Naked Body of Dreams

Poetry by David Deyo

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The Hard Heart

Judges of the ministry
climb the temple steps
and lay down their burden.
With thorny manacles,
a man is bound to the altar bed.
Raising their gleaming sword
the judge split his naked breast.

Hands open the bloodless flesh
like the cover of a book.
Inside the hollow chest
they find a crimson stone.
And this glazed and fired clay,
they place upon a tray
forged of thirty silver pieces.

Again the blade is lifted,
and with the flat of its steel,
they strike the hard heart
until it cracks and shatters.
The scarlet fractions are swept
into their mortar and pestle,
ground to the finest powder.
In New Jerusalem,
the rising city is built
from dusts of blood
and shards of broken bone.

About the Poem

This poem is my comment about the way in which the institutions of the Christian church pursue an agenda that often runs strongly counter to the teaching of Christ.


This poem was first published in the chapbook When the Black Lotus Blooms (1988, Black Lotus Press).



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