From six old crows on wires outside we hid*
Our feet avoided sidewalk cracks for fear
of trouble reaching those we held most dear
We knocked on wood to seek the lady’s bid**
But once grown up we left our childish fright
to understand how mysteries were hid,
how unseen forces rallied to the our bid
and beat back evil children of the night***
We screamed at demons, splattered oil around
We mapped the country, found the devil’s ground
and in these acts we lost our ground and slid
right back into a superstitious grid
And God Who loves ancient true religion
saw naught in us but old superstition
* six crows being a superstition of impending death
** a reference to lady luck
*** a reference to the abuse of “la sorciers”, children who have been accused of being Witches in Africa and have been abandoned and abused.
The rhyming sequence purposely uses the A rhyme throughout, and repeats the the words “hid” and “bid” in lines 1,4,6 and 7. The “id” rhyme represents superstition, which begins by framing the first section and then moves to the center or the heart of the following sections. It was a beautiful accident that the rhyme is also a Fruedian signifier.
The meter becomes uncomfortably syncopated at the end, and I left it that way to illustrate the how superstition is in off-beat tension with “true religion.”
Rhyme Sequence: abba caac ddaaee
This sonnet does not make fun of using anointing oil. Nor does it deny the existence of demonic influence, but the it does reject the over-emphasis on spiritual warfare, and the abuse that follows. Such activity is merely Christian superstition, and people have been victims of it. If you are one of those victims may God bless you with confidence and peace.
One thought on “Sonnet #13 – on superstition in the church”
I liked the uncomfortable syncopation.