The Ancient Modern

Standard of Living  /  Joshua Alan Sturgill         

Inflation of the idea spiritual
and an over-supply of religion
has devalued God 

until there is no market for Him.
His arts and His interests are long
out of fashion.

Collectors exist, of course, and 
examples of God are still purchased 
for museum holdings.  

Among old family photographs, 
on the walls of nursing homes, you 
may still see 

images of God.  Not Himself, 
but impressions and interpretations 
stripped of any

Symbols we can’t read any more. Just
last week, I saw three pictures of God:
God the scholar, 

God the lover and God the recluse,
framed and hung with nails 
in the hallway

of an old church.  The Scholar God,
hands folded in contemplation, gazed
languid and calm

into the wise expanse behind me.
The Lover God, like a Hollywood
movie’s leading man,

looked sensually into my eyes.
The Reclusive God knelt down in 
a garden alone

to consider all He had left to do.
I know these pictures.  Inexpensive
copies are available

wherever inspirational items
are sold.  I could have walked
past them all

without thinking about them and
continued into the church for
that wedding or

funeral or whyever I was there.  Yet
I waited.  For what?  I think I was 
listening.  Fading pictures of God

are everywhere these days, but I
never hear Him speak.  Does anyone 
remember His voice?

All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2022 by Joshua Alan Sturgill. All rights reserved.

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