Habit of Being Wise
By Alan Altany
“… the action of grace in territory held largely by the devil.”
A good man now is harder to find
among the standardized waste land
violence that bears hope away
despite the triumphs of profane
progress and techno-futurisms
in the wizened blood of the times.
Original misfitting of the soul
is scoffed in a nihilistic clouding
with hubris seeing the grotesque
and the dearth of God as natural,
with no immunity from the disease
of a dark-rising and crippling culture.
A contrary-wise “Christ-haunted” prophet
pushes theological absurdity “towards
the limits of mystery” in maimed stories
of memento mori and of a salvation long-
forgotten and even longer disdained
as a medieval relic of a reckless God
brutally dying for dreary-down souls.
In this modern age of radically ungraced
self-saving and hapless secular sufficiency,
a local lady tells stories of divine comedy
breaking open infernally brazen addictions
to oblivion, blazing tumultuously graced,
shocking faith where in an ironical city
always “the good is under construction”,
and evil suffers itself towards the sacred.
Alan Altany, Ph.D., is a septuagenarian college professor of religious studies. He’s been a factory worker, swineherd on a farm, hotel clerk, lawn maintenance worker, small magazine of poetry editor, director of religious education for churches, truck driver, novelist, etc. He published a book of poetry in 2022 entitled A Beautiful Absurdity: Christian Poetry of the Sacred. His website is at https://www.alanaltany.com/.
'Habit of Being Wise' first appeared in A Beautiful Absurdity: Christian Poetry of the Sacred. It has been republished here with the author's permission.
Alan's previous work on Foreshadow:
Grunewald's Crucifixion (Poetry, September 2022)
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