By SAID,Mark S. Burrows
SAID's ninety nine Psalms are poems of compliment and lament, of wondering and considering. within the culture of the Hebrew psalmist, they locate their voice in exile, subsequently person who is either existential and geographical. His determination to incorporate ninety nine during this assortment remembers the traditional Muslim culture that ascribes ninety nine names to Allah, even though the "lord" whom this psalmist addresses isn't really bounded by means of this or the other non secular culture. As psalms that flip to the "lord" with a lover's vulnerability, they steer clear of each hint of sentimentality. quite, they search to open us to the secret of human lifestyles, caution us of the problems we are facing in our makes an attempt to reside peaceably jointly in the course of our differences."These psalms sound the pressing desire for revelation, implying a robust corrective to our glossy fabric lifestyles. it's a pleasure to witness the imaginative and prescient of such an arresting poet. this can be a ebook to savor."-Maurice Manning, recipient of the 2009 Hanes Poetry Award from the Fellowship of...
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Extra resources for 99 Psalms
And do you believe that we can survive the temptation of an even more radical love without your word?  look o lord i don't sing your praises but i seek you with my limbs which i've tamed just for you for i want to keep watch over your word so that love be found anew and we win back our wildness  lord let me be a water puddle that mirrors your heavens and murmurs your prayers so that the cicadas might understand me show yourself o lord even if you have no other choice than to come in the fierce coursing of blood and take in the refugees because every fleeing ends in your eye even if those who flee forget you in their time of need because only those who doubt in you seek you  lord appear nakedly with bread and destroy the colors so that we might never again go astray but show yourself to us before supermarkets sell you dirt cheap on their bargain tables and cell phones mutate into gods appear as a lawless illiterate one remain without light and vulnerable to seduction but hurry because even the wind deprives us of the deceit  lord hurry and mingle time with space so that the madness might come to an end teach us the tiger's humility in submitting to the moon by night and the lion's courage in savoring his digestion without idly tearing his prey apart and the donkey's wisdom in coolly bearing the stranger's burden without losing his bearing and grant us the aster's simplicity in delighting in each spring's arrival without giving a thought to the fall with its greedy fingers  lord wait a little while before you wager a new creation and this time make more animals and plants so that we might survive as vanquished ones prevent us from penetrating the carnation's mystery because we're incapable of being content with such knowledge but unite us with the grass of the plains with the sea's surf and smile upon our thirst for perfection because this is not worthy of you  lord consider the blind worm and the rain-worm when pride overcomes you consider too the daffodil and reconcile it to its puddle smile so that your justice might become more bearable withstand my dreams without forgetting my mother ponder this o lord that you're nothing without our bodies so watch over our skin our sweat our waste so that in your loneliness you won't be hardened like a church  lord spread wide your arms and protect us from the multitude of your guardians stand by those who wander who've not lost the gift of hearing and listen within their solitude stand by those too who stay and wait for you  lord despair of us because we've become so confident with our calculations and our machines and have unlearned doubt let us believe in truths that expand beyond the field of our vision because every number eventually bears a Moloch that in time will devour us  lord attend to your name which i invented for you it derives from the inner life of things and should burrow into our gut give your light to lovers because they have no other see how their eyes shine when they deny you and the world help them o lord grant hearing to them and to their bodies so that you might continue to learn from your creatures bless the sweat of their bodies and the spit of their mouths  lord pray pray aloud against the clamor of the human hand that seeks to drown you out and come on quiet soles so that we might attend to your footsteps strive to acknowledge our prayers even when they appear in some other guise for no prayer ever unbinds itself from its origins with the one who prays  lord take up the speech by which i pray to you grant me the gestures that have grown within me in your absence that i might remain true to my incorrigible nature and take up your weakness  lord stand by my friends so that they might bear with me without renouncing me so that they might love me on account of my weaknesses and warn me when i feel strong and stand by them so that they might distinguish the one from the other  lord attend to your word so that my word might flourish through me and beyond and seek the wind for us that binds the north with the south  lord understand i don't want to be subdued not by the word not by the sword so let me love myself so that i might remain devoted to you and don't fear my word when it seeks to bind you to me  it's about time o lord that you renounce vengeance to save our memory so proclaim that purity isn't the sister of truth and respect at last my winter-lies give pardon o lord because the human is an unwarmed being  look lord where your name once dwelt ravenous ones now live who no longer hunger and know no ways of their own because they chase after things that they can merely possess their vanity eats the earth bare and fails to recognize your voice  lord stand by me bear the brokenness of my body before i ban it from my tongue and help me resist the establishment and its doings but stand by me so that i don't confuse revenge with justice and let me never take the former into my hands  lord agree with me that each body is holy with all its passions and that two bodies embracing never defile themselves and stand by me so that i remain part of this stirring in order to draw closer to you  lord keep on wandering forever and never settle down because no dwelling places remain only footsteps be loud and urgent share in my life and my passions accompany me all the way to your bread so that my word might wake  lord don't bother me with your prayers and precepts remain mute within earshot and fight with me against exhausted reason and for a beauty that also transcends this boundary  look o lord my enemies have retreated after devouring me until they hungered no more what's left is a legion of hecklers who take shelter behind your façade make for me new enemies with a unique language lord my friends have forgotten to die and lose their way so help me o lord to remain provisional so that my sorrow doesn't lose its beat  lord stay with me even when i nourish myself from ashes and salt be still and listen to each of the names i lend you for i want to distinguish you from the false gods give me patience to endure the vain with their empty words and the converts who strive to confirm their opposite and make my waiting full of revolt  lord when you appear destroy the calendar disguise yourself and appear as a seduction to test our capacity for suffering give me the strength to distinguish the blinded from the blind so that i might be unjust to none of them and let there be room for fleeing between us so that this love might endure  look at the passersby o lord who stroll right past the beggar which puzzle do they want to pose for you?
To this end, they offer us language that we can call upon in times of dire need: “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck; I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me” (Ps. 69:1–2). They offer ways of naming our fears and hopes in the face of the often tenuous nature of our lives: “As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone…. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him” (Ps.
Afterword I first met the author of Psalmen in Munich in May 2010. The occasion was the second ecumenical Kirchentag, a massive gathering sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church of Germany (EKD). ” My initial encounter with SAID occurred at a poetry reading held in conjunction with this event, staged in the old city hall on a dreary, rain-soaked night. Despite the weather, an expectant audience assembled in the spacious ceremonial hall, filling every available seat and leaving a large crowd stranded outside in the corridors and stairways.
99 Psalms by SAID,Mark S. Burrows