Category Archives: Poems

Augustine

Augustine weeps in the garden before his conversion in Confessions VIII.

You’re no misanthrope.
You just knew that all good things
Come from God.

Stealing pears or repenting
Of stealing pears;
Making love to a woman
Or feeling like you’ve lost a rib
When you send her away;
Building a church
Tearing down a church
(or maybe just a sect)

You knew that what was good in it
If anything was
Was from God.
Maybe you had no love for pears
And maybe you just wanted a
Cheap thrill
But God gave you that restless heart
That one that wanted to conspire
When it couldn’t yet commune.

You called your kid God’s gift,
And said you had no part in him
But the sin.
But surely God gave the bed you lay on
If God gave what came from that bed.
You knew that lust
Was just love misdirected
And not always too far
Off the mark.

You knew yourself
Loving and loved
And you knew how much love could hurt
How much you could hurt
Your poor mother
Your poor mistress
That poor kid of yours
How much your
Drunk abusive father
Could have hurt you
And maybe did.

You knew how much goes wrong
When love goes wrong
So you made it all hang
On love that can’t go wrong.
And if unconditional salvation
Means unconditional damnation
Who are the damned to complain?
All good things come from God
Only from God.
You knew that.

But I think you also knew
That maybe you didn’t know
Just how good God is.

All Souls Day, 2015

© 2015 Kyle Rader