so.

About Greg Wright

I have worn many hats as a writer and editor over the years. Unlike my scholarly and journalistic work from the "old days" at Hollywood Jesus, Past the Popcorn, or SeaTac Blog, the writing here is of a more overtly personal and spiritual nature. I hope it provokes you as much as it provokes me.
This entry was posted in Poetry, The Gospel According to Peter. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Confession

  1. Greg Wright says:

    The product of two weeks of contemplation of Jesus’ lessons about the Sabbath (from Peter’s perspective), learning on the Sabbath through CFDM, and a silent retreat at St. Andrew’s House at Hood Canal this weekend during which I contemplated my own guilt. The key musing I had going into silence was the following:

    The Sabbath commandment is NOT an ideal, any more than the commandment not to kill is an ideal (see: Matthew 5). The laws are given as an exercise to demonstrate to us that we are woefully incapable of faithfully observing even a compromised approximation of an ideal… because we can do nothing under our own power. Once we have learned that lesson through our failed efforts at faithful observance of the command, then we can move on to the next VERY difficult step and ask: what would the ideal look like — in the spirit of Matthew 5? What would resting in God REALLY look like? Not just a one-day-a-week observance with a ritualized, liturgic beginning and end but… what? Two days a week? Three? Seven? What would continuous reliance on God look like rather than a mere resting from our usual pursuit of our every-day, very human compulsions?

  2. Jenn says:

    I am so glad you understand the dark but don’t live there anymore. With the Spirit in you, it will never be so. <3

  3. Thank you for the post following the poem. I liked the poem but I wanted to make sure you hadn’t really walked away from God as soon as I left town.

    • Greg Wright says:


      One of things I did during our silent retreat was (in a virtual fashion, of course) sit down and play cards, as my Old Self, with Jesus and my New Self. I found I could actually be at peace with my old self, and was pleased to find that Jesus liked and loved my Old Self, too!

  4. Carol Neumann says:

    Hi Greg,
    You really had me hooked in your first line of the poem. But I was glad to read the last line knowing you were still with God. I could identify with Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. You have a gift of words that evoke immediate feelings. If I didn’t know you I would think you were a tad demented. Praise God you are His, and he loves even the demented. Thanks for your honesty. Carol

    • Greg Wright says:

      Thanks for the note, Carol. And I definitely get the “tad demented” observation. Some of the stuff I write makes me thing the same! One thing I think I do fairly well is get inside the head of the “characters” I write. In this case, it’s kind of a hybrid of Peter and myself, but reflective of a mental state that’s more Peter than me… while the details of “confession” are pretty much all me, given that I have no idea what Peter’s sins of youth were.

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