Sunday, August 1, 2010

Broken Things

I collect broken things,
he said, broken and
tattered, torn and
shredded, all busted and
burst things, since they
are so cheap, you know.
I snapped up that figurine of
porcelain, carelessly
knocked with a dust cloth; that
dead car battery was a bargain.
I loved that detoured highway
and the soup-stained silk tie, and
the book with the torn cover, and that
ancient oak split by lightning from the
same storm that flooded the
basement. It’s not just things, of
course, or maybe it is:

Prosperity gospel with a
Mercedes for every parable, and
JumboTron worship to make it
all about us; the sledgehammered
Pieta that was always more about
an idea than a statue.
Fruit, forbidden;
denial, times three;
faith, forgotten or abandoned;
war, waged; a small lie, told large;
a gate, unhinged;
a watch, stopped;
towers, twice collapsed;
a child, abused;
a life, destroyed;
a teacup, shattered.

Broken things often
birth beauty, but only by
human accident or
divine design.

Photograph: Old Dodge by Nancy Rosback. Used with permission.


Kathleen Overby said...


Anonymous said...

this touches my heart
tears and silence

Maureen said...


The image that first comes to mind is of the person on the street not so far from here making his finds, putting them in a grocery cart, taking up the discarded, himself discarded.

The next is an image of brokenness: us, each broken in our way. Accident and design.

Jeanne Damoff said...

Stunning, Glynn.

I hope you won't take this as an insult (it's certainly not meant as one), but I fully expected this piece to be attributed to some famous poet. Seriously. There are moments of real brilliance here--in the form, the cadence, the internal rhyme; in the depth of thought, the layers of meaning, the truths expressed and the emotions they evoke. This is exceptional poetry. And I don't say that lightly.

Beauty indeed. But in this case, I don't think it was by accident. More like human design with hints of the divine. Thank you.

Gordon said...

Awesome and thank you!!

家唐銘 said...

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today.......................................................................

HisFireFly said...

I love this, Glynn.

What stirred in my spirit is that our Lord, our Jesus also loved and continues to love broken things like us.

Anne Lang Bundy said...

What great back-to-back poems!

The Bible says God sees beauty in the broken, and I believe that's why He allows it. I belive that's why He doesn't buy broken people cheaply.

Laura said...

Oh, just lovely, Glynn. While reading, I felt that brokenness inside call out to each of these you name and it seemed like a home was found there in that space.