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Relief From Burden and Grievings by Peter Menkin

by Peter Menkin  
1/19/2009 / Poetry

A poem as poetic list, a list as poem about sin and confession...

This isn't a poem, it is a poetic list that poses as a poem. I also think it is a poem that is a list, that explains one of the things I do to stay in relationship to God. I think you will find it understandable; no secret message, here. Just work to do to keep things and my life straighter than not.

Another of my poems written five years ago, this one was also originally posted on The Atlantic Monthly Writer's Workshop on the internet. Today, should you go to the Reposte & Post section of the online Atlantic, you would find little action in the Writer's Workshop. Too bad, and a real loss for me because it was so helpful. Then in 2001 it was a lively and interesting group, often encouraging of my ambitions to write an acceptable poem--about God and Christ.

Returning to the poem posted here: Some people don't believe in formal confession, to a Priest. The Episcopal Church offers the sacrament of reconciliation, called confession. It is done one on one with a Priest, and is more a spiritual conversation. The practice as I know it allows the confessing to see the confessor. In other words, it doesn't take a dark room, but can be said in a chapel with no one else around to hear.

Moreso, this poem alludes to such confession, but I think you will find it covers the idea of setting things right with oneself and one's God. And with others in one's life. As you can see, I think it is a good practice and also a form of self examination. Certainly, it is a poem as confession since it tells the reader that I believe I am a sinner and do sin. That is a lot of public revealing, in itself.

by Peter Menkin - 2001

Sin is

awareness that

forgiveness offers

the covetous,

and a long list

of human frailties more,

too numerous to name

relief from burden

and grievings of the soul.

What to do with sins

not in conscious.

Do not fret, listen

to your heart; be

still and know

that I am God. Live

with sorrow, embrace

joy, allow acceptance

of the human, eschew

evil. Know failure;

willingly embrace

humility. Tears.

Live life a friend

said. Yes!

Garden variety, thorns,

common knowledge, blindnesses,

bring my misgivings

to purity

~May I grieve You not


You are good.

Yet I do.


my confession.

Audio reading by the poet of the poem is here:

Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA where he writes poetry. He is an Oblate of Immaculate Heart Hermitage, Big Sur, CA and that means he is a Camaldoli Benedictine. He is 64 years of age as of 2010.

Copyright Peter Menkin

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