by jane arie baldwin
Here’s a little peom I wrote a few years ago when I was just starting to voice my ideas about faith. I turned away from faith because when I thought of ‘having faith’ I immediately connected the idea with the concept of ‘blind faith,’ a sort of no questions asked belief that has justified everything from the Spanish Inquisition to the continued presence of Rush Limbaugh on the airwaves.
I wrote this poem when I started to look at what faith meant to me rather than what I percieved it to be from outside of me, from others everywhere else. That’s when I started to understand what Zen Master Linji meant when he said, “If you meet the Buddha [on the road], kill him.” I began to apply this idea to the meaning of faith. Like the Buddha, faith is not a static object with set parameters. As much as I want to know faith, I can only know it through my heart, not through my over-analytical head.
A sock with divine purpose
To warm the frozen foot?
A watch that reminds the masses
It’s time to zip their boots?
A mosquito stuck in amber
That holds clues to early life?
A blanket statement rendered true
By a believer of only lies?
The soaring portly bumble bee?
My faith can show you nothing more
Than my belief in me