Excavating Faith

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.


Am I?

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?

A hawk?

An owl?

An eagle?

The soaring portly bumble bee?

My faith can show you nothing more

Than my belief in me