Saturday, November 24, 2012

UIBC (United Institutional Baptist Church)

A purgatory of my own conceit
and choice – wherefore a Mephistopheles?
The first half of shahada got it right:
There is no small-g god.

In the Baptist church where I was raised,
between the end of Sunday School
and the start of the 11 o’clock service,
the old ladies in big hats sang the songs of old.
We would giggle and call them slavery songs
But we listened, and sometimes, we sang along.

They sang:
You know the storm is passing over,

They sang in low tones and in flat notes…

They sang:
There’ll be nooooo moooooore weeping….
          Nooooo moooooore weeping
          Nooooo moooooore weeping over me…
And before I be a slave
I’ll be buried in my grave
And I’ll go home, home to my Lord, and I’ll be free…

They sang in high notes and sharp tones…

They sang:
That’s alright, that’s alright
That’s alright, that’s alright
As long as I know I got a seat in the kingdom,
That’s alright.

They sang without scales
They sang without any lyrics you could read
They sang from their hearts
They sang from their souls
They sang words and hopes and dreams
passed down from a dark past.
And sometimes,
They just made shit up.


  1. I love the last line. All of it, but especially the last line.

  2. I love the last line. All of it, but especially the last line.

  3. Yes, the last line was certainly unexpected! I too, grew up in the Baptist church, and I can certainly account that what you are saying is true. Some of that * is made up!